First inauguration of Abraham Lincoln

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
First Presidential Inauguration of Abraham Lincoln
Abraham lincoln inauguration 1861.jpg
Lincoln swearing-in at the partly finished Capitol building.
Date March 4, 1861; 155 years ago (1861-03-04)
Location United States Capitol,
Washington, D.C.
Participants President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln
Assuming office
Chief Justice of the United States,
Roger B. Taney
Administering oath
Vice President of the United States
Hannibal Hamlin
Assuming office
Vice President of the United States,
John C. Breckinridge
Administering oath

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.

Train ride[edit]

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.[1]

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.[1] Lincoln continued on to Harrisburg.

Because of an alleged assassination conspiracy, Lincoln traveled through Baltimore, Maryland on a special train in the middle of the night before finally completing his journey in Washington.


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.

Inaugural address[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Hoch, Bradley R. (2001). The Lincoln Trail in Pennsylvania. Penn State Press. ISBN 978-0-271-02119-5. 

External links[edit]