In my newest novel, “Impending Love and Madness” Zach Ravenswood and Cassandra Beecher attend a play “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater on April 14, 1865, and witness the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. They memorize some of his speeches.
These words are from his Second Inaugural Address on March 4, 1865:
“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
These words are from a debate between Lincoln and Sen. Stephen Douglas in 1858:
“It is the eternal struggle between these two principles—right and wrong—throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity, and the other the divine right of kings. It is the same principle in whatever shape it develops itself. It is the same spirit that says, “You toil and wok and earn bread, and I will eat it.” No matter in what shape it comes, whether from the mouth of a king who seeks to bestride the people of his own nation and live from the fruit of their labor, or from one race of men as an apology for enslaving another race, it is the same tyrannical principle.”