Harrisburg Events Before the Civil War IlI

The following is taking from Paul Beers book  Profiles from the Susquehanna Valley.  President-Elect Abraham Lincoln left Springfield, Ill for Washington, DC in February 11, 1861, one day before his birthday. The train traveled on an  indirect and overly long route to Washington, DC.   This was of course,  to show his faith in Northern Unity and fearlessness despite rumors of assassination attempts.  No one  knows his state of mind but the trip was basically symbolic.

Lincoln went through Indiana; Ohio; north to Buffalo; east along the Eire Canal to Albany, south to New York City; and then to Philadelphia.  To quote Mr Beers on his next and final stop, Harrisburg.

“He came to town on Washington’s Birthday, February 22, 1861, by train from Philadelphia en route to the nation’s capital for his inaugural.  He spoke to the legislature and since he was talking to an uncritical audience he did not exert himself  and his speech was not notable.  Lincoln said ‘I feel, that under God, the strength of the arms and the wisdom heads of these, after all must be my support.  As I have often had  reason to say, I repeat to you-I am I am quite sure I do not deceive myself when I tell you I bring to work an honest heart; I dare not tell you that I bring a sufficient head for it.”
I disagree with Mr Beers’ statement  Lincoln was merely “…downplaying intellectuality.”   Many people have taken on more responsibility in their personal and professional lives than they could handle.
Lincoln spent a few hours at the Jones House on Market Square, where George Washington stayed overnight going west in 1794.  {This I mentioned previously.}  There were rumors of plots to assassinate the President Elect.  The police took Lincoln from the Jones House, moved east about 10 miles, then arrived quietly in Washington.


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