Lincoln's Farewell Speech
On February 11, 1861, Abraham Lincoln left his home in Springfield, Illinois, for Washington, D.C. on a special presidential train. His Farewell Address to the crowd was delivered extemporaneously. The following is the version Lincoln wrote down after the train pulled away.
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 every thing. 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 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.*
These words reveal a man whose character can inspire UIS students as they study his life and works in the UIS Center for Lincoln Studies…
…because Lincoln still has power to instruct, inspire and elevate all of us.
Photo: Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1225173