FEBRUARY 11, 1861

Abraham Lincoln departed Springfield, Illinois, en route to his inauguration in the nation’s capital on February 11, 1861, one day before his fifty-second birthday. After a brief speech, during which many in the crowd were “affected to tears,” he began the thirteen-day journey that would take him through the capitals of Indiana, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania as well as scores of small towns along the way. Upon arriving in Indianapolis, Lincoln gave a controversial speech revealing his thoughts on the preservation of the Union.