President Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1861, during his first inaugural address (via theamericancivilwar)
Russian court dress ca. 1900
From the Metropolitan Museum of Art
American Civil War battlesites over time
February 4, 1861: The Confederate States of America is formed.
In November of 1860, Abraham Lincoln, a one-term U.S. representative and candidate for the newly-formed Republican Party, was elected President of the United States with just under 40% of the popular vote. Rather than remain in a union whose president had won the election with a party promising “free labor, free land, free men”, seven southern slaveholding states seceded. The first was South Carolina, birthplace of John C. Calhoun and historical hotbed of states’ rights sentiment, and the last of the original seven was Texas, which seceded in February, a little over a month before Lincoln took office.
Six delegates convened in Montgomery, Alabama in the chambers of the state senate on February 4, 1861. Their first meeting marked the founding of the Confederate States of America, and in the coming months the Montgomery Convention drafted a Constitution and appointed former Secretary of War and veteran congressman Jefferson Davis president opposite the comparatively inexperienced Abraham Lincoln. In his Cornerstone Speech (March 21, 1861), the Confederate States’ vice president Alexander Stephens asserted that “our peculiar institution African slavery" was the "immediate cause of the late rupture and present revolution”. He also declared that the founding principle of the new Confederate state, for which hundreds of thousands of lives would soon be spent, should be the principle of black racial inferiority:
Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.
Check out these Colorized Civil War photos!
Color photography may not have been invented until the 1930s but that hasn’t stopped an active group of Redditors from looking to change the past. On the Colorized History Subreddit, Redditors use photo manipulation to add color to historical black and white images.
Two of the most prolific users, Mads Dahl Madsen and Jordan J. Lloyd (who has since started Dynachrome, a digital image restoration agency), have done United States history a favor by taking a large amount of the Civil War photographs available at the Library of Congress and turning them into realistic and beautiful looking color.
As photography was not invented until the mid-1800s, the Civil War was the first war to be captured on film. Famous photographers such as Matthew Brady and his apprentice Alexander Gardner made it their duty to capture the country’s tragic war for posterity, with a variety of portraits of officers and soldiers and scenes of daily life and the aftermath of battles. At the time, cameras were not able to accurately capture motion so there are few, if any, photos of actual battles in action.
November 19, 1863: Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address.
150 years ago today, Abraham Lincoln delivered his famous 2-minute-long, 260 word speech at the dedication of a soldiers’ cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania - where, in July of the same year, Union and Confederate forces fought the bloodiest battle of the entire war. In his speech, Lincoln affirmed the value of the Union’s struggle in the context of the United States’ founding principles of liberty and equality. Since its delivery, the Gettysburg Address has been absorbed into American culture as a national symbol and as an iconic, defining moment in its history.
Text of the speech (of which several versions exist):
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
do u ever look back at all the boys you’ve ever liked and then realize that they all have a common feature but you dont know what it is
Tall, dorky, and brunette.