Precedented Times: American Inaugurations Re-Discovered Part 2

In just the 72 short years between the Presidential inaugurations of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, the landscape of America had shifted dramatically. In 1789, citizens lined the streets to catch a celebratory glimpse of the esteemed General as he made his journey to take the oath of office. Lincoln, on the other hand, had to be disguised and smuggled to the capitol due to riots and the potential for violence. The first inauguration served to commemorate a nation coming together as one, in pursuit of the dream for a more perfect Union. By 1861, the fabric of that Union was tearing at the seams as the nation spiraled toward civil war.

By the time Lincoln stood to deliver his inaugural address, seven states had already seceded the Union, and cries of “not my president” were in the wind. The nation was divided and the fate of the American project hung in the balance. What would Lincoln say as he stepped to the podium? How would he lead this nation in crisis and what could we learn in a day that seems all too familiar to his? Let’s dive in!

  • The national and political climate around the Presidential election of 1860 (4:30)
  • The emergence and election of the Illinois lawyer, Abraham Lincoln (9:15)
  • “Not my President” – The contentious context ahead of Lincoln’s Inauguration (22:42)
  • Lincoln channels Washington as he bids farewell to Springfield and makes an eventful journey to the nation’s capital (29:56)
  • Breaking down Lincoln’s speech (33:15)
  • Confronting the Southern secession (34:58)
  • The Bible’s presence and influence in the oath (36:16)
  • An Exposition of the Constitution in refutation of the Confederate secession (37:42)
  • Acknowledging the active presence of God and the nation’s need of His mercy (49:01)
  • Collective faith will lead a nation toward true justice (55:26)
  • Lincoln concludes his speech with a powerful and tender woo toward Union (1:02:19)
  • In light of Lincoln’s speech, what advice would you give President Biden ahead of his inauguration address this week? (1:10:55)

Special thanks to Dr. Morrison and Dr. Den Hartog for their incredible insights today. 

Faith and Liberty Rediscovered features conversations that investigate the people behind historically significant events in American history while also exploring the direct connection between faith and liberty in America from its founding to today. All from the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center which is located in the heart of our nation’s birthplace: On Independence Mall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Together, We’ll bring history to life in a fun and accessible way by leveraging relevant segments, guests, and exploring topics that allow us to discover our Nation’s history in a fresh and new format. Be sure to subscribe in the podcast platform of your choice.

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