When Lincoln Inspired Van Orden

On February 19, 1861, President-Elect Abraham Lincoln was on a train headed towards Washington D.C. for his inaugural. The train stopped at the Peekskill Depot in Westchester County, NY, to lay on cordwood for the burners and water for the boilers in order to continue the journey.

Townspeople turned out by the thousands for a glimpse of the great man. Among the audience was Archibald Van Orden. The words young Archie heard in the brief remarks made by Lincoln touched his heart and enflamed his courage:

“In regard to the difficulties which lie before me and our beloved country, if I can only be as generously and unanimously sustained as the demonstrations I have witnessed indicate I shall be, I shall not fail. But without your sustaining hands, I am sure that neither I nor any other man can hope to surmount these difficulties. I trust that in the course I shall pursue, I shall be sustained not only by the party that elected me, but by the patriotic people of the whole country.”

Lincoln in Peekskill

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