Lincoln: Pretense to States Rights

This is the second of two blog entries on Abraham Lincoln’s Message to Congress in Special Session on July 4,1861. The first, Lincoln’s American People, appeared in this blog two weeks ago. This entry examines Lincoln’s choice and use of the word “pretense” in an important paragraph framing the central concerns of his speech. Both essays... Continue Reading →

Graceland: Barack Obama’s Third Inaugural

President Obama’s eulogy for Clementa Pinckney—massacred Pastor of Emanuel AME church in Charleston, South Carolina—was one of the finest I’ve heard, and deserves standing among the most important speeches in our history. Think about his problem for a moment. What could he say to the wife, daughters, extended family, colleagues, and co-religionists of a Pastor... Continue Reading →

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