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The Inauguration Ceremonies.


March-April 1865

From The Missouri Democrat, Monday, March 6, 1865.

The Inauguration Ceremonies—The Weather—Route of the Procession—Military and Civil Display—The Oath of Office, etc.

President Lincoln was inaugurated at 12 o’clock noon to-day. The weather was clear and beautiful, but on account of the recent rains the streets were filled with mud. Despite this fact the assemblage was exceedingly large and thousands proceeded to the capitol to witness the inauguration ceremonies. The procession moved from the corner of Sixteenth and Pennsylvania avenue. President Lincoln had been at the capitol all day, and consequently did not accompany the procession to the scene of the ceremonies. Two regiments of the invalid corps, a squad of cavalry, a battery of artillery and four companies of colored troops, formed the military escort. The mayor and councilmen of Washington; councilmen from Baltimore; firemen of this city and firemen from Philadelphia, were also in the procession. Among the benevolent societies present were the lodges of Odd Fellows and Masons, including a colored lodge of the latter fraternity. The public and principal private buildings on Pennsylvania avenue were gaily decorated with flags, and every window was thronged with faces to catch a glimpse of the President elect.

The oath to protect and maintain the Constitution of the United States was administered to Mr. Lincoln by Chief Justice Chase, in the presence of thousands, who witnessed the interesting ceremony while standing in mud almost knee deep. The Inaugural was then read, after which a National salute was fired.

The procession then again moved up Pennsylvania avenue, the President being conveyed to an open barouche. Seated with him was his son and Senator Foote, of the Committee of Arrangements. The President was escorted to the White House, after which the procession separated. Everything passed off in the most quiet and orderly manner, and although thousands participated in the ceremonies, not an accident occurred to mar the pleasures of the day.


WASHINGTON, March 4—The following is the President’s Inaugural Message:

F,small>ELLOW COUNTRYMEN: At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office, there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement what in detail of a course to be pursued, seemed very fitting and proper; but now, at the expiration of four years, during quring [sic] which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented.

The progress of our arms upon which all else chiefly depends is as well known to the public, as to myself; and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all with high hope for the future.

No prediction in regard to it is ventured. On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avoid it.

While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war, seeking to dissolve the Union and divide the effects by negotiation.

Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came. One eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it.

These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All know that this interest was somehow the cause of the war.

To strengthen, perpetuate and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union by war, which the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it.

Neither party expected for the war then inaugurated, or the duration which it has already attained, neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease or even before the conflict itself should cease.

Each looked for an easier triumph and a result less fundamental and astounding, both read the same bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other.

It may seem strange that any man should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not that we be not judged.

The prayer of both should not be answered; that neither has been answered.

The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto this world because of offenses, for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to the man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of these offenses, which in the providence of God must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which those believing in a living God always ascribe to Him? Finally do we hope—fervently do we pray—that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet God wills to continue it until all the wealth piled up by the bondsman’s four hundred and fifty years of unrequited labor shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another decision with the sword. As was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, that “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether,” With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, and care for him who has borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphans, and to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.