Lincoln's First Inaugural Address

Lincoln's First Inaugural Address

Work Time

The next document you are going to read is an excerpt from Lincoln’s first inaugural address, delivered in 1861. This address is difficult reading, but it is important because of what Lincoln and the country were facing in the immediate future.

So first, with a partner, take a moment to review the historical context.

  • Take another look at “Lincoln and Slavery,” paying special attention to what was going on around Lincoln’s election and inauguration.
  • What issues faced the nation?
  • If you were in Lincoln’s position, what would you think was most important to say to the nation at this point in history?

Share your thoughts with the class.

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