9.23.2021 – something that held out

something that held out
great promise to all people
to all time to come

Quoting Mr. Lincoln here.

What he said was, “. . . there must have been something more than common that those men struggled for; that something even more than National Independence; that something that held out a great promise to all the people of the world to all time to come.

Mr. Lincoln was on his way to Washington DC to be sworn in as President of what was left of the United States of America.

To get from his home in Springfield, Illinois (A home I have visited several times. The last time We took all seven kids on a spring break trip. Once inside, my then 7 year old daughter, D’asia, stuck her foot through the railings that held back the visitors and set her foot on the floor of the Lincoln’s parlor. This caused the Park Ranger to yell at her, “WE DON’T PUT FEET ON THE CARPET IN THE LINCOLN HOUSE.” Which got me upset and I wanted to say ‘hey, you are yelling at a little black kid in Lincoln’s house. Think about it!’ But I didn’t. I got even when that Park Ranger, reading from notes in his smokey bear hat described Mr. Lincoln sitting at the desk writing his famous speeches. ‘Like the Gettysburg Address (4 score and 7) and 2nd Inaugural (With malice toward none; with charity for all)? I asked – and the Ranger starts nodding his head – and I say THAT HE WROTE IN WASHINGTON??) to Washington DC by train through as many of the major Northern cities as could be lined up so that Mr. Lincoln could make public speeches.

By some accounts Mr. Lincoln made 93 stops and 93 speeches, addresses and remarks.

It was at a stop in Trenton, NJ on February 21, 1861 that these he made these remarks he made to New Jersey State Senate that today’s Haiku is drawn from.

something that held out a great promise to all the people of the world to all time to come.

Something held out a great promise.

To all the people of the world.

To all time to come.

Anyone want to come along and help?

I going to Texas to spray paint this on a border wall.

If Lincoln were alive today I am afraid he wouldn’t stop crying or throwing up or both.

Here is the full text of what Mr. Lincoln said.

Mr. President and Gentlemen of the Senate of the State of New-Jersey: I am very grateful to you for the honorable reception of which I have been the object.

I cannot but remember the place that New-Jersey holds in our early history. In the early Revolutionary struggle, few of the States among the old Thirteen had more of the battle-fields of the country within their limits than old New-Jersey. May I be pardoned if, upon this occasion, I mention that away back in my childhood, the earliest days of my being able to read, I got hold of a small book, such a one as few of the younger members have ever seen, “Weem’s Life of Washington.” I remember all the accounts there given of the battle fields and struggles for the liberties of the country, and none fixed themselves upon my imagination so deeply as the struggle here at Trenton, New-Jersey. The crossing of the river; the contest with the Hessians; the great hardships endured at that time, all fixed themselves on my memory more than any single revolutionary event; and you all know, for you have all been boys, how these early impressions last longer than any others.

I recollect thinking then, boy even though I was, that there must have been something more than common that those men struggled for; that something even more than National Independence; that something that held out a great promise to all the people of the world to all time to come; I am exceedingly anxious that this Union, the Constitution, and the liberties of the people shall be perpetuated in accordance with the original idea for which that struggle was made, and I shall be most happy indeed if I shall be an humble instrument in the hands of the Almighty, and of this, his almost chosen people, for perpetuating the object of that great struggle. You give me this reception, as I understand, without distinction of party.

I learn that this body is composed of a majority of gentlemen who, in the exercise of their best judgment in the choice of a Chief Magistrate, did not think I was the man. I understand, nevertheless, that they came forward here to greet me as the constitutional President of the United States — as citizens of the United States, to meet the man who, for the time being, is the representative man of the nation, united by a purpose to perpetuate the Union and liberties of the people. As such, I accept this reception more gratefully than I could do did I believe it was tendered to me as an individual.

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