Cleveland, Ohio - Inaugural Journey

Cleveland Weddell House
Despite snowy weather, Lincoln spoke from the balcony of the Weddell House with assurances that slavery, where it already existed, was safe.


Cleveland, Ohio

February 15-16, 1861

The weather had evidently turned cold, for Lincoln arrived at Cleveland's Euclid Street Depot, at Euclid and Seventy-Ninth Streets, on February 15, amid a snow storm. At about 4:30 p.m., Lincoln boarded an open carriage, despite the snowy weather, and rode in a military procession to the Weddell House at the southwest corner of Sixth and Superior Streets where he spoke from the balcony with assurances that slavery, where it already existed, was safe.

We have been marching about two miles through snow, rain and deep mud. The large numbers that have turned out under these circumstances testify that you are in earnest about something or other. What is happening now will not hurt those who are farther away from here. Have they not all their rights now as they ever have had? Do they not have their fugitive slaves returned now as ever? Have they not the same constitution that they have lived under for seventy odd years? Have they not a position as citizens of this common country, and have we any power to change that position? What then is the matter with them? Why all this excitement? Why all these complaints? As I said before, this crisis is all artificial. It has no foundation in facts. If all do not join now to save the good old ship of the Union this voyage nobody will have a chance to pilot her on another voyage.

At about 9:00 a.m. on February 16, a military company of Cleveland Grays escorted Lincoln from the Weddell House to the depot.

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Last updated: March 5, 2017

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