Your Mission


Your Mission


Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865
Gates, Ellen M. H. (Maria Huntington) 1835-1920
Grannis, S. M.
Sheet music
United States--History--Civil War (1861-1865)--Songs and music


"As sung by Mr. Phillips at the request of President Lincoln." Page contains four lines of music with six verses and explanatory text. Fascimile of note by Abraham Lincoln rquesting that this song be sung, followed by a short account of the singing, attributed to Duncan C. Milner , May 27, 1916 from the Ravenswood Citizen.


Gates, Ellen M. H. (Maria Huntington) and Grannis, S. M.


Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum




Chicago Law and Order League and the Hyde Park Protective Association










YOUR MISSION (As sung by Mr. Phillips at the request of President Lincoln.) Words by Mrs E H Gates S.M. Grannis

1. If you cannot on the ocean Sail among the swiftest fleet. rocking on the highest billows, Laughing at the storms you meet; You can stand among the sailors, Anchor'd yet within the bay, you can lend a hand to help them, As they launch their boats away, As they launch their boats away.

2. If you are too weak to journey Up the mountain, steep and high, You can stand within the valley, While the multitudes go by; You can chant in happy measure, As they slowly pass along, tho' they may forget the singer, they will not forget the song, They will not forget the song.

3. If you have not gold and silver Ever ready to command; If you cannot t'wards the needy Reach an ever-open hand; You can visit the afflicted, O'er the erring you can weep, You can be a true disciple. Sitting at the Saviour's feet.

4. If you cannot in the conflict Prove yourself a soldier true, If, where fire and smoke are thickest, there's no work for you do do; When the battlefield is silent, You can go with a careful tread, You can bear away the wounded, You can cover up the dead.

5. If you cannot in the harvest Garner up the richest sheaves, Many a grain both ripe and golden Will the careless reapers leave; Go and glean among the briars, Growing rank against the wall, For it may be that their shadow Hides the heaviest wheat of all.

6. Do not, then, stand idly waiting For some greater work to do; Fortune is a lazy goddess, She will never come to you. Go, and toil in any vineyard, Do not fear to do or dare' If you want a field of labor, You can find it anywhere.

AT the final Anniversary of the United States Christian Commission, held in the Hall of Representatives in the year 1865, the following request (facsimile) was handed to the Chairman of the Meeting, the Hon. W. H. Seward:-

Near the close let us have "Your Mission" repeated by Mr Phillips

Don't say I called for it. A. Lincoln

The United States Christian Commission was devoted to the physical and spiritual care of the soldiers and sailors of the Civil War. At the meeting referred to above Secretary of State Wm. H. Seward presided. In the great audience were President and Mrs. Lincoln, members of the cabinet, of the Supreme Court, prominent officers of the army and navy and noted senators and congressmen and distinguished citizens. When Mr. Phillips sang "Your Mission" it was noted that Mr. Lincoln was deeply affected, tears ran down his cheeks. This song, repeated at his request, reflects his real character and sentiment. I am informed from a reliable source that the man who took the message from Abraham Lincoln to Chairman Seward was John V Farwell of Chicago.

Duncan C. Milner.

From the Ravenswood Citizen, May 27, 1916.

Compliments of Chicago Law and Order League and the Hyde Park Protective Association, Room 1305 19 S. La Salle St., Chicago. Telephone Central 4583

Illinois State Historical Library



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