President Prepares for New Congress

December 2, 1863

Declining an invitation to speak at Cooper Institute, the President writes: “Yours of the 28th. ult. inviting me to be present at a meeting to be held at the Cooper Institute, on the 3rd. Inst. to promote the raising of volunteers, is received. Nothing would be more grateful to my feelings, or better accord with my judgment than to contribute, if I could, by my presence, or otherwise, to that eminently patriotic object. Nevertheless the now early meeting of congress, together with a temporary illness, render my attendance impossible.”

You purpose also to celebrate our Western victories. Freed from apprehension of wounding the just sensibilities of brave soldiers fighting elsewhere, it would be exceedingly agreeable to me to join in a suitable acknowledgment to those of the Great West, with whom I was born, and have passed my life. And it is exceedingly gratifying that a portion lately of the Army of the Potomac, but now serving with the great army of the West, have borne so conspicuous a part in the late brilliant triumphs in Georgia.

President Lincoln had a strong and almost mystical devotion to ordinary Americans.  He closes his letter: “Honor to the Soldier, and Sailor everywhere, who bravely bear his country’s cause.  Honor also to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field, and serves, as he best can, the same cause — honor to him, only less than to him, who braves, for the common good, the storms of heaven and the storms of battle.”

Journalist Noah Brooks writes: “With the opening of Congress commences a series of daily levees by Mrs. Lincoln, who will receive from noon to three o’clock, afternoon, and from seven to ten o’clock in the evening. The President will also appear, whenever his time will allow, at the evening levees.  No standard of dress will be established other than that people shall appear in decent and clean clothes.  Mrs. Lincoln will put off her mourning dress upon the first of January, and will wear purple during the Winter season.”

The Statute of Freedom replaced at top of Capitol, which has been under construction during the Civil War.

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Published in: on December 2, 2013 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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