President Abraham Lincoln was shot 150 years ago today, at about 10:30pm. He dies the next day, April 15, 1865, never regaining consciousness.
April 15th is more commonly thought of as Tax Day now, the day that federal income tax forms are due.
Did you know that Abraham Lincoln created the federal income tax and the Internal Revenue Service? It was created, essentially, to raise funds to continue the Union’s fight during the Civil War. The war that changed our country from a union of states into one nation. The war that ended slavery in North America, at the cost of 750,000 military and civilian lives.
Some have said that the Civil War was the price the nation had to pay for hundreds of years of slavery in North America. A “tax”, so to speak, to extirpate itself of the sin of human bondage.
There’s a curious congruency between that thought and the fact that federal taxes are due on the day that Lincoln died. I wouldn’t take that idea too far, but Lincoln paid, and we continue to pay a price for the continuance of that same government, the nation that it defines, and the freedoms it is intended to preserve.