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Lincoln, February 22, 1861

I have never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence and I have pondered over the dangers which were incurred by the men who assembled here and adopted that Declaration of Independence and I have pondered over the toils that were endured by the officers and soldiers of the army who achieved that independence. I have often inquired of myself, what great principle or idea it was that kept this Confederacy so long together. It was not the mere matter of the separation of the colonies from the mother land; but something in that Declaration giving liberty, not alone to the people of this Country, but hope to the world for all future time. It was that which gave promise that in due time the weights should be lifted from the shoulders of all men, and that all should have an equal chance. This is the sentiment embodied in that Declaration of Independence.

President-elect Abraham Lincoln at Independence Hall, February 22, 1861

When President Lincolnís body was brought to Philadelphia -- en route to burial in Springfield, Illinois -- a procession several miles long conducted the hearse to Independence Hall, where he lay in state in the Assembly Room from the evening of April 22 to the morning of April 24, 1865. An estimated 85,000 mourners paid their respects on Sunday, April 23.



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