Abraham Lincoln: First Inaugural Address

(1861)

Explanation and Analysis of the Document

Lincoln begins his First Inaugural Address by noting that he is following a custom as old as the government itself by addressing his fellow citizens with brief remarks before taking the oath of office and beginning his term as president. Setting aside routine matters of governmental administration that do not deserve comment, Lincoln in paragraph 3 addresses the southern states, assuring them they should have no concerns about their property, peace, and personal security. He does not believe there ever has been a reason for such concerns,...

Image for: Abraham Lincoln: First Inaugural Address

The final printed version of Lincoln's first inaugural address is shown here with an earlier draft by him (Library of Congress)

View Full Size