by Abraham Lincoln
32 minutes, 53 seconds
President Lincoln’s thoughtful and passionate (but ultimately unsuccessful) plea to keep southern states from seceding from the Union and to avoid the coming Civil War, delivered as he entered office during the most divisive time in U.S. history.
“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
Delivered March 4, 1861, just two weeks after Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as the president of the Confederacy.
“With malice toward none, with charity for all…” The end of the Civil War in sight, Lincoln took the oath of office a second time and gave one of the most America’s most famous speeches, and the shortest inaugural address in U.S. history.
This speech is inscribed, along with the The Gettysburg Address, in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. In many ways, Lincoln’s second inaugural address was a sequel to the address at Gettysburg, honoring the fallen and reflecting on the guilt and loss of a nation.
Delivered March 4, 1865, a month and 10 days before his assassination.
Read by Alex Wilson. Note: the podcasted version only includes the 1965 address; the zip files above contain both speeches.
Originally for sale on July 23, 2004, and released free with a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License five years later. See the Mission page for why.
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) was the sixteenth president of the United States, residing over a nation divided by slavery, states rights, and The Civil War.
Alex Wilson is a writer and actor from northern Ohio and now based in Carrboro, North Carolina. His stories and comics have appeared/will appear in Asimov's Science Fiction, The Rambler, Outlaw Territory II (Image Comics), Weird Tales, Futurismic, LCRW and elsewhere. Locus has called him a "promising new writer," and Publishers Weekly also has nice things to say. Website)
Alex has performed lead roles in the North American premiere of (Richard Taylor's musical) Whistle Down the Wind and (Emmy-nominated director Jack Lucido's film) The Third Cord. He has recently appeared in the Deep Dish Theater productions of Hedda Gabler and Moon for the Misbegotten, and recorded narrations for Escape Pod and Night Shade Books. (Acting Resume/Reel) On early Telltale recordings, Alex is sometimes credited as "Alexander Wilson." He founded Telltale in 2004.