"THE MYSTIC CHORDS OF MEMORY, STRETCHING FROM EVERY BATTLEFIELD, AND PATRIOT GRAVE, TO EVERY LIVING HEART AND HEARTHSTONE": LINCOLN'S FIRST INAUGURAL ADDRESS, 1861
LINCOLN, Abraham. Inaugural Address of the President of the United States on the Fourth of March, 1861. Special Session. Senate. Executive Document No. 1. [Washington: Government Printing Office], March 8, 1861. Slim octavo, disbound; pp. 10. Housed in a custom clamshell box.
Rare second printing of Lincoln's important first inaugural address, printed by order of the Senate four days after its delivery.
On the morning of March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln was escorted with little fanfare to his inauguration. Anticipating violence, General Winfield Scott had stationed riflemen on housetops along the parade route, as well as platoons and cavalry in the streets. On the platform erected at the Capitol's east portico, "Lincoln put on a pair of steel-bowed spectacles and began reading his inaugural address in a clear, high-pitched voice that carried well out to the crowd of 25,000. The address was a document of inspired statesmanship. He reminded the South of his pledge not to interfere with slavery, but he firmly rejected secession—the Union was 'unbroken.' Finally he issued a grave warning [undiluted by his advisors, who recommended that Lincoln soften his martial tone]: 'In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict, without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect and defend it.' Abraham Lincoln was resolved to be President of the whole Union" (Bruce Catton). The address contains some of Lincoln's most famous words: "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." Monaghan 102.
Text very fresh with only trace of foxing. A fine copy.