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Play: Go Light Your World

There is a candle in every soul
Some brightly burning,
Some dark and cold
There is a spirit who brings a fire
Ignites the candle and makes his home

Carry your candle,
Run to the darkness
Seek out the hopeless, confused and torn
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle and go light your world

We are a family whose hearts are blazing
We raise our candles and light up the sky
Praying to our Father, "In the name of Jesus
Make us a beacon in darkest times!"

Carry your candle, run to the darkness
Seek out the helpless, deceived and poor
Hold out your candle for all to see it
Take your candle and go light your world!

- by Kathy Troccoli

“The task of helping fugitive slaves was not an easy one. Those known to be involved in the Underground Railroad—and it was often not a secret—were criticized in popular books and newspapers in both the North and South. Neighbors spied on their activities, and slave owners and slave catchers kept their houses and businesses under almost constant watch. Some were asked to leave their churches, and their children were often harassed in school. Others, fearing for their lives, left their homes and moved to other states.

Still they remained driven by their Christian faith and the conviction that "all men are created equal" (at a time when it was far from "self-evident"). When a fugitive slave came into their area, these "conductors" on the Underground Railroad acted quickly to usher him inside and into a safe hiding place.”

By Matt Donnelly assistant editor of Computing Today. He received a Master of Theology degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

A child might be away from home unnoticed, while the absence of a grownup would have aroused suspicion. So a boy or girl of ten or eleven might be put on a horse with a fugitive behind, or put in charge of a wagon or carriage load, and sent off to the next station. Mordecai Benedict, of Marengo, Ohio, began to drive fugitives northward when he was only six years old.

One little boy was called on for such service who did not even know the way to the next station. Danger was pressing for the runaway, and the grownups dared not go, for fear of betraying him. There were eighteen miles to travel, but the horse knew the way, and at the end of the route pushed open the gate into a certain lane. This was truly an instance where a horse’s instinct assisted a man to freedom.

The Underground Railway movement possessed a tremendous religious spirit… All these people were constantly and deliberately disobeying a law of the land. Respected and otherwise law-abiding citizens, they insisted that this law defied the law of God, which declares that all men are brothers. In obedience to the law of God, they fed the hungry, sheltered the homeless, poured out money, time and strength, and constantly ran the risk of heavy fine and imprisonment.

from Stories of the Underground Railroad by Anna L. Curtis

Underground Railroad Story
Click on Image to Read

Jesus loves me, this I know
For the Bible tells me so
Wanting as a friend to give
Light and Love to all who live
Jesus loves me! He will stay
Close beside me all the way;
Telling me in words so clear
“Have no fear for I am near.”
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

- Anna Warmer and Wm. Bradbury

The chariots of God are tens of thousands. – Psalm 68:17

Play: Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

Swing low, sweet chariot,
(wagons of the Underground Railroad)
Coming for to carry me home,
(free country)

Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
I looked over Jordan (Ohio River), and what did I see?
Coming for to carry me home,
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Negro Spiritual about the Underground Railroad

Play: Swing Down Chariot
Play: I'll Take You There
Play: Jordan River
Play: Everybody Will Be Happy
Play: Jacob's Ladder


By Jay Rogers 11/90

In the early 1800s, Christian evangelists were seeing thousands of individual's lives changed through the preaching of the Gospel. Charles G. Finney and other reformers of this time believed that Jesus Christ, working in the lives of a perfected people, was going to change the world.

Up until the early 1800s, those within the abolitionist movement saw the elimination of slavery as a long, slow process. But it was not until the preaching of Charles G. Finney that Americans began to realize that slavery could be done away with suddenly, once and for all.

Charles G. Finney, the great revival preacher, recorded in his Memoirs, "I had made up my mind on the question of slavery, and was exceedingly anxious to arouse public attention to the subject. In my prayers and preaching, I so often alluded to slavery, and denounced it, that a considerable excitement came to exist among the people." *

 The excitement that accompanied Finney's revivals affected one young man named Theodore Weld. Weld was initially and vehemently opposed to Finney's work, but was converted in Utica, New York, during one of Finney's meetings. Weld was a formidable enemy to Mr. Finney, but after his salvation he became an ardent supporter. Weld traveled with Finney, assisting the preacher in his meetings and later emerged as a student leader at Lane Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio.

For a period of time when Weld traveled with Finney, he was taught the biblical view of sin and its effects on the individual and society. Finney believed that individuals could be liberated from sin and that sin in society could be confronted and overthrown through preaching the Gospel. Anything that was destructive or dehumanizing to the human race was deemed as sin.

Studying the Old Testament story of the tribes of Israel and their liberation from slavery in Egypt, as well as the teachings of Jesus Christ, both Finney and Weld came to a common conclusion: slavery was sin. Therefore, it had to be rooted out and destroyed immediately. It could not be tolerated, not even temporarily. Slavery, according to Finney and Weld's view, must be attacked and overthrown by the power of God's Holy Spirit in the believer's life.

 Other Christians such as Lyman Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe and William Lloyd Garrison emerged later and did much to fan the flames of the abolitionist movement. From beginning to end, the most notable abolitionists were Christians who had dedicated their lives to bringing social justice to America.

Charles G. Finney, Memoirs (New York: A.S. Barnes, 1876), p 324. 2 Ibid, p 185-188.

Harriet Beecher Stowe

"I MUST speak for the oppressed - who cannot speak for themselves."

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Excerpts from the Western Citizen August 5, 1842

Of the Fifth Anniversary
Of the

The society met pursuant to notice, on the 26th day of May, in the  
First Presbyterian
Church in the city of Chicago.  Rev. Owen Lovejoy,
 Vice President, took the chair….

That the fundamental doctrine of the system of slavery, viz:  That the

laborer should be the property of the capitalist, is so inconsistent with the doctrine
of equal rights as set forth in the Declaration of Independence, as utterly to forbid
the expectation that elements so discordant should peaceably dwell together in the
same community.

That the developments made during the past year, of pro-slavery ARROGANCE,

most decisively indicate that the time has fully come for the final struggle between
Liberty and Slavery throughout the nation.

That the arbitrary spirit manifested in the House of Representatives by

members from the slaveholding States, in trampling down the right of petition and
strangling the freedom of debate, presents an imperious call to every freeman of the
nation to array himself without delay for a firm and unyielding resistance to the
further encroachments of slaveholding despotism.

That the Liberty Party had its origin, not in the intrigues of demagogues,

politicians, or the scramblings of rival aspirants for office, but in the ordinance of
Heaven, enstamped upon our social being by the finger of Omnipotence, impelling
members to associated and efficient action for the advancement of human liberty
the salvation of our common country.

That it is with extreme regret and mortification that we have seen

Representatives of Northern freemen combining with the slavocracy of the South
their efforts to stigmatize the character of the Hon. John Quincy Adams for
the petition of freemen, and of the Hon. Joshua R. Giddings
for expressing, in
appropriate time and place, his opinion about an
important question of national policy which had been freely discussed in the    
…..capitol by slaveholders, threatening to involve us in a war with England
for the
support of the Slave Trade….

That the deep corruption with which slavery has infected the heart of the

American Church, presents a most alarming symptom of utter apostasy from the
religion taught by the Savior and his apostles.

That those churches and ministers who continue, after all the light which

the discussion of the last ten years has poured upon the subject of Slavery, to
withhold their influence, private and public, from the anti-slavery cause, ought no
longer to be recognized as teachers of religion and guides on the way to Heaven, but
    at best as mere pupils, who are to be taught the first and simplest elements of

That we view with regret and abhorrence that violation of the laws of God

and man, and that destruction of our inalienable and constitutional rights, which is
exhibited in the unjust imprisonment of Alanson Work, Geo. Thompson, and James E.
Burr, citizens of Illinois, in the penitentiary of Missouri, and tend to those
suffering brethren our Christian sympathies as those who are persecuted for
righteousness’ sake.  

 That in all our efforts to promote the cause of humanity, we cheerfully and

fully recognize our entire dependence upon the Divine, and (His) blessing for the
success of our enterprise.

 That we would earnestly entreat our brethren and fellow citizens, by all

that is interesting in human relations, by all that is desirable in the favor of God,
and by all that is fearful in the executions of his wrath, to extend the hand of
kindness and hospitality in all things necessary for his escape, to every panting
fugitive from the Southern prison house, who may come within the reach of their

That we earnestly recommend to the members of this society, on their return

to their homes, to endeavor, in their several districts, to appoint, awaken, or
strengthen, as the case may require, the monthly concert of prayer for the
and oppressor.

That the thanks of this Society be tendered to the First Presbyterian

Church and to the citizens of Chicago, for their kindness in opening this house
the sessions of our body, and for the hospitality which has been so liberally
to its members. 


To the Executive Committee of
the Illinois Anti-Slavery Society

…The position we occupy and the strong hold we maintain in the view of this nation, and of the world, should stimulate to noblest acts of bearing and self denial.  The flood of light that has been poured upon the dark doings of slavery; exposing to view the odious features of the monster, has not failed to awaken a dormant sympathy in many philanthropic bosoms, and has caused the appeal of the still small voice to be heard by the oft hushed yet troubled conscience of the slaveholder while reflecting on his dark and dangerous and sinful position.  The rapid advance of free discussion, and the bold stand taken by the champions of freedom, as well within as without the walls of our national councils, cannot fail to inspire the friend of humanity and the humble Christian, with a believing hope that the onward march of an enlightened and correct public sentiment will speedily turn the scale and forever abolish the institution against which we are arrayed, and strike off the fetters which bind two millions of our fellow citizens in unjust and cruel bondage.  Then, and not till then, it will be our duty – our happiness (in humble imitation of those patriots from whom we proudly claim our descent,)  to disband – to return the sword into the scabbard, (never forgetting that our weapons are not carnal though not less powerful,) and retiring into the ranks of peaceable and quiet life, proclaim to our countrymen and to the world the accomplishment of American Independence.  – James Dickey?

For the Western Citizen 

To the free and independent electors of Dupe County


The party to which I am attached, having neglected to nominate county officers, I have thought proper to offer myself to the public, as a candidate for the office of Sheriff.  In placing myself in the position, I believe I am not governed by the motives which generally actuate aspirants to public stations.  I do not nominate myself because I expect to be a popular candidate with my party; for I expect to get more kicks than votes from all parties.  It is not because I consider myself the single person that could be selected from the Liberty Party, for I think there are many who are far better qualified for the office than I am.  It is not because I wish to hold the office, for I would rather run for …keeper of the Liberty Party than to hold the highest executive office under…(illegible)

…and not because my personal or political friends have decided for me to do so; and I….that no friends would advise me to place myself in this position.  I do it on my own personal responsibility; without consulting with any person on the subject; for the sole purpose of giving the members of the Liberty Party, and all other liberty men, an opportunity to vote for one who represents the principles of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity; and not be obliged to throw away their votes upon the representatives of the slaveholding parties.

As I consider it always due to the people to know the political principles of candidates for office, I will briefly state some of the leading articles of my political creed, and will hold myself in readiness, at any time to answer any questions in relation thereto.  I go for free labor, free trade, free soil, free speech, free press and free people.  I go for the Wilmot Proviso and something more.  I go for the abolition of slavery, where it is, as well as where it is not.  I believe that all just human government is vested in the people; and that any enactment, which deprives a part of the people of participating in the government, is just as much a usurpation as one that aims to establish an absolute despotism.  I therefore consider the Black Laws of this state to have no binding force upon the people; and that no civil officer ought to aid in enforcing them.

And now, fellow citizens, choose ye, at this election, whom ye will have to serve you; whether an instrument of despotism, or a representative of the rights of the people.

                                      Babcock’s Grove, July 25th, 1848

                                                THOMAS FILER

Western Citizen  August 1, 1848  Courtesy of Lombard Historical Museum

Slavery As It Is

Ride For Liberty
Click on Image to Read the
Story of the Baptist Fugitive

Click Image to View

       Western Citizen October 24, 1848

MORMON TEMPLE BURNED. – The temple at Nauvoo, the splendid relief of Jo. Smith’s Apostolic mission, has been burned down.  It was set on fire in the cupola, and everything but the bare and dismal walls has been destroyed.  So perished in one day this great monument of man-made religion and human folly, even in the generation that gave it birth.

...for the abolition of all institutions and customs which do not recognize and respect the image of God, and a human brother, in every man, of whatever clime, color, or condition
of humanity.

The Underground Railroad was chartered not by law,
but in moral conviction.
Engineered not by science, but through charity.
Constructed not with money, but out of love.
Freighted not with commerce, but with downtrodden humanity

      -  Illinois Governor John Beveridge

“I pay the highest tribute to these people because…they were fined, they were driven into economic disaster, and yet they continued to do it…”

“It is, in my view, …one of the greatest movements in the history of this country.”

“It’s unfortunate we know so little about it and that we never honor the people who were involved in that whole process, and what they did for America.”

Lerone Bennett – Ebony Magazine 
from Wade in the Water - a film by James Macon &
Northern Illinois University

The first runaway that came to the (Deacon David) West home appeared in 1842.  He was the first black person the West children had ever seen.  He was terribly frightened by every little sound.  He had tried to escape before and had been captured and flogged.  This first runaway stayed a little while at the West’s, hiding in a cornfield during the day and sleeping at night in the barn or under the haystack.  Mr. West loaded some grain into his wagon, covered the grain and the slave with a blanket and started for Chicago.

Many of the slaves that came by were covered with stripes from head to foot.  Once, when Mr. West was not at home seven men arrived.  Mrs. West, who was uneasy about having them stay there, especially when her husband was gone, decided to have (son) Elias, then 14, drive them to St. Charles before morning.  Elias told of one slave who rubbed onions on the soles of his shoes to escape the bloodhounds.  This man had also waded in water for miles to break the scent trail.

Once when two strong men slaves found shelter at the West place, a sheriff from the South had traced them to Sycamore (Illinois) and had posted a $10,000 reward…Sylvanus Holcomb told the sheriff, yes, he had seen Mr. West go by and that Mr. West was so skillful with a rifle that he could hit the eye of a deer at long range.  What was more, he could do the same with a two-legged animal if necessary.  The sheriff gave up and turned back.  In time, owners ceased to follow their slaves into northern territory.

The West children became fond of (one runaway) girl and asked her to let them know of her safe arrival in Canada.  A year later they received a letter saying she had reached her desired destination.  She had waited a year so she could go to school and learn to read and write before letting them know she had found friends. 

Excerpts taken from  My DeKalb Chronicle  by Alice Barber Whitmore  Courtesy of the Joiner History Room, Sycamore Illinois

…The Wm. Eddy home on Somonauk Creek was one of the underground stations, as was the Beveridge home in Somonauk …With the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, people in the free states were required to help catch runaways.  Enormous sums were offered for the apprehension of them.  Heavy fines or imprisonment, sometimes both, were imposed if one  was discovered helping a slave to escape.  Considering the many hardships the early settlers faced, one has to wonder why they risked their lives.

The actions of Congress so angered the local people, that a mass meeting “without distinction of sex or party” was called for November 30, 1850.  Many members of the Beveridge family were present at this meeting.  After an illustrious military career, one of them went on to become Governor of this state.  Ten resolutions were drawn up and approved by the people gathered there.

How brave these people were to take such a position!  Apparently they cherished freedom more than monetary gains and perhaps more than life itself.  What high moral fibre they must have had to speak out against such injustice.

Our community is a much better place for having had people like this settle in our area and because of their actions, the “Underground Railroad” will never be forgotten.

William Eddy owned a magnificent span of bay horses that he was wont to drive, hitched to what was then known as a Democrat Wagon (light spring wagon).  One night there was brought to him a mulatto and his octoroon wife who had been spirited up from southern Illinois.  Both government officials and the old slave association through that section, “Knights of the Golden Circle,” were moving heaven and earth to break up slave running.  They called Wm. Eddy a “Nigger Lover.”  It was his place in the underground railroad chain to move the young Negro couple over into Indiana.

The next morning he hitched his bays to the Democrat Wagon, put two or three sacks of wheat in the back of the box and covered them carefully with a blanket, then started out, leaving the frightened Negroes with his wife Eunice.  He had not gone five miles when he discovered a group of horsemen on his trail, as he had expected.  He started the race and they never caught up and surrounded his rig until he had almost reached Elerding’s pioneer flour mill on the Vermilion River.  They were sheepishly apologetic when they found he had sacks of wheat instead of Negroes.  That night the two Negroes took the place of the grain sacks and were safely landed at the next station.

Courtesy of the Joiner History Room,  Sycamore, IL

There were two branches of the underground railroad at Babcock’s Grove, operating on a chain with Plainfield.  Sheldon Peck’s house, which still stands on the southwest corner of Grove Avenue and Parkside Street in Lombard, was one of these.  The other branch was at Thomas Filer’s house on present Crescent Boulevard, about a mile west.  An ardent abolitionist, Thomas Filer used his basement to conceal runaway slaves sent to him, perhaps, by Professor Matlack at Wheaton College.  Filer or Peck would then transport the Negroes, concealed in wagons loaded with produce, to the Tremont House station in Chicago.  The songs the slaves sang and the scars of lash wounds on their bodies made a deep impression on the Peck children.

From Dupage County Guide

…Thomas Filer, one of the Filer brothers, old settlers in our county, purchased a tract of land…He built a residence, now standing, and immediately abutting the highway he constructed what purported to be a barn of grout, etc., but really it was a station on the famous Underground Railway.  In other words, a well established route for runaway slaves on their way from southern slavery to freedom in Canada.

Mr. Filer was a radical abolitionist and undoubtedly aided many an escaping slave by furnishing food, shelter, and transportation.  Filer would house them until a favorable opportunity presented itself and then take them to Chicago and put them in charge of such men as Dr. C.V. Dyer and Philo Carpenter, wealthy philanthropists who saw to it that the fugitives were transported safely to the Canadian shore.

From Reminiscences of Old Glen  By L.C. Cooper
Courtesy of Glen Ellyn Historical Society

Filer Home

Two of the several stations on the Underground in Du Page County were the Sheldon Peck home and the Thomas Filer home, built in 1840 on (present) Crescent Boulevard.  Both men were sincere abolitionists.  They secreted slaves who reached their stations until it was deemed safe to transport them to the next station and from there to Canada.  The walls of the Filer house were double, leaving a chamber about three feet wide running the length of the building.  It was in that space that the slaves were hidden in cases of emergency.  At the rear of the house a shaft led to the basement.  From the basement, with an entrance concealed under a stairway, Mr. Filer built a tunnel running to the outside under the hill back of the house to the barn.  When it appeared safe, the fugitives slept in the barn. 

On March 7, 1928, this historic house caught fire…   Coming to light at the time of the fire was the cubbyhole under the stairway of this house that served as a station on the Underground Railway -- the entrance to the tunnel that led to the barn through which Mr. Filer passed the runaways into the barn. 

Frank Peck (Sheldon Peck’s son) wrote in his notebook of seeing as many as seven slaves sheltered under the Peck roof at one time when he was a small boy. 

From Footsteps on the Tall Grass Prairie by Lillian Budd

Fire Destroys Historical Building

The Bernard place was one of the first residences erected in DuPage County and is of historic interest on account of the fact that it was one of the stations on the underground railway used by escaping slaves prior to the War of the Rebellion.  It was its peculiar construction, which made it so difficult to fight the fire.  The walls are double in the upper portion leaving a chamber about three feet square running the length of the house, in which the slaves would hide when there.  There was a shaft at the rear of the house leading to the basement and from the basement a tunnel ran to the outside under the hill back of the house….The tunnel under the hill is blocked  off from the house and filled in on the hill, but the traces of it may readily be discerned. 

…The house was built in 1840 by Walter Filer, one of the outstanding characters in DuPage County history, and the head of the underground railroad system by which escaping slaves were helped on their way to Canada.  The next station was said to be the old Hopville house in Oak Park.  The Bernard family acquired the place from Mr. Filer shortly after the close of the War of the Rebellion.

From the Lombard Spectator March 8, 1928

Opposed to Slavery

…Among them were Sheldon Peck, a Methodist from Vermont and an artist by profession, …and much interested in the temperance cause.  He also wrote a great deal of poetry…

Another was Thomas Filer, a most excellent man and deeply impressed with the evils of slavery.  These two men were conductors of the “Underground Railroad,” and carried many an escaping slave to Chicago, where Dr. Dyer and others forwarded them to Canada.

From a History of DuPage County, Bateman & Selby, 1913

“Some time before this in the excitement during the Civil War at a public meeting (other accounts place this meeting on July 4th at the Filer home) the reading of the Declaration of Independence was called for to be read in public, but no copy could be found then.  Mr. Thomas Filer arose to his feet and recited it word for word from memory without any hitch or error.  The first pioneers of Lincoln’s time, many of them were clear headed shrewd men.  The Temperance question was much discussed about these times.”     -- Frank Peck

 Courtesy Margot Fruehe

"Gentlemen of the Anti-Slavery Com.

Nothing but sickness or death will prevent my attending your Convention on the 9th."

Respectfully Yours,

Thomas Filer

Sergeant Co. H 17th Ill. Cav.

Courtesy The Chicago Historical Society

The Rev. W.M. Mitchell, who worked with escaped slaves, wrote the following regarding the activities of bounty hunters:

“On seeing advertisements in the newspapers of escaped slaves, with rewards offered, they, armed to the teeth, saunter in and through Abolitionist Communities or towns, where they are likely to find the object of their pursuit.  They sometimes watch the houses of known Abolitionists…We are hereby warned and for our own safety and that of the slave, we act with excessive caution.  If the slave has not reached us, we are on the lookout…Should the slave be so fortunate as to be in our possession at the time, we are compelled to keep very quiet, until the hunter loses all hopes of finding him, therefore gives up the search as a bad job, or moves to another Abolitionist Community, which gives us an opportunity of removing the Fugitive further from danger, or sending him towards the North Star…”

Courtesy Margot Fruehe


An ardent love of humanity – a deep consciousness of the injustice of slavery – a heart full of sympathy for the oppressed, and a due appreciation of the blessings of freedom, has given birth to the poetry comprising this volume.  I have long desired to see these sentiments of love, of sympathy, of justice and humanity, so beautifully expressed in poetic measure, embalmed in sweet music; so that all the people, - the rich, the poor, the young, and the old, who have hearts to feel, and tongues to move, may sing of the wrongs of slavery, and the blessings of liberty, until every human being shall recognize in his fellow an equal; - “a man and a brother.”  Until by familiarity with these sentiments, and their influence upon their hearts, the people, whose duty it is, shall “undo the heavy burdens and let the oppressed go free.”  --  G.W. Clark

From the 1844 Campaign Songbook
  of the Liberty Party:

Play: Strike For Liberty

Sons of Freedom's honored sires,
Light anew your beacon fires,
Fight till every foe retires
From your hallowed soil.
Sons of Pilgrim Fathers blest,
Pilgrim Mothers gone to rest,
Listen to their high behest,
Strike for Liberty.

Ministers of God to men,
Heed ye not the nation's sin?
Heaven's blessing can ye win
If ye falter now?
Men of blood now ask your vote,
O'er your heads their banners float;
Raise, Oh raise the warning note,
God and duty call!

Men of justice, bold and brave,
To the ballot-box and save
Freedom from her opening grave
Onward!  brothers, on!
Christian patriots, tried and true,
Freedom's eyes now turn to you;
Foes are many -- are ye few?
Gideon's God is yours!

EC Guild

Jesse Kellogg

JW Filer

   Sheldon Peck

Deacon David West

Owen Lovejoy

Eunice Guild

Henry B. Hemenway

Eunice Woodworth Filer

See:  This Mysterious Road

" It is not to be doubted, I know with absolute certainty that the division of the United States into federations of equal force was decided long before the Civil War by the high financial powers of Europe, these bankers were afraid that the United States if they remained as one block and as one nation, would attain economic and financial independence which would upset their financial domination over the world."

 Otto Von Bismark, Chancellor of Germany, 1871-1890

Let The People Rejoice! 
Capital Shall Not Own Us!
The People True to Liberty
She votes for Lincoln
She chooses a Republican Legislature
She Repudiates Douglas



Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord

He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored,

He has loosed the fateful lightening of His terrible swift sword

His truth is marching on.

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!

Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!

His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps

They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps

I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps

His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel writ in burnish'd rows of steel,

"As ye deal with my contemners, So with you my grace shall deal,"

Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel

Since God is marching on.

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat

He is sifting out the hearts of men before His judgment-seat

Oh, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!

Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,

With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:

As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,

While God is marching on!

This hymn was born dur­ing the Amer­i­can ci­vil war, when Julia W.Howe vis­it­ed a Un­ion Ar­my camp on the Po­to­mac Riv­er near Wash­ing­ton, D. C. She heard the sol­diers sing­ing the song “John Brown’s Body,” and was tak­en with the strong march­ing beat. She wrote the words the next day

"I awoke in the grey of the morn­ing, and as I lay wait­ing for dawn, the long lines of the de­sired po­em be­gan to en­twine them­selves in my mind, and I said to my­self, “I must get up and write these vers­es, lest I fall asleep and for­get them!” So I sprang out of bed and in the dim­ness found an old stump of a pen, which I re­mem­bered us­ing the day be­fore. I scrawled the vers­es al­most with­out look­ing at the p­aper."

The hymn ap­peared in the At­lant­ic Month­ly in 1862.


When seeking financing for the war, Lincoln rejected the usury of the banks who were prepared to finance the North at 24% to 36% interest. Instead he began printing 'Greenbacks' which the US currency design has followed ever since. Lincoln was moved to remark, "I have two enemies; the Southern army in front of me and the financial institutions in the rear. Of the two, the one in the rear is my greatest foe." 


"No man is good enough to govern another man without that other's consent. . . . These United States of America can never be destroyed from forces outside its borders. If America falls, it will fall from within, brought down by apathy. When good people do nothing, anarchy reigns."

- Abraham Lincoln in a 1854 letter to Congress

"Our safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution of the United States as our fathers made it inviolate. The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution."

"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts."

"My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth."

Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln's Farewell Address

Springfield, Illinois  February 11, 1861

"My friends, no one, not in my situation, can appreciate my feeling of sadness at this parting. To this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything. Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young to an old man. Here my children have been born, and one is buried. I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of the Divine Being who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail. Trusting in Him who can go with me, and remain with you, and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell."

Springfield Train Depot

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