First Inaugural Address of Abraham Lincoln (4 March 1861)
Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated the sixteenth president of the United States on 4 March 1861 at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. He took the helm of a country already divided. In November 1860, upon hearing that Lincoln had won the election, states began to secede from the Union. Just two weeks prior to Lincoln's inauguration Jefferson Davis had been elected president of the newly formed Confederate States of America. Feelings against Lincoln were so high that his route from Illinois to Washington was kept secret, and he acted against advice when he traveled to the Capitol in an open carriage with his predecessor Martin Van Buren.
Lincoln alluded to fears for his safety at the beginning of the speech For the remainder he discussed the conflict and puts the issue of slavery right at the center However he refused to commit to either side of the debate concentrating instead ...