-- Dilemmas of Compromise --

Saturday February 23, 1861

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Lincoln Arrives in Washington

Lincoln arrived by train in Washington, D.C., at 6 a.m., accompanied by a friend, Ward H. Lamon, and detective Allan Pinkerton. The last leg of his hitherto public journey eastward-- filled with parades, rallies, and speeches-- was undertaken in great secrecy. Lincoln's advisers, high military and civilian authorities, and railroad officials were all much concerned about his physical safety. There were rumors of an extensive plot to assassinate him when he passed through Baltimore.

Lincoln reluctantly agreed to go from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to Washington, via Philadelphia and Baltimore, in secrecy and with considerable security undertaken by the railroad. Accompanied by Lamon and Pinkerton, Lincoln left Harrisburg after dinner on February 22, on a special train to Philadelphia. There they connected with the Baltimore train late that evening, arriving in Baltimore about 4 a.m., where they were switched to the Baltimore & Ohio tracks for the trip to Washington. At Washington, Lincoln was met by Illinois Representative Elihu Washburne, who escorted him to Willard's Hotel.

The manner of Lincoln's arrival was ridiculed by his enemies and criticized by many friends. According to Lamon, Lincoln soon regretted the midnight journey to Washington as unworthy of the leader of a great republic. But Lincoln's advisers, like Lamon, believed the plot to assassinate him was genuine and that his life was endangered from the moment he crossed the Maryland line.

Bibliography: Nicolay and Hay, Lincoln, 3: 302-16; Long, Civil War, p. 21; Lamon, Recollections, pp. 46-47.

Texas Voters Ratify Secession

[Stars and Bars]

Texas voters ratified secession in a referendum ordered by the secession convention. Secessionists outpolled their opponents by a margin of three to one.

Bibliography: Long, Civil War, p. 41.

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