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Monday, March 4, 1861.+-

Washington, DC.

Morning cloudy and raw; 30,000 gather to hear Inaugural Address; no disturbance occurs during day. Villard, Eve of '61, 102-5.

Lincoln sends letter to Senator Seward (N.Y.) asking him to remain in cabinet and to reply by 9 A.M. next day. Clarence E. Macartney, Lincoln and His Cabinet (New York: Scribner, 1931), 127; Abraham Lincoln to William H. Seward, 4 March 1861, CW, 4:273.

Henry Waterson, newspaper representative at Willard's to see W. H. Lamon, is personally conducted by Lincoln. Rufus R. Wilson, ed., Lincoln Among His Friends: A Sheaf of Intimate Memories (Caldwell, ID: Caxton Printers, 1942), 285-87.

President-elect receives Judge Davis, Edward Bates, Gideon Welles, and others. Gives final touches to Inaugural Address. Allan Nevins, The Emergence of Lincoln, 2 vols. (New York: Scribner, 1950), 2:457-58.

Shortly after 12 M. President Buchanan and Lincoln emerge from 14th Street door of hotel and join Senators James A. Pearce (Md.) and Edward D. Baker (Oreg.) of Arrangements Committee. In open carriage they ride in procession to Capitol. Evening Star (Washington, DC), 4 March 1861, 3:1-3.

Files of soldiers line streets; riflemen on rooftops watch windows; artillery is posted near Capitol, which Lincoln enters through boarded tunnel. Benjamin P. Thomas, Abraham Lincoln: A Biography (New York: Knopf, 1952), 245.

Senate is called to order, and oath of office administered to Hannibal Hamlin by Vice President Breckinridge. Buchanan and Lincoln occupy seats in front of secretary's desk. Baltimore Sun, 5 March 1861.

On portico of Capitol about 1 P.M. Baker introduces Lincoln. Weather is bright and clear. Baltimore Sun, 15 March 1861; Nicolay to Bates, 5 March 1861, John G. Nicolay Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

On rising to deliver Inaugural Address Lincoln "could hardly find room for his hat, and Senator Douglas reaching forward, took it with a smile and held it during the delivery of the Address." The Diary of a Public Man: An Intimate View of the National Administration, December 28, 1860, to March 15, 1861, with prefatory notes by F. Lauriston Bullard (Chicago: Abraham Lincoln Bookshop, 1945); George S. Bryan, The Great American Myth (New York: Carrick & Evans, 1940), 54.

[The authenticity of this incident has long been in doubt. See Randall, Lincoln, 1:295.]

Lincoln adjusts glasses, unfolds manuscript, and reads: "Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States, that by the accession of a Republican Administration, their property, and their peace, and personal security, are to be endangered. There has never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension. . . . I take the official oath to-day, with no mental reservations, and with no purpose to construe the Constitution or laws, by any hypercritical rules. . . . I hold, that in contemplation of universal law, and of the Constitution, the Union of these States is perpetual. . . . It follows from these views that no State, upon its own mere motion, can lawfully get out of the Union,—that resolves and ordnances to that effect are legally void; . . . I therefore consider that in view of the Constitution and the laws, the Union is unbroken; and, to the extent of my ability, I shall take care, . . . that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States. . . . In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed or violence; and there shall be none unless it be forced upon the national authority. . . . One section of our country believes slavery is right, and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is wrong, and ought not to be extended. This is the only substantial dispute. . . . The Chief Magistrate derives all his authority from the people, and they have conferred none upon him to fix terms for the separation of the States. . . . By the frame of the government under which we live, this same people have wisely given their public servants but little power for mischief; . . . While the people retain their virtue, and vigilence [sic], no administration, by any extreme of wickedness or folly, can very seriously injure the government, in the short space of four years. . . . If it were admitted that you who are dissatisfied, hold the right side in the dispute, there still is no single good reason for precipitate action. . . . In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. . . . We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, streching [sic] from every battelefield, 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." He finishes in half an hour. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney administers oath of office. Marine band plays "God Save Our President," and procession to White House begins. Evening Star (Washington, DC), 4 March 1861, 3:4-6; National Intelligencer, 5 March 1861; Monaghan, Diplomat, 38; First Inaugural Address—Final Text, 4 March 1861, CW, 4:262-71.

Lincoln and Buchanan exchange farewells at Executive Mansion. Baltimore Sun, 5 March 1861.

President's first official act is to sign John G. Nicolay's appointment as private secretary. Nicolay to Bates, 5 March 1861, John G. Nicolay Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

About 17 persons sit down with President to first dinner in White House. Ruth P. Randall, Mary Lincoln: Biography of a Marriage (Boston: Little, Brown, 1953), 186.

Lincoln interrupts dinner and speaks to delegation of nearly 1,000 New Yorkers. Baltimore Sun, 6 March 1861; Reply to a New York Delegation, 4 March 1861, CW, 4:272.

Presidential party arrives at Inaugural Ball at 11 P.M. Sen. Henry B. Anthony (R.I.) and Vice President Hamlin attend President, who leads Grand March arm in arm with Mayor Berret (Washington). Douglas escorts Mrs. Lincoln and dances quadrille with her. President returns to White House at 1 A.M.; Mrs. Lincoln remains at ball. Evening Star (Washington, DC), 5 March 1861, 3:2; Baltimore Sun, 6 March 1861; Margaret Leech, Reveille in Washington 1860-1865 (New York: Harper, 1941), 46.

Later recalls: "The first thing that was handed to me after I entered this room, when I came from the inauguration was the letter from Major Anderson saying that their provisions would be exhausted before an expedition could be sent to their relief." Memorandum, 3 July 1861, John G. Nicolay Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.