• Inside the Lincoln Sitting Room

    Lincoln Home

    National Historic Site Illinois

We Are Friends

First Inaugural Address March 4, 1861

Friends. I am loth to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must no break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

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Did You Know?

Election Flag, 1864

Lincoln insisted on having the 1864 election in the midst of war. "You can not have free government without elections...if the rebellion could force us to forgo a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us." Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Illinois