|President Abraham Lincoln's Message to Congress on the State of the Union, December 1, 1862, selected pages|
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The Constitution requires that the President “. . . shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union.” As was the custom in the nineteenth century, the President delivered his message in writing; a congressional clerk read it aloud. Here is the final portion of President Lincoln’s State of the Union message to Congress for 1862.
As the Union lay in shambles, the shining vision of the nation’s Founders persisted in the mind of President Lincoln. Throughout the war, he exercised extraordinary powers and an iron will to preserve for mankind “the last best, hope of earth.”
National Archives, Records of the U.S. Senate