Monday, February 11, 2013

Farewell My Friends

Abraham Lincoln maybe his Farewell Address to his fellow citizens of Springfield, Illinois February 11th 1861.

The president elect Abraham Lincoln left Springfield, Illinois February 11th 1861 to travel to Washington, DC for his inauguration.  Several thousand of Lincoln’s fellow citizens gathered to send him on his way.  In response to this gathering Lincoln gave a Farewell Address from his railroad car at the Great Western Railroad Station, just before departing.

Shortly after the train got underway, Lincoln was asked to put the speech on paper.  The last few lines of the address were copied for Lincoln by his personal secretary John Nicolay.  A newspaper in Springfield published a second version of the speech a few days later.

"My friends, no one, not in my situation, can appreciate my feeling of sadness at this parting. To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything. Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young to an old man. Here my children have been born, and one is buried. I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of the Divine Being who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail. Trusting in Him who can go with me, and remain with you, and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell."

There are two versions of this speech, if you would like to see both Lincoln's Farewell Address in Springfield  is a good place to start.

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