Seal of Illinois

On this day in 1818, Illinois, commonly called the “Land of Lincoln,” becomes the twenty-first state in the Union.

Here is the Preamble of the Constitution of the State of Illinois:

We, the People of the State of Illinois – grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty which He has permitted us to enjoy and seeking His blessing upon our endeavors – in order to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the people; maintain a representative and orderly government; eliminate poverty and inequality; assure legal, social and economic justice; provide opportunity for the fullest development of the individual; insure domestic tranquility; provide for the common defense; and secure the blessings of freedom and liberty to ourselves and our posterity – do ordain and establish this Constitution for the State of Illinois.

Seal of Illinois

As seen in the state seal above, “Aug. 26, 1818” is the date the first Illinois Constitution was signed.
Also prevalent in the seal is the state motto of “State Sovereignty, National Union,” and for good reason.

All one thing; All the good

In fact, Illinois and Abraham Lincoln were central to the debate of state sovereignty and national union, as demonstrated by the famous Lincoln–Douglas Debates. Stephen A. Douglas, a Democrat and U.S. Senator from Illinois, believed the nation must remain united but could only do so half-slave, half-free. Conversely, Lincoln invoked Scripture to assert the opposite:

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.
I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.
I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided.
It will become all one thing or all the other.”

After all, this should come as no surprise, given Lincoln’s lofty opinion of the Bible:
“In regard to this Great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.”

Lincoln Bible t-shirt collage

Abraham Lincoln Gettysburg address

On this day in 1863 (that is, 7 score and 17 years ago), President Abraham Lincoln boards a train for Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to deliver a short speech the following day. That speech became known as the Gettysburg Address, and is one of the most famous speeches in American history.

The brief, 272 word speech was delivered at the close of ceremonies dedicating that Civil War battlefield cemetery where so many soldiers, from both sides, had fallen.

Speaking to a crowd of over five thousand people, Lincoln hearkened to Our founding for Our American spirit and purpose.

Today, the words of the Gettysburg Address are engraved into a wall of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

This nation, under God

A full transcript follows:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate – we can not hallow – this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here, have, thus far, so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Abraham Lincoln Gettysburg address

 

Seal of the State of Hawaii

On this day in 1959, Hawaii becomes the 50th and most recent state to join the Union.

The state motto, adopted that same year, is “Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono.”
It’s a Hawaiian phrase commonly translated to “The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.”

Here is the Preamble of The Constitution of the State of Hawaii:

“We, the people of Hawaii, grateful for Divine Guidance, and mindful of our Hawaiian heritage and uniqueness as an island State, dedicate our efforts to fulfill the philosophy decreed by the Hawaii State motto, “Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono.”

We reserve the right to control our destiny, to nurture the integrity of our people and culture, and to preserve the quality of life that we desire.

We reaffirm our belief in a government of the people, by the people and for the people, and with an understanding and compassionate heart toward all the peoples of the earth, do hereby ordain and establish this constitution for the State of Hawaii.”

 

Seal of the State of Hawaii

Lincoln Bible Inauguration Day

On this day in 1861, Abraham Lincoln signs the Revenue Act. The Act included the first federal income tax statute, levied to help fund the Civil War.

As a result, a 3 percent tax was levied on annual incomes over $800.

In preparation, President Lincoln sent letters to his cabinet requesting their “opinion in writing whether under the Constitution and existing laws, the Executive has power to collect duties.”

He signed those letters: “Your Obt. Servt A. Lincoln, ” That is, ‘Your Obedient Servant.’

Duty and Duties

On July 4, 1861, President Lincoln spoke to Congress about “[no]… ordinary subject of legislation” regarding the the Civil War:

“Surely each man has as strong a motive now to preserve our liberties as each had then to establish them.

A right result at this time will be worth more to the world than ten times the men and ten times the money. The evidence reaching us from the country leaves no doubt that the material for the work is abundant, and that it needs only the hand of legislation to give it legal sanction and the hand of the Executive to give it practical shape and efficiency. One of the greatest perplexities of the Government is to avoid receiving troops faster than it can provide for them. In a word, the people will save their Government if the Government itself will do its part only indifferently well.”

Referring to himself in the third person, President Abraham Lincoln concluded his message to Congress with this charge:

“In full view of his great responsibility he has so far done what he has deemed his duty. You will now, according to your own judgment, perform yours. He sincerely hopes that your views and your action may so accord with his as to assure all faithful citizens who have been disturbed in their rights of a certain and speedy restoration to them under the Constitution and the laws.

Finally, he echoed Our National Motto and the words from Our National Anthem that inspired Our forthcoming shirt, seen below: 

“And having thus chosen our course, without guile and with pure purpose, let us renew our trust in God and go forward without fear and with manly hearts.”

Lastly, however one regards federal income taxes, Abraham Lincoln’s reverence for the Bible is quite clear:

“In regard to this Great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.”

That quote inspired this shirt:

Lincoln Bible t-shirt collage

Abraham Lincoln Gettysburg address

On this day in 1863, the largest military conflict in North American history begins when Union and Confederate forces collide at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The epic battle lasted three days and Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia retreated to Virginia.

Gettysburg Address

So, below is the full text of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. This version is inscribed in the South Chamber of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.:

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers bought forth on this continent a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work, which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us. That from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion. That we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain. That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom. And that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the Earth.”

Abraham Lincoln Gettysburg address

 

Lincoln Bible

That famous address makes clear Abraham Lincoln’s reverence for God and His Word. This is amplified by the quote that inspired Our “Lincoln Bible” t-shirt:

“In regard to this Great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.”

Lincoln Bible t-shirt collage

 

Lincoln Bible Inauguration Day

On this day in 1858, senate candidate Abraham Lincoln addresses more than 1,000 delegates at the Illinois Republican Convention in Springfield. He points out the incompatibility of slavery in a nation whose Declaration of Independence states “all men are created equal.”

In doing so, Lincoln paraphrased Mark 3:25 of the New Testament: “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”

He went on: “I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.

Man’s welfare

It should come as no surprise that Lincoln would use this opportunity to invoke Scripture. As evidenced by the quote that inspired Our “Lincoln Bible” t-shirt, he clearly thought highly of “this book”:

“In regard to this Great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.”

Find your shirt HERE.

Lincoln Bible t-shirt collage

Abraham Lincoln Bible

On this day in 1860, Abraham Lincoln, a one-time U.S. representative from Illinois, is nominated for the presidency by the Republican National Convention in Chicago, Illinois.

Then, in the November election Lincoln became the first Republican to win the presidency.

Thus, here is an excerpt from his inaugural address, with the American Civil War looming:

“Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world? In our present differences, is either party without faith of being in the right? If the Almighty Ruler of Nations, with His eternal truth and justice, be on your side of the North, or on yours of the South, that truth and that justice will surely prevail by the judgment of this great tribunal of the American people.”

“All things”

Clearly, Abraham Lincoln had reverence for God and His Word, as exemplified by his quote above and below.

“In regard to this Great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.”

That quote inspired Our “Lincoln Bible” shirt, find yours HERE:

Abraham Lincoln Bible t-shirt collage

Lincoln Bible

In honor of all of Our mothers for Mother’s Day, here are two well-known quotes from Abraham Lincoln about his (step-) mother:

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”

“I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”

A well-deserved (top) hats off to all of the mother’s out there. Thankfully, many of us can relate to the quotes above. So, birth and step-mothers, we hope you enjoy your day.

“But for it…”

Clearly, Lincoln admired his mother and his step-mother. Similarly, his quote that inspired Our Lincoln Bible shirt demonstrates his admiration for God’s Word:

Lincoln Bible t-shirt collage

The Prayer at Valley Forge

Following the Union Army’s devastating loss at the Second Battle of Bull Run in August 1862, the Civil War Dispatches of Noah Brooks record Abraham Lincoln saying the following about prayer:

“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.”

General George Washington’s legendary Prayer at Valley Forge is depicted in Arnold Friberg’s well-known painting below.

Prayer is vital and encouraged by great Americans throughout our history, both in victory and in defeat.

So, our prayer is that we would continue to offer our prayers and supplications to the Great Governor, the Almighty Author. Let “We the People” acknowledge His hand in guiding our country, as we observe our National Day of Prayer.

Our History, Our Heritage

“The National Day of Prayer is a vital part of our heritage. Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued through our history, including President Lincoln’s proclamation of a day of “humiliation, fasting, and prayer” in 1863. In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, declared an annual national day of prayer. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May. Each year, the president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. Last year, all 50 state governors plus the governors of several U.S. territories signed similar proclamations.”

Unfurl the history of the National Day of Prayer on the National Day of Prayer task force website:

http://www.nationaldayofprayer.org/about

George Washington Prayer

 

Abraham Lincoln last words Holy Land

On this day in 1865, President Abraham Lincoln is shot at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. He died the next morning at approximately 7:22 a.m. Lincoln was the first U.S. president to be assassinated.

The attack came just five days after the end of the American Civil War.

Two Jerusalems

A strong case can be made, based on the “Personal Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln” (kept at the Illinois State Historical Library), a manuscript Noyes W. Miner, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Springfield, Illinois, who wrote of his conversations with Mary Todd Lincoln in 1882, and several other references, that these were Abraham Lincoln’s last words:

“We will visit the Holy Land, and see those places hallowed by the footsteps of the Savior. There is no city on earth I so much desire to see as Jerusalem.”

These are the words that follow in the manuscript:
“and with that word half spoken on his tongue, the bullet from the pistol of the assassin’s entered his brain, and the soul of the great and good President was carried by the Angels to the New Jerusalem & above.”

Abraham Lincoln last words Holy Land

Lincoln’s last words about the Holy Land may be up for debate. However, his words of appreciation for the Holy Bible are not, and we made a shirt based on them:

https://ourlostfounding.com/product/abraham-lincoln-bible-this-great-book/

Lincoln Bible t-shirt collage

Lincoln Bible t-shirt collage

On this day in 1861, the Civil War begins when Confederates fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor in South Carolina.

One or the other

Prior to that, on June 16, 1858, then U.S. Senate candidate Abraham Lincoln uttered these famous words:

“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.
I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided.
It will become all one thing or all the other.”

In 1860, the majority of the slave states were threatening secession. Then, when Lincoln was elected President, South Carolina immediately initiated secession proceedings.

Prior to Lincoln’s inauguration, March 4, 1861, South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas had seceded from the Union.

Finally, four years after the attack on Fort Sumter, the Union defeated the Confederacy with the staggering total of 620,000 Union and Confederate soldiers dead.

The concept of “a house divided against itself” is widely known as a statement from Jesus in reference to casting out evil. Matthew, Mark, and Luke recorded it in their gospels. That Abraham Lincoln saw fit to use it regarding slavery makes it that much more powerful.

Abraham Lincoln’s clearly appreciated the Bible, and his about “this great book” inspired one of our first t-shirts:

Lincoln Bible t-shirt collage