Lincoln and Fort Sumter

It is not the least tragedy of a tragic life that Lincoln was obliged to face the most terrible decision of all, before he had grown to the full height of his Presidential stature. 

Abraham Lincoln, 8 November, 1863.

In 1829, the United States government began the construction of a fort at the entrance to the harbour of Charleston, South Carolina. That same year, in distant Indiana, Abraham Lincoln had just returned from his long trip to New Orleans, and the Lincoln family was preparing for its next move westwards, into Illinois. The fort could have meant nothing to the young Lincoln; in little more than three decades, it was to mean everything.

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