Harrisburg - Inaugural Journey

Lincoln addressed a joint meeting of the general assembly at the statehouse while in Harrisburg.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

February 22, 1861

Lincoln left for Harrisburg on February 22, arriving at the Vine and Second Street Railroad Station at about 1:30 p.m. Lincoln spoke from the Jones House at the southeast corner of Market and Second Streets. He spoke here about the military escort that he received and the hope that he would not have to call them into service, especially against their own countrymen.

While I have been proud to see to-day the finest military array, I think, that I have ever seen, allow me to say in regard to those men that they give hope of what may be done when war is inevitable. But, at the same time, allow me to express the hope that in the shedding of blood their services may never be needed, especially in the shedding of fraternal blood. It shall be my endeavor to preserve the peace of this country so far as it can possibly be done, consistently with the maintenance of the institutions of the country. With my consent, or without my great displeasure, this country shall never witness the shedding of one drop of blood in fraternal strife.

Lincoln then proceeded to the state house where at 2:30 he addressed a joint meeting of the general assembly. Upon his return to the Jones House Lincoln learned about the new plans that had been made for the remainder of his trip. Lincoln's friend, Judge David Davis, asked Lincoln's opinion of the plans, to which he replied that, "unless there are some other reasons besides ridicule I am disposed to carry out Judd's plan." Lincoln then attended a dinner after which he declined Governor Curtin's invitation to spend the night at Curtin's home. Instead Lincoln and his party, without Mary and the boys, left the Jones House to secretly catch the 11:00 p.m. train to Washington.

Local Community Contact: The National Civil War Museum
One Lincoln Circle at Reservoir Park, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Phone Number: 717-260-1861
Web page: www.nationalcivilwarmuseum.org


Last updated: March 5, 2017

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