As you may know I’m a big fan of Abraham Lincoln. I painted him a few months back. The more I read about him the more fascinated I become.
read my earlier post here.
It was 150 ago today that he made his inauguration speech. He stood at the helm of a country threatened to be torn part by civil war.
Before Lincoln was elected America already had issues so to speak but these had been put aside in the forming of a new nation. The differences between the north and the south stared to bubble up to the surface by 1820. One of the hot topics was slavery.
Lincoln’s election signaled to an already divided country that slavery was an anachronism in a supposedly enlightened age. This aggravated the southern states who’s economy was based largely on slaves and cotton. Lincoln’s stance was that national sovereignty and majority rule were the heart of democracy and that secession by the southern states was a road to anarchy.
In his address he tried to distill fear and difference. He ended his speech with these words.
“The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth-stone, 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.”
They didn’t do any good. Lincoln spoke those words on 4th march 1861. On 12th April the south started war.
More portraits of famous folk in my portfolio.