Global tributes for Abraham Lincoln anniversary

Abraham Lincoln

One hundred and fifty years ago America's 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, was assassinated and to mark the anniversary civic leaders from around the world have been invited to send in their reflections on Lincoln's legacy.

The invitation has been extended by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, which has written to Victoria's Legislative Council President, Bruce Atkinson, with a copy of the condolence letter that was sent from the Victorian Parliament at the time of the assassination in 1865.

Mr Atkinson has accepted the invitation on behalf of the Victorian Parliament, noting that it was the inaugural President of the Legislative Council, Sir James Frederick Palmer, who had the solemn duty to convey the condolences and heartfelt sympathy of the people of the colony of Victoria to the American Government, the people of America and Mrs Mary Todd Lincoln.

“While there were many issues confronting the new government of the Australian colony, the assassination of President Lincoln in April 1865 was profoundly lamented,” Mr Atkinson has written in his letter to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

“Lincoln stands as one of the great leaders of world history who built on the foundations of America’s independence and fledgling democracy with the recognition of, and commitment to, the equality and dignity of all people.”

In his letter, Mr Atkinson has highlighted Lincoln’s conviction, courage, vision and intellect, but also remarked on his great humility.

“Lincoln’s legacy,” wrote Mr Atkinson, “transcends his role in a divided America and in a civil war that challenged the very foundations of a democracy that has ever since enshrined the principle of the freedom of the individual within society and celebrated the contribution that each individual might make to society.”

Mr Atkinson remarked that, despite the passage of years, Lincoln remains greatly admired by people, including in Victoria.

“For all of the hallmarks of leadership Lincoln demonstrated as President, we are mindful that his term in office included just six weeks of peace and that the defining American civil war ended just two months after his tragic assassination.

“Sadly, America and the world were deprived of the great accomplishments that Lincoln, the wartime President and extraordinary leader, might have made in peace.”

For more information on Abraham Lincoln and his legacy visit the website of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

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