Our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, died this week (April 15) in 1865. His words did not.
If you appreciate great writing — writing that pulls at your heart, tears at your gut, overpowers your intellect and gnaws at your soul, then read today’s guest author, the greatest writer ever to serve as president — greater even than Jefferson. He died this week (April 15) in 1865. His words did not.
“Though passion has strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” — Inaugural Address, 1861.
“This is ... a struggle for maintaining in the world, that form, and substance of government, whose leading object is to elevate the condition of men — to lift artificial weights from all shoulders — to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all — to afford all an unfettered start, and a fair chance, in the race of life.” — Message to Congress, 1861.
“The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation ... We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just — a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless.” — Message to Congress, 1862.
“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these honored dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from this earth.” — Gettysburg Address, 1863.
“Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came … ”
“... Fondly do we wish, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war shall speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s 250 years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, ‘The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’ ” — Second Inaugural Address, 1865.