Men stood around, the air thick with unshared opinions, excitement, disgust, and even anger. Small whisperings and throat clearing echoed off the plaster ceiling and paneled walls, but the President couldn’t make out any of the words.
His mind wandered to his children. The world they would grow up in was filled with men like these, believing both sides of the debate. The paper he was about to sign would silence them all, not only in the room, but in the entire world.
He dipped the quill in the ink and the men held their breath, eyes focused on his hand. The quill moved in long fluid strokes.
On February first, 1865, the 13th Amendment was signed, outlawing slavery. No more would his children have to see other children bruised, bleeding, in chains, sold like cattle just because they had differently colored skin. No human could own another to do with as they pleased. Resolve burned in his chest.
Lincoln sat back as the parchment was whisked away. The men clapped, even if they hated him.