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Abraham Lincoln farewell address at home before his inauguration

Abraham Lincoln

“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 everything. 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 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 everywhere 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.”

– Abraham Lincoln

Note: This brief speech was giving by President elect Lincoln on February 11, 1861 in Springfield, Illinois from his railroad car that was to take him to Washington D.C. for his inauguration. People were so moved by his speech that he was asked to write it down, which he did on the train ride. The following is an image of his speech. The bumpy train ride shows in the writing.

Hand written text of Lincoln farewell address