He asked his listeners: All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth our own excepted in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad.
In the great journal of things happening under the sun, we, the American people, find our account running under date of the nineteenth century of the Christian era.
We find ourselves in the peaceful possession of the fairest portion of the earth as regards extent The lyceum address territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate.
We find ourselves under the government of a system of political institutions conducing more essentially to the ends of civil and religious liberty than any of which the history of former times tells us. We, when mounting the stage of existence, found ourselves the legal inheritors of these fundamental blessings.
We toiled not in the acquirement or establishment of them; they are a legacy bequeathed us by a once hardy, brave, and patriotic, but now lamented and departed, race of ancestors.
This task of gratitude to our fathers, justice to ourselves, duty to posterity, and love for our species in general, all imperatively require us faithfully to perform. How then shall we perform it?
At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means The lyceum address we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow?
All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth our own excepted in their military chest, with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years.
At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, If it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us; it cannot come from abroad.
If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time, or die by suicide.
I hope I am over wary; but if I am not, there is even now something of ill omen amongst us. I mean the increasing disregard for law which pervades the country — the growing disposition to substitute the wild and furious passions in lieu of the sober judgment of courts, and the worse than savage mobs for the executive ministers of justice.
This disposition is awfully fearful in any community; and that it now exists in ours, though grating to our feelings to admit, it would be a violation of truth and an insult to our intelligence to deny. Accounts of outrages committed by mobs form the every-day news of the times. They have pervaded the country from New England to Louisiana; they are neither peculiar to the eternal snows of the former nor the burning suns of the latter; they are not the creature of climate, neither are they confined to the slaveholding or the non-slaveholding States.
Alike they spring up among the pleasure-hunting masters of Southern slaves, and the order-loving citizens of the land of steady habits. Whatever then their cause may be, it is common to the whole country. It would be tedious as well as useless to recount the horrors of all of them.
Those happening in the State of Mississippi and at St. Louis are perhaps the most dangerous in example and revolting to humanity. In the Mississippi case they first commenced by hanging the regular gamblers — a set of men certainly not following for a livelihood a very useful or very honest occupation, but one which, so far from being forbidden by the laws, was actually licensed by an act of the Legislature passed but a single year before.
Next, negroes suspected of conspiring to raise an insurrection were caught up and hanged in all parts of the State; then, white men supposed to be leagued with the negroes; and finally, strangers from neighboring States, going thither on business, were in many instances subjected to the same fate.
Thus went on this process of hanging, from gamblers to negroes, from negroes to white citizens, and from these to strangers, till dead men were seen literally dangling from the boughs of trees upon every roadside, and in numbers almost sufficient to rival the native Spanish moss of the country as a drapery of the forest.
Turn, then, to that horror-striking scene at St. A single victim only was sacrificed there. This story is very short, and is perhaps the most highly tragic of anything of its length that has ever been witnessed in real life.
A mulatto man by the name of McIntosh was seized in the street, dragged to the suburbs of the city, chained to a tree, and actually burned to death; and all within a single hour from the time he had been a freeman attending to his own business and at peace with the world.
Such are the effects of mob law, and such are the scenes becoming more and more frequent in this land so lately famed for love of law and order, and the stories of which have even now grown too familiar to attract anything more than an idle remark.Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois.
As a subject for the remarks of the evening, the perpetuation of our political institutions, is selected. Lyceum Address As one of Abraham Lincoln's earliest published speeches, this address has been much scrutinized and debated by historians, who see broad implications for his later public policies.
Lincoln was 28 years old at the time he gave this speech and had recently moved from a struggling pioneer village to Springfield, Illinois. The official Lyceum website, the venue for Disney's The Lion King, London.
Learn more about the theatre and book your tickets here at the official box office. The Lyceum School P.O. Box South Euclid, OH () Gifts, bequests, & donations. If you would like to include The Lyceum in your charitable giving this year please know that all gifts are tax deductible.
Your contribution of time, talent, funds, or materials are greatly appreciated. Abraham Lincoln's Lyceum Address was delivered to the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois on January 27, , titled "The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions".
In this speech, Lincoln spoke about the dangers of slavery in the United States, as the institution could corrupt the federal government. Address before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois by Abraham Lincoln Speech given at the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois January 27, As a subject for the remarks of the evening, "The perpetuation of our political institutions" is selected.