Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lincoln avoids assassination plot

Lincoln at Philadelphia, Feb 22, 1861
    At Washington’s birthday celebration in Philadelphia, President-elect Lincoln hoists a 34-star US flag over Independence Hall, the 34th star for Kansas, admitted almost a month ago. In a moving speech, he says, "I have never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence. . . . in my view of the present aspect of affairs, there is no need of bloodshed and war.", but vowed that he "would rather be assassinated than surrender that principle.” He then leaves at 9:30am for Harrisburg, PA, where he rides to the capitol to address the legislature in a carriage pulled by six white horses and enjoys the last 34-gun salvo of his trip.
With a confirmed threat of a planned assassination attempt when he is to arrive in Baltimore, Maryland (a city in which he had garnered merely 2% of the popular vote), Lincoln, with the insistence of his wife and a security detail headed by his friend Alan Pinkerton, leaves Harrisburg to meet an 11pm train at Philadelphia bound for the nation’s capital. Telegraph lines from Harrisburg are cut and special guards posted at key points along the rail to Philadelphia to ensure that nothing goes awry. From Philadelphia, Lincoln transfers to Wilmington, Delaware, and then to Baltimore, Maryland, in secret. The media will attack Lincoln for cowardice and blame his advisors./1861
    Major Robert Anderson, commanding Fort Sumter, Charleston, South Carolina, in honor of George Washington's birthday, fires 34 guns for all 34 United States, in utter scorn for the Confederate States/1861
    Augustus Wright of Georgia introduces a bill to the Provisional Confederate Congress in Montgomery to allow volunteers to join the Army of the Confederacy. The bill will be passed./1861

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