- 11 Feb 2019 13:23
February 11, Monday
From Springfield, Illinois, President-elect Abraham Lincoln of the United States of America departs on a long trip to Washington and inauguration. From Brierfield Plantation on the Mississippi, President-elect Jefferson Davis of the Confederate States of America departs on a long trip to Montgomery, Alabama, and inauguration.
More than a thousand citizens gather in the early morning drizzle at the Great Western Station in Springfield to hear Mr. Lincoln, at times shaken by emotion, surrounded by the party of family, secretaries, dignitaries, and army officers. “Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and passed from a young to an old man.... 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 that 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 every where 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.”
As the train rolled slowly eastward across Illinois and Indiana, several stops are made for the President-elect to greet enthusiastic crowds. At Indianapolis he is met by Gov. Oliver P. Morton, and a huge procession of some twenty thousand escort Mr. Lincoln to the Bates House. At the hotel he tells the throng, “It is your business to rise up and preserve the Union and liberty, for yourselves, and not for me.” He says he opposes invasion or coercion of a state but that enforcement of the laws and holding of Federal property is not coercion. He speaks of those who in his words believe the Union not a regular marriage “but only a sort of free-love arrangement.”
At Brierfield Plantation Jefferson Davis bids farewell to family and plantation slaves before taking a boat along for Vicksburg and eventually Montgomery, Ala., via Jackson, Mississippi, Chattanooga, and Atlanta. The trip is difficult due to lack of a direct railroad, poor traveling accommodations, and the haste with which the journey is made. In Vicksburg the Confederate President-elect makes the first of many brief speeches declaring he had struggled earnestly to maintain the Union and the “constitutional equality of all the States.” But “our safety and honor required us to dissolve our connection with the United States. I hope that our separation may be peaceful. But whether it be so or not, I am ready, as I always have been, to redeem my pledges to you and the South by shedding every drop of my blood in your cause....”
In a simple, unprepared ceremony at Montgomery, Alexander H. Stephens of Georgia is inaugurated Provisional Vice-President of the Confederate States of America. In its speed to get things moving, the convention or Provisional Congress has decided not to await the arrival of the President-elect. Stephens, a small, sallow, emaciated wisp of a man with chronically poor health, takes the oath upon his own birth date but declines to make any policy statement.
At Austin, Texas, the State Convention votes in favor of formation of a Southern Confederacy and elects seven delegates to Congress.
We are all ignorant, only in different ways, and no one is as ignorant as an educated man outside his own field.
To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.