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The 13 Days Before Lincoln Almost Wasn't President

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
September 30, 2022 3:00 am

The 13 Days Before Lincoln Almost Wasn't President

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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September 30, 2022 3:00 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, the story of President Abraham Lincoln's harrowing train trip to Washington, D.C., to be sworn in as the leader of a new—and divided—nation. Joining us to tell the story is Ted Widmer, author of Lincoln on the Verge: Thirteen Days to Washington.

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Hi my monohull O'Connor health columnist and I'm passionate about learning and sharing how we can all sleep and live better.

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Learn how you can sleep well to live well to listen to chasing sleep on the iHeartRadio app Apple podcast or wherever you get your podcast dramas. You may know me from the recap on LA TV now got hold podcast life as a good angle, to every Tuesday and Thursday will be talking real and unapologetic about all things light Latin culture and everything in between. From someone who's never quite been listens alive as a gringo on the iHeartRadio app or web, you get podcast brought to you by State Farm like a good neighbor, State Farm is there Geico asks how would you love a chance to save some money on insurance. Of course he would. And when it comes to great rates on insurance Geico can help like with insurance for your car, truck, motorcycle, boat and RV even help with homeowners or renters coverage plus at an easy to use mobile app available 24 hour roadside assistance and more. And Geico is an easy choice switch today and see all the ways you can save it's easy. Simply go to Geico.com or contact your local agent today. This is Lisa be with our American stories we tell stories about everything your show our favorite towing involves always, our history stories own were telling the story of winking on the verge 13 days to Washington, the author of this remarkable story is Edward Widmer, Edward thanks for joining us so November 6, 1860 we can get selected you write this you say in the book quote the news of Lincoln's election be turned back as if it was a piece of mail delivered to the wrong address. Many Southerners thought so. Even many Northerners found the news was difficult to believe, talk about these two reactions around the country. Lincoln's shock to everybody. He's only ever been one term congressman 12 years earlier. So that's not very impressive. He's running against much much more famous senators. There's a list of 21 likely Republicans to get the nomination published at the end of 1859 Lincoln doesn't even crack that list of 21. So that's how obscure he is pretty. He helps himself he gives a speech in New York City in February, the Cooper Union address that really impresses people in New York and any he's lucky that the Republican convention is held in Chicago so his Lotta friends in Chicago who helped him and he gets the nomination and then he's lucky again because the Democratic Party, which is a much bigger party than the Republican Party. It splits in half and that means the Republicans are much more likely to win. Which they do direction for people running by the time it's November. It just all the chips fall in a way that's perfect for Lincoln to to win the election and the South is shocked that this northern music is really a Westerner. He has cracked their defenses that their system for almost the entirety of American history since 1789, when George Washington becomes the first president South is really controlled national politics. They have had most of the presidents. Even the few northern presidents were generally under the control of the South in Lincoln isn't from there system he's is an outsider.

So there really upset and they know that he's anti-slavery just how anti-slavery is not yet really known but they worry a lot that he's very antislavery. In fact, a lot of people in the north worry the opposite. They worry that he's not antislavery enough. The north is also a little worried because he just doesn't seem presidential.

His body shape is sort of wrong. He's tall and skinny and angular, looks low born. That was something people cared about in 1860 does he look statesmanlike does he look well-educated in a word know he didn't look refined.

He had kind of rough country features. Apparently his voice was a little bit odd to the head of Western twangy accent and even though he was very tall.

He did not have a deep voice. He had a kind of high-pitched voice, so there just all these raises millions of eyes on this man coming through the country to become the new president and everyone is worried about him is he is he made of the right stuff will he be strong enough to keep the country together, so intense curiosity and in a kind of immediate celebrity for someone who was absolutely unknown nine months earlier. Let's talk about succession right but it became more real.

Just six weeks after Lincoln was elected December 20, 1860 is when South Carolina left the union more states would follow a mess when Jim was walking into talk about that. I did Lincoln react. It was the worst mass any president has ever inherited.

As you just said South Carolina secedes on December 20 and so there's this weird period of spot six weeks between his election than in the secession of South Carolina where they begin to act like a country they're not yet a country but they called themselves the Palmetto Republic Palmetto is the tree that's on the flag of South Carolina and it was just that crazy time where nobody knew if the US would hold together or not. It had never happened that the southern states seceded. It almost happened in 1832 when John C. Calhoun was a senator. He was upset by some financial policies of Andrew Jackson and he threatens secession but it didn't happen.

Andrew Jackson in a very intimidating way kept it all together but with Lincoln coming in Lincoln's in a much weaker position than Jackson in Lincoln as very little experience that one term as a congressman 12 years earlier. He does not have relationships in Washington so wishes, walking into this catastrophe and is not getting a lot of help from anybody. The Senate is dysfunctional. The houses dysfunctional Washington is falling apart. The president before him who still the president James Buchanan is useless.

He can't make up his mind he he's falling apart in meetings. Nobody knows what he thinks and the South is doing whatever it wants to do so when Lincoln is on the train in February 1861 coming in to Washington.

1/3 to 1/2 of the United States of America is no longer in the United States of America, or so they feel and he's got a respond with what he feels and that's going to be his first inaugural address, and he's going to tell them you're still in the United States. You have not seceded because the union is perpetual anyone listening to Edward Widmer is a fantastic story in his book Lincoln on the verge, 13 days to Washington. Chronicles 13 day train trip Lincoln can give his first inaugural speech in Washington DC his trip. Though treachery opportunity and so much more.

It is a love reading great stories about this country. One of the best books I've read in the past year on Amazon.com and pick it up little bookstore copy for someone else.

Is that good. When we come back more with Edward Lincoln on the verge on our American story books. If you love the stories we tell about this great country and especially the stories of America's rich past. Know that all of our stories about American history from war to politics to innovation culture and faith are brought to us by the great folks at Hillsdale College placement. Students study all the things that are beautiful in life and all the things that are good in life. If you can get the Hillsdale bills that will come to you with her free and terrific online courses to Hillsdale.edu to learn more Tory and Johnny went to 10 MG podcast we have such a special episode brought to you by near attack ODT we recorded at at iHeartRadio's tentpole event windows hang out. Did you know that near attack ODT were magic pant 75 mg and help migraine sufferers still attend such an exciting event. Windows hang out.

It's true. I had one night and I took minor attack ODT and I was present and had an amazing time. Here is a little glimpse of our conversation with some of our closest friends.

This episode was brought to you by near attack ODT were magic pant 75 mg life with migraine attacks can mean missing out on big moments with friends and family, but thankfully near attack ODT were magic pant 75 mg is the only medication that is proven to treat a migraine attack and prevent episodic migraines and adults sell lively events like Windows hang out down have to be next to millions will make Medicare coverage decisions for next year and United healthcare can help you feel confident about your choices for those eligible Medicare annual enrollment runs from October 15 through December 7. If you're working past age 65.

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Depending on your employer coverage. It can seem confusing, but it doesn't have to be this@uhcmedicarehealthplans.com to learn more United healthcare helping people live healthier lives that everyone is on O'Connor here and I'll be your host on chasing sleep, a brand-new podcast or mattress firm in iHeartRadio where will uncover the sleep secrets that help us achieve some of the world's most extraordinary feats as a health columnist I'm passionate about learning and sharing how we can live and sleep better.

And when it comes to sleep.

We can all enhance it to reach our own goals. That's why on chasing sleep will be chatting with people live, work and perform some of the most incredible environments and see how they not only find quality sleep and unique circumstances probably also use their sleep to perform at the highest level together will discover how these impressive individuals approach sleeping well from astronauts in space to wildlife photographers in the remote wilderness and learn to get high quality sleep in our own lives alongside the sleep experts at mattress firm join me as we dive in, because ultimately all benefit from sleeping well and when we do we can all find new ways to live well to listen to chasing sleep on the iHeartRadio app podcast or wherever you get your podcast without American stories with historian Edward Widmer. The book the story Lincoln on the verge working days to Washington. We last left off Lincoln an unknown one term senator from Illinois. They've been elected president and the union was splitting apart defaced an existential dilemma could even reach Washington DC or is no duration with her even be a DC when he arrived talk about that. What was the mood like when he left Springfield well the first day was filled with drama. There were real fears that DC would be in the hands of pro-secessionist malicious. There's an organized country coming together of the Confederate states of America. But then there also people walking around Washington in sort of armed vigilante mobs who might take over the capital they had announced that they they wanted the capital for themselves or they might take over the whole district so as he starting on the trip. On that first day. It's not certain that he will be able to make it to Washington. He's getting letters from close friends were in Washington saying we may not be able to hold it it's it's really very dicey situation and the morning of his departure.

It's February 11, 1861. It's the day before his 52nd birthday, and it's kind of an overcast day. Some accounts say it was snowing lightly. Some say raining. It was sort of in between, and he went out to the small depot and he was pleased to see and it was no surprise that a lot of the people of Springfield had come out to say goodbye to him and you know he was a beloved member of the community.

It was an emotional scene, and he spontaneously gave a short speech. It's about nine sentences, but profoundly beautiful and as it turned out really strategic to because it put Lincoln before the country in a new light. I not sure at all that he and he intended that it just happened.

And in those nine sentences. He just said I've you know me, I've lived among you 25 years we been friends and neighbors. My children have grown up among yours. I'm leaving one child buried here, now going with the hardest assignment any president has ever had since Washington with God's help. I cannot fail without God's help, I cannot succeed.

Please pray for me and the words were transcribed.

The word journalists there at the platform and then one journalist got on the train with him and only a minute or two after the train left he got Lincoln to take up pencil and paper and write out all over again give it to him and he was able to telegraph it all around the country so we think of that is a long time ago 1861, but in fact with Internet quickness. They were able to get the words of that beautiful short speech with lightning speed in the telegraph was called the lightning and it really humanize Lincoln. It helped people reading the next day in the newspaper just to think this is a human being. This is like a neighbor I would want him for my neighbor.

I know people like this might my children play with the children of the this other family over here and he's he's kinda like us and it was a really brilliant political stroke, even if he didn't mean it to be one he's just saying goodbye to his friends and neighbors, but it and made him seem like an everyman and that that was a really smart way to begin the trip.

Talk about the role the train in the telegraph through remarkable innovations roles of those to play in Lincoln's plans, and to Lincoln's advantage and is it true that the South sort of rejected that kind of change and innovation. The train comes in the early 1830s. Telegraph is later. It's invented by Samuel FB Morse and its one of the great American inventions of the 19th century in it immediately changes politics and business, and they are perfect for train tracks the wires want to go straight and train tracks go straight and it turns out they're good for the railroad to because you can wire up ahead when the train is coming. Helps plan the scheduling of the trains.

It helps plan the loading of the freight and so businesses love all of this if your textile mill owner or in any business at all and you've got a load of goods you want to ship from New York to Philadelphia or Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. The telegraph is your friend, send it down to your business partner down the line and it just picks up everything and in business accelerates and westward migration accelerates. Chicago is booming in the 1850s and Lincoln is deriving some of his lawyer work from the exploding business culture of Chicago and the big railroad of Illinois the Illinois Central and they hire Lincoln for a lot of cases. So North is just booming as Lincoln's star is rising and the self is growing all of America is growing but the South is growing in a weird way. It's not growing nearly as fast.

It's not growing demographically.

It has a much lower rate of increase from immigration and wealth is concentrated at the top with families that owned a lot of land.

It's not not an upwardly mobile society. The way the North is and there also controlling the spread of information much more than the north of the North just loves newspapers and telegraphs in railroads and in the South they have to bring in railroads. They can't just reject something that's obviously so so good for business, but they build different kinds of railroads and they don't like the telegraph quite as much and they want to control information and it's just a culture that is not as comfortable with different opinions as you. You would have in the north or with different kinds of ethnic people. That's a point of tension as the North is growing so fast.

The South is looking at it and is beginning to criticize the kind of society. It is where anybody can say anything and they're all these poor white people who are starting businesses for themselves and there's a kind of unattractive word. Southerners begin to use. They call them mud sills, kind of, you know, lower middle-class whites in the North. They don't like all the immigrants either and they they really don't like the free people of color their free African-Americans in the north and it just seems like a mess up there to aristocratic southern wealthy family and it's not just social snobbery.

It's also political fear because so many people are coming into the North that the South is worried that the North is going to have a lot of political power, which is true and what time to be alive for Lincoln.

What a precarious time to be president. Assassination plots were afoot. Following his election, Lincoln only 138% of the popular vote in what was a four-way race talk about Lincoln, leaving behind for a relative of his wife papers of a personal nature and the comments he made foreboding, that his own death was on his mind talk about that so shocking that our most beloved president became president with such a tiny vote. I mean, the second lowest successful vote in our history, less than 40% is is really pretty bad.

It's less than Herbert Hoover as the losing candidate one when he lost in a landslide to Franklin Roosevelt 1932 so it's really not very impressive and how Lincoln turned that dismal results into his powerful presidency and winning the Civil War and becoming our greatest president is really an extraordinary conversion of a bad situation into a huge triumph. He understands the seriousness of of what he's going into and he's and is getting a lot of death threats in the mail and the political news is bad and the threats are coming really close to home. There are things like your drawings of him with a noose around his neck. His wife saw that was very upset. He knows he's not coming back when we come back more of this remarkable story remarkable piece of American history.

Lincoln on the verge on our American story, this is Tori, and Johnny with the 90210 MG podcast we have such a special episode brought to you by near attack ODT we recorded at at iHeartRadio's tentpole event windows hang out. Did you know that near attack ODT were magic pant 75 mg can help migraine sufferers still attend such an exciting event.

Windows hang out. It's true. I had one night and I took minor attack ODT and I was present and had an amazing time. Here's a little glimpse of our conversation with some of our closest friends.

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Visit mattress firm store near you or go to mattress firm.com and we continue with our American stories and with this book Lincoln on the verge, 13 days to Washington when we last left off. Lincoln had left Springfield Illinois in a train bound for Washington DC face the largest crisis in American history. Never let's talk about New York City.

A big part of this trip. The time New York City had a larger population in the entire Confederacy but Lincoln only one.

About 30% of the cities vote. It's a northern city, but it had a lot of southern influence talk about the New York City is so much bigger than any other city that it's almost like it's already 1/20 century city 40 years before the 20th century has actually arrived and no other city comes close. I think Philadelphia might be the second largest in its it's not that close to New York's size and New York is interesting. The these different reasons. Don't all make sense together but they're all part of the picture of New York. It's very northern feeling.

In some ways it's teeming with immigrants, primarily German and Irish at that point. A lot of immigrants are living in immigrant neighborhoods and in New York City that feels pretty pretty northern and it's also filled with media culture with newspapers and magazines and it's also southern and in powerful ways and there are business interests primarily around Wall Street that love investing in southern plantations and and in slavery itself and its also a place where southern ships come one of the ways in which slavery made a lot of money for the South was cotton was turned into clothing and a lot of textile mills are in Europe. I've been there there in the north to but huge numbers are in places in Birmingham, Manchester in the north of England, France, has textile mills, and so the South is shipping its cotton from its ports like New Orleans and Savannah and they would stop in New York for a rest and then the ship would would either offload its cotton or just keep going to Europe and so New York's shipping is very involved in slavery, but then also New York finance Wall Street is investing in giving loans, helping northern investors to make money by investing in southern slavery. So, so it's really important for everyone to understand that the South wasn't the only evil actor in source.

Slavery was concerned that a lot of northern business investors concentrated then as now around Wall Street were were propping up the whole system of slavery and they paid off politicians, New York's Mayor at the time Lincoln came through was a pretty proslavery guy named Fernando would Lincoln had to deal with him as he came through so it wasn't just people throwing flowers in his path and with lot of aggressive behavior tilt toward Lincoln as is coming toward Washington and talk about the way Lincoln worked New York because my goodness you went everywhere from Wall Street to a night at the Opera. The swing that when he knew that the elites in that city were probably looking at him as if he were some kind of Western that mean he and his wife were little bit uncomfortable in New York. I think she was more uncomfortable than he was. He did awkward things. He wore the wrong color gloves when he went to the opera.

You're supposed to wear white gloves and he wore black gloves and people left out of I would've known that he did not know that so he I had to endure a little bit of snickering at his expense but he he could handle that little more easily than Mary Todd Lincoln could but he was you know he had advisors who were helping him one of his advisors was the man he beat for the nomination. William Seward is a New York senator he's ash from upstate New York but me know he knows New York City to an he's got his friends helping Lincoln and they had are helping to plan the train trip to so I think we can have friends as well as enemies everywhere along the route and he always had friends among the people. The people came out everywhere he was to look at him and my book benefit a lot from some descriptions and Walt Whitman, who is a kind of working class carpenter and poet, wrote a beautiful description of seeing Lincoln going into his hotel so I was grateful for some of the people who kept diaries, or just wrote about it in in in their journals or and or later after the fact that New York had you know it had a great working class population.

In addition to all of the financial types on Wall Street and those people were behind Lincoln Lincoln then goes to Philadelphia or gives an important speech in Independence Hall, the place were of course the Declaration of Independence was written Declaration of Independence states quote that all men are created equal. Talk about that word all because it's an important word to Lincoln that mean all men are created equal.

So the word all is right there and it strongly implies all human beings.

So it's a pretty loaded word all and so Lincoln is holding this truth against the South and saying you are violating the spirit of of our country and was a very effective argument and it was a form of soft abolitionism that really worked for him and one over middle America and yet he could keep running with it, up to and including the Emancipation Proclamation and then the tremendous amendments to the Constitution, the first of which was done in his lifetime, but following the Civil War that made real freedom, civil rights, the freedom to participate in our politics and our society available to all people in the United States of America. All that came out of his reading of the Declaration of Independence and he gave a beautiful speech to that effect in Philadelphia. He leads up to it at Trenton and then the next morning he goes in Independence Hall and it achieves lift off and says every feeling I've ever had politically has come to me from the Declaration of Independence and it's a powerful moment of people in the room knew it.

They knew that it meant something emotionally to him, not just politically and that becomes the Lincoln message and end at Gettysburg. Two years later it's basically the same thing. Yes he uses exquisite language at Gettysburg. He takes lift off even higher. But he's got a long way towards that message.

Even with what he says in Independence Hall in Philadelphia in February 1861 Lincoln would go on to and at the very end of the speech, the following words quote I have said nothing but what I am willing to live by and if it be the pleasure of Almighty God bye-bye meant those words didn't the Edward I think everyone listening to the speech believed to believe those words talk about the there was a feeling in the room of something very powerful, had just happened after he talked about what the declaration meant to him and then I'm glad you reminded me that he added that incredible closing thought about assassination would not stop him from loving his country and wanting to serve his country and what made it so powerful was in fact he had just been told that there was a huge assassination conspiracy trying to take his life.

The next day as he went through Baltimore and already he was trying to figure out how to get around Baltimore or through it without getting killed even with that heavy pressure on him.

He still was able to speak beautifully and then he is beginning to plan a secret railroad journey that will take him through Baltimore in the middle of the night by a different route than the one that has been announced. So they're all these converging lines in his head at that moment and it's just it's like a thriller. At that moment, and when we return those lines will converge in Baltimore, Maryland. The book is Lincoln on the verge, 13 days to Washington.

The author is Edward Widmer more of this remarkable story. The last part of the story here on our American store. You guys, this is Tori Jenny with 90210 MG podcasts we have such a special episode brought to you by near attack ODT we recorded at at iHeartRadio type event windows hang down. Did you know that near attack ODT were magic pant 75 mg can help migraine sufferers still set an exciting event. Windows hang out. It's true. I had one night and I took minor attack ODT and I was present and had an amazing time. A little glimpse of our conversation with some of our closest friends. This episode was brought to you by near attack ODT were magic pant 75 mg life with migraine attacks can mean missing out on big moments with friends and family, but thankfully no attack ODT were magic pant 75 mg is the only medication that is proven to treat a migraine attack and prevent episodic migraines and adults sell lively events like windows, hang out down have to be next to millions will make Medicare coverage decisions for next year and United healthcare can help you feel confident about your choices for those eligible Medicare annual enrollment runs from October 15 through December 7. If you're working past age 65.

You might be able to delay Medicare enrollment. Depending on your employer coverage.

It can seem confusing, but it doesn't have to be this@uhcmedicarehealthplans.com to learn more United healthcare helping people live healthier lives that everyone is on O'Connor here and I'll be your host on chasing sleep, a brand-new podcast or mattress firm in iHeartRadio where will uncover the sleep secrets that help us achieve some of the world's most extraordinary feats as a health columnist I'm passionate about learning and sharing how we can live and sleep better. And when it comes to sleep. We can all enhance it to reach our own goals. That's why on chasing sleep will be chatting with people who live, work and perform some of the most incredible environments and see how they not only find quality sleep and unique circumstances, how they also use their sleep to perform at the highest level together will discover how these impressive individuals approach sleeping well from astronauts in space to wildlife photographers in the remote wilderness and learn to get high quality sleep in our own lives alongside the sleep experts at mattress firm join me as we dive in, because ultimately all benefit from sleeping well and when we do we can all find new ways to live well to listen to chasing sleep on the iHeartRadio app Apple podcasts are where you get your podcast returned our American stories in the final part of the story of Lincoln's train trip Washington from Springfield, Illinois in 1861.

The book is Lincoln on the verge, 13 days to Washington, and the storyteller, the author and historian is Edward Widmer only last left off. Lincoln given an all in speech and Independence Hall in Philadelphia talking about the word all the Declaration of Independence and what it meant to him. Now he was on his way to Baltimore, Maryland. The biggest slave city in the country and their was just a few miles from DC.

There is also something afoot in Baltimore.

The cause Lincoln have to change updates talk about that well is destination of Washington DC is a very southern city and I argue at the beginning of the book that there was a bit of a mistake made in 1790, when Alexander Hamilton and James Madison and Thomas Jefferson probably made a secret deal to move the capital to the Potomac River. In return for some legislation that Hamilton really wanted in 1790 was just too southern Baltimore to the north is the biggest city in the slaveholding part of the country. So Washington is South of other slave places and it's just really hard for Lincoln to get there as an anti-slavery politician, so in the winter. Following his election.

There are all these rumors flying around the country that there may be people trying to kill him, but no one really knows when and where, until a remarkable woman named Dorothea Dix finds out all of the details of the plot.

She's a mental health advocate.

She's actually from the north, but she's accepted in southern circles. But while traveling to the South in the fall of 1860, she picks up the intelligence that a huge plot to kill Lincoln's is focusing on Baltimore and on railroad tracks and bridges coming into Baltimore they might blow up Obama under the train as it comes through or they might try to shoot Lincoln or stab him as he's transferring from one station to another. That's how you got to Baltimore, you got off at one station and did transfer in a horse and carriage to another station and then kept going and so she goes to the head of the railroad and tells him about this plot, the head of the railroad hires this detective Allan Pinkerton to come from Chicago East to infiltrate the plot and he brings a very strong woman as one of his agents and she's a genius of disguise and impersonation and they get all the intelligence up to Lincoln's entourage and Lincoln understands he's he doesn't want to do it, but he understands he has to go in the middle of the night because that's safer than trying to force his way through.

He doesn't have a lot of security with him and he makes it, and he goes through all night and arrives at Washington at six in the morning. Lincoln finally does make it to BCNU paint this picture of DC at the time.

Talk about the throngs of people who were there to see him including African-Americans people hate Lincoln and sharpshooters trying to keep Lincoln safe.

This is a remarkable display of American diversity not only in the people. But what's on everybody's minds talk about this final part of the trip and this great triumph in Washington the day of the first inaugural speech, thought it was a lot of fear in the air that the danger was still there. The paper I read I read only a few days ago. I reread it describing a fear that someone would try to shoot him as he was giving his inaugural address, and he think about it when you're present you have to give that inaugural and you want as many people to see you as possible. It's a democratic ritual. It's our main democratic ritual but that also makes you incredibly exposed. You stand out on the east portico of the capital in people can see you for 1/2 a mile around in a you know and and so they did their best to protect them. There were Army sharpshooters on the roof nearby and there were plainclothes police in in the crowd but still it people could get close to Lincoln and so there was a great fear that day, but he made it and you know he consistently made brave decisions. He was picked up by the outgoing Pres. James Buchanan, Anna horse and carriage and he was offered the choice we can have a closed topic or an open top and he said absolutely open it up so he he was a brave person on the one the way to the capital and always standing standing straight up. As he gave the speech and he always wanted to fortify the larger not just the country, the United States, but what democracy meant to people everywhere and because of his courage in in propping up American democracy other friends of democracy and in other countries really took heart and even though he was assassinated. As we all know he was assassinated.

After saving American democracy and in France. People like Victor Hugo were inspired by America's success at keeping the Democratic system going in in the late 19th century. See real progress in France and in Western Europe and then when World War I breaks out money many decades after Lincoln Woodrow Wilson calls it a war to save democracy in the. The triumph of democracy in the 20th century, especially in World War II.

I really think can be linked to Lincoln's courage in these dark days.

In 1861 the right as you close out nearly 800,000 brave young men gave their lives and service their conflicting ideas of the nation.

No American was untouched by touches are still yet, the Republic survives sustained by the same perseverance. Lincoln showed on this trip.

From the moment he arrived. Things improved democracy refused to die. Deepened talk about the well. Thank you for reading that I remember working hard on that language because I wanted to include the self. I wanted to include Southerners, even those who fought against Lincoln and the United States of America. I wanted to include them the way he did and he was very clear in his second inaugural address that they were included in his idea of America. There were two truths that he he fought the war over the one is that all men are created equal really important truth about human beings and their capacities and the other is that the United States of America is a permanent union of its states that they they cannot secede in less all of them agree to it and that was a kind of legal fiction of sorts.

You could argue that not everyone agreed with that. When he said it at the beginning of the Civil War, but he made it true by winning and now it really is true. I mean that we are inseparable and I wanted the South to feel included in this story. It's it's their victory to because we made a great country together before the Civil War and and after the civil war and that's why it's such a hard word to talk about because some people would like to say it was pure treason to fire on the flag of the United States and because was not good. They they did fight with incredible bravery and skill.

But I think the overall population. You know, think of the women enduring so much suffering and the African-Americans who were suffering and hit Leno on believable ways as they were asked to do more and more to support the economy of the South while not having any rights and finally the NRS to fight. But again, not with any rights.

And yet I share with Lincoln, a feeling that we wanted them to feel like Americans as soon as the war was over, to be repatriated and to be included in our history to be to be included in a meaningful and affectionate way. It's strongly tainted by racism by the I don't think you can separate it from slavery in the terrible injustices that were done to black people under the flag of the Confederacy, but I think we can appreciate southern courage and ways in which Southerners themselves worked out some of these things which they did. Having Northerners help sometimes and Southerners did it on their own sometimes to an Northerners like I tried to say had plenty of problems on their of their own as well.

So I do love Lincoln and I think his vision of history was correct and democracy is beautiful and immigration has been a good thing and being colorblind has been a great thing in America when we finally included women in who gets to be a part of this great democracy that that was a good thing to but in the spirit of inclusivity. I like to include the South also we can just learn from all of their mistakes. Northern and southern and Lincoln wanted us all to be together in his final speeches and and so I wanted to in the book. In that spirit that you been listening to Edward Widmer in his book is Lincoln on The Verge 13 days to Washington and it's a terrific read, go to Amazon.com pick it up for yourself, pick up a copy for a friend anyone who's interested in this nation's history. Lincoln on the verge story of his 13 day trip to Washington DC. That story here on our Americans


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