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Good Stories for Great Holidays by  Frances Jenkins Olcott


 

 

HIS SPRINGFIELD FAREWELL ADDRESS


IT was on the morning of February 11, 1861, that the President-elect, together with his family and a small party of friends, bade adieu to the city of Springfield, which, alas! he was never to see again.

A large throng of Springfield citizens assembled at the railway station to see the departure, and before the train left Mr. Lincoln addressed them in the following words:—

"My Friends:  No one, not in my position, can appreciate the sadness I feel at this parting. To this people I owe all that I am. Here I have lived [38] more than a quarter of a century; here my children were born, and here one of them lies buried. I know not how soon I shall see you again. A duty devolves upon me which is, perhaps, greater than that which has devolved upon any other man since the days of Washington. He never would have succeeded except by the aid of Divine Providence, upon which he at all times relied. I feel that I cannot succeed without the same Divine aid which sustained him, and on the same Almighty Being I place my reliance for support; and I hope you, my friends, will all pray that I may receive that Divine assistance, without which I cannot succeed, but with which success is certain. Again I bid you an affectionate farewell."


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