Lincoln's Assassin Eyes His Prey

...looks down on President at Inaugural

By
Paul Brandus (Mar. 4, 2013)
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On This Day...in 1865: President Abraham Lincoln ws sworn in for a secnd term and gave what many historians say was the finest Inaugural address ever given. It was a time of triumph for the President: the Civil War was winding down and slavery receding into the history books. Yet Lincoln, filled with sadness and reflection, spoke not of victory, but of the damage that had been done to the country. He reminded both victor and vanquished that both sides had erred in going to war, despite their bitter disagreement the wars central issue, slavery.

“With malice toward none; with charity for all," Lincoln said, "let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds.”  

The address is inscribed, along with his Gettysburg Address, in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. In 2012 Peter Hitchens described the address as, "one of the most overwhelming pieces of political prose ever crafted in any language."
 
Lincoln had no way of knowing, of course, that in the crowd that day was the actor John Wilkes Booth - who would assassinate the President just six weeks later. Here they are: the President and his killer - just yards away - On This Day...in 1865. 
 
 
-Paul Brandus
 
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