Tuesday marked the 152nd anniversary of Abe Lincoln's stopped in Peekskill. It was the only place in Westchester he ever visited. He was on the way to his first inauguration, and came to visit an old friend from his days in the House of Representatives.
His pal was William Nelson, but I like to think of him as good ole “Willie Nelson”. Makes for a more colorful mental image.
Here's what he said to the assembled crowd of over 1,000 people on Feb. 19, 1861:
“I have but a moment to stand before you to listen to and return your kind greeting. I thank you for this reception, and for the pleasant manner in which it is tendered to me by our mutual friends. I will say in a single sentence, in regard to the difficulties that lie before me and our beloved country, that if I can only be as generously and unanimously sustained as the demonstration I have witnessed indicate I shall be, I shall not fail; but without your sustaining hands I am sure that neither I nor any other man can hope to surmount these difficulties. I trust in the course I shall pursue I shall be sustained not only by the party that elected me, but by the patriotic people of the whole country.”
Today we have the Lincoln Museum Train Depot, with a great statue of Honest Abe out front as well as the Lincoln Excedra on South Street, overlooking the site, commemorating that momentous event in Peekskill history.