Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugurationhttp://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/inaug2.htm as President of the United States occurred on March 4, 1865, in hundred forty-nine years ago this week.
His speech got rave reviews as early as the following day. The London Spectator wrote in their editions “We cannot read it without a renewed conviction that it is the noblest political document known to history, and should have for the nation and the statesmen he left behind him something of a sacred and almost prophetic character.”
Part of it is well known, including “With malice toward none; With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”
One possible audience member was John Wilkes Booth – shown, perhaps, in the photograph under the red arrow. One believer was Lincoln’s bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon. The Huntington Library in California has copies of affidavits in Lamon’s files from Metropolitan Police officers in Washington who had stopped and questioned a man who was attempting to follow President Lincoln onto the porch of the capital when Mr. Lincoln went to give his address. The police officers testified the man was John Wilkes Booth.
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