- Lincoln’s Inauguration
Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life
Gift of Capt. Montgomery Meigs, 1892
Original Photographic Print of Lincoln’s First Inauguration
Cartoon of Inaugural Address
"I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, 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."
—Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1861
After much debate, Lincoln decided to send provisions, but not arms. The supply ship never reached the fort. On April 12, 1861, Confederate forces responded with a 34-hour bombardment that ended in the garrison’s surrender. Three days later Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteers for the Union army.
"Of all the trials I have had since I came here, none begin to compare with those I had between the inauguration and the fall of Fort Sumpter [sic]. They were so great that could I have anticipated them, I would not have believed it possible to survive them."
—Abraham Lincoln, July 3, 1861