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Topic Sixty-two:  Readings to Learn about Abraham Lincoln while in Springfield (HOME PAGE) On-Line Hunt-a-Puzzle



Farewell Address

Springfield, Illinois
February 11, 1861

Deeply moved by the well-wishing of Springfield friends and neighbors of 25 years, president-elect Abraham Lincoln delivered this short, impromptu speech from the steps of his private railroad car as he began his trip to Washington. Its sad reminiscences and confident benediction so impressed the members of his entourage that he was asked to put his remarks in writing. The effects of a moving train and a hand bruised by countless handshakes, apparent here in the first few lines, forced Lincoln to ask his personal secretary, John Nicolay, to finish.

Here is a transcribed version of this emotional speech:

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.


Part Two: Lincoln Presidential Readings Activity

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