Happy Birthday President Lincon!
Abraham Lincoln – his legacy looms even larger than his monument in our nation’s capital. Known by names such as The Great Emancipator, Honest Abe, or Father Abraham, he led a nation that had lived in the sin of slavery to the Promised Land. At Mercury One, our mission echoes Lincoln’s now famous second inaugural address. “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne and a lasting peace, amoung ourselves, and with all nations.”
Lincoln was born near Hodgenville, Kentucky on February 12, 1809. His parents were poor settlers. His mother died when he was just nine years old, and his family moved several times from Kentucky, to Indiana, to Illinois, where Lincoln would live until leaving for the White house. For much of his life, Lincoln was largely self-educated. He was a bright young man, and in 1836, he became a lawyer and started to work for a law firm in Springfield, Illinois.
Vision – Courage – Freedom
After working eight years for the Springfield law firm, Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846 as a member of the Whig Party. A decade later, he joined the newly formed Republican Party, and four years later, he was asked to be the party’s presidential candidate. In his campaign, Lincoln placed abolition paramount. His election victory stoked an already mounting fear in the South that Lincoln would abolish slavery. With his vision for the nation clear, Lincoln stood courageously and vowed to preserve the Union even if it meant war. President Lincoln can be credited with holding the greatest nation to exist since the dawn of man together during one of the most brutal civil wars ever witnessed. As a man of prayer, Lincoln realized that this civil war that continued to rage on wasn’t about saving the Union, it was about freeing the slaves. During the war, Lincoln gave his infamous Gettysburg address, which was the site of a decisive Union victory. President Lincoln also won re-elction in 1864, vowing to “bind up the nation’s wounds.”
On April 9, 1865, the Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered, ending the war. After four long years and the death of over 600,000 Americans, the war was over. The vision that drove Abraham Lincoln through some very difficult years of American hisotry had come to fruition. Unfortunately, less than a week later, President Lincoln would be shot by assassin John Wilkes Booth while attending a production at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C.. Lincoln died the next morning on April 15, 1865.
Bloodstained Coat Collar
Lincoln’s address embodies the very being of Mercury One. To honor President Lincoln on what would be his 211th birthday, we would like to showcase a piece from our collection that comes from a very solemn moment in American history. We have a piece of the coat that Lincoln was wearing when assassinated, stained with his blood. This piece was recovered from a police officer that was on dutry at the President’s Mansion.
Not only is this artifact powerful because it is from the clothing of one of the greatest Presidents our nation has known – it is truly symbolic of the price that Abraham Lincoln paid to see what started as a vision become reality. The vision that lead to courage, and the courage that eventually birthed freedom. The blood spilled on Lincoln’s collar was quite literally spilled in the name of freedom for an entire nation.
What better way to honor President Lincoln on his birthday than to pick up and continue his mission for our country? Let us come together, as Americans, and bind up the wounds of our nation.
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