« PreviousContinue »
should be neither a living man nor a dead man-such as a policy of don't care' on
a question about which all true men do care-such as Union appeals beseeching true Union men to yield to Disunionists, reversing the divine rule and calling, not the sinners but the righteous to repentance."
TO HON. HORACE GREELEY, NEW YORK,
AUG. 22, 1862.
“ I would save the Union. would save it in the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored, the nearer the Union will be the Union as it was.' If there be those who would not
save the Union unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union, and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union."
SPEECH AT ALTON, ILLS., OCT. 15, 1858.
“ Is it not a false statesmanship that undertakes to build up a system of policy upon the basis of caring nothing about the very thing that everybody does care the most about?, -a thing which all experience has shown we care a great deal about ?"
SPEECH AT COLUMBUS, O., SEPT., 1859.
“I avoid doing so (fighting a fallacy) upon this principle—that if it were important for me to pass out of this lot in the least period of time possible, and I came to that fence and saw by a calculation of my known strength and agility that I could clear it at a bound, it would be folly for me to stop and consider whether I could not crawl through a crack."
SPEECH AT GALESBURG, ILLS., OCT. 7,
“He could not denounce the doctrine of kings and monarchies in Russia, and it may be true of this country, that in some places we may not be able to proclaim a doctrine as clearly true as the truth of Democracy, because there is a section so directly opposed to it that they will not tolerate us in doing so. Is it the true test of the soundness of a doctrine, that in some places the people will not let you proclaim it? Is that the way to
test the truth of
“ Whatever motive a man or set of men may have for making annexation of property or territory (to the nation) it is very easy to assert, much less easy to disprove, that it is necessary for the wants of the country."
CONVERSATION WITH W. H. HERNDON,
1850. “How hard, oh, how hard it is to die, and leave one's country no better than if one had never lived for it! The world is dead to hope, deaf to its own death-struggle, made
known by a universal cry. What is to be done? Is anything to be done? Who can do anything? And how is it to be done? Did you ever think of these things ?”
SPEECH AT SPRINGFIELD, ILLS., JUNE
17, 1859. “We did this (organized the party) under the single impulse of resistance to a common danger, with every
external circumstance against us. Of strange, discordant, and
hostile elements, we gathered from the four winds, and formed and fought the battle through.
OTTAWA SPEECH, AUG. 21, 1858.
My own feelings will not admit of this ; and if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not. Whether this feeling accords with justice and