First inauguration of Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln swearing-in at the partly finished Capitol building.
|Date||March 4, 1861|
|Location||United States Capitol,
|Participants||President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln
Roger B. Taney
John C. Breckinridge
The first inauguration of Abraham Lincoln as the 16th President of the United States took place on March 4, 1861 on the eve of American Civil War. The inauguration marked the commencement of the first four-year term of Abraham Lincoln as President and Hannibal Hamlin as Vice President.
Lincoln was chosen to be the Republican candidate in the 1860 presidential election, which he won on November 6 with 180 electoral votes. Between this time and his inauguration on March 4, seven states would secede from the Union.
An entourage of family and friends left Springfield, Illinois with Lincoln on February 11 to travel by train to Washington, D.C. for the inauguration. This group including his wife, three sons, and brother-in-law, as well as John G. Nicolay, John M. Hay, Ward Hill Lamon, David Davis, Norman B. Judd, and Edwin Vose Sumner.
For the next ten days, he traveled widely throughout the country, with stops in Indianapolis, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Buffalo, Albany, New York City, and south to Philadelphia, where on the afternoon of February 21, he pulled into Kensington Station. Lincoln took an open carriage to the Continental Hotel, with almost 100,000 spectators waiting to catch a glimpse of the President-elect. There he met Mayor Alexander Henry, and delivered some remarks to the crowd outside from a hotel balcony. Lincoln continued on to Harrisburg.
This was the first time Lincoln appeared in public with his beard as president, which he had grown in between being elected and his inauguration in response to a written request by 11 year old Grace Bedell. This effectively made him the first President to have any facial hair beyond sideburns, and he is still the only president to wear a beard with no mustache.
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