Guest Essayist: David Eastman, Claremont Institute Abraham Lincoln Fellow

On March 4th 1861, Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as president.  One week later, The Constitution of the Confederate States of America was adopted by the Constitutional Convention in Montgomery, Alabama.2  Midway into the ratification process, on March 21st, provisionally elected Vice President of the Confederate States, Alexander Stephens, mounted the stage of the Athenaeum Theatre in Savannah and delivered what has come to be known as the Cornerstone Speech.  Read more

Former Senator Jefferson Davis became president of the Confederate government, while former Georgia Congressman Alexander Stephens became vice president. Three weeks after Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration, Stephens delivered this speech in Savannah, identifying the cornerstone of the Confederacy as an idea opposite to the equality principle of the American founding.

March 21, 1861

At half past seven o’clock on Thursday evening, the largest audience ever assembled at the Athenaeum was in the house, waiting most impatiently for the appearance of the orator of the evening, Read more