• Inside the Lincoln Sitting Room

    Lincoln Home

    National Historic Site Illinois

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  • Visitor Parking Lot Closed on October 1

    Be advised that the Lincoln Home visitor parking lot will be closed on Wednesday, October 1, for maintenance. There are a number of parking alternatives nearby including, metered street parking and parking garages. Call 217-391-3221 for suggestions.

Lincoln on Democracy and the Civil War

July 4, 1861: Address to Congress

Our popular government has often been called an experiment. Two points in it our people have already settled - the successful establishing and the successful administering of it. One still remains - its successful maintenance against a formidable internal attempt to overthrow it. It is now for them to demonstrate to the world that those who can fairly carry an election can also suppress a rebellion; that ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors of bullets; and that when ballots have fairly and constitutionally decided, there can be no successful appeal back to bullets; that there can no be no successful appeal except to ballots themselves, at succeeding elections. Such will be a great lesson of peace; teaching men that what they cannot take by an election neither can they take by a war; teaching all the folly of being the beginners of a war.

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Did You Know?

Photo of Robert Lincoln

Robert Lincoln was the only son of Abraham and Mary Lincoln to have children and grandchildren. He had two daughters and one son. The son died as a teenager. The great-grandchildren of Abraham Lincoln lived full lives, but had no descendants. Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Illinois