OTD: You’re Elected Mr. Lincoln!

On this day, February 13, 1861, a day after his 52nd birthday, Abraham Lincoln is officially recognized as President of these United States.

Abraham Lincoln left Springfield on a thirteen-day trip to Washington,  where he would begin serving as our President. He celebrated his 52nd  birthday along the way, being born on February 12, 1809.

One of his stops was in Columbus, Ohio, where he arrived on the afternoon of February 13, 1861. Earlier that day in Cincinnati, the new  President-elect narrowly escaped death when a would-be assassin planted a  bomb on his train, which, thankfully, was disposed of safely. These threats didn’t stop Honest Abe; he pressed on to Columbus.

Thousands of enthusiastic supporters were awaiting Lincoln’s train with shouts of joy and booming cannons. From there he was escorted by a military parade to the Ohio Statehouse where he addressed the Ohio General  Assembly.

“It is true,” Lincoln told the assembly, “as has been said by the President of the Senate, that very great responsibility rests upon me in the position to which the votes of the American people have called me. I am deeply sensible of that weighty responsibility.”

That afternoon, while meeting with Ohio Governor, William Dennison Jr.,  a messenger arrived with the Electoral College results. The messenger  told Lincoln,

“The votes were counted peaceably. You are elected.”