Wise councils may accelerate or mistakes delay it, but, sooner or later the victory is sure to come.
Mr. Chairman, this movement is exclusively the work of politicians; a set of men who have interests aside from the interests of the people, and who, to say the most of them, are, taken as a mass, at least one long step removed from honest men. I say this with the greater freedom because, being a politician myself, none can regard it as personal.:
These capitalists generally act harmoniously, and in concert, to fleece the people, and now, that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people's money to settle the quarrel.
In one faculty, at least, there can be no dispute of the gentleman's superiority over me, and most other men; and that is, the faculty of entangling a subject, so that neither himself, or any other man, can find head or tail to it.
I once had the confidence of the people ... and if I have since done any thing, either by design or misadventure, which if known, would subject me to a forfeiture of that confidence, he that knows of that thing, and conceals it, is a traitor to his country's interest.
I go for admitting all whites to the right of suffrage, who pay taxes or bear arms, (by no means excluding females.)
Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or not, I can say for one that I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow men.
Let reverence for the Laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap.
Although bad Laws, if they exist, should be repealed as soon as possible, still while they continue in force, for the sake of example, they should be religiously observed.
If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.
... to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor.
Nothing would make me more miserable than to believe you miserable – nothing more happy, than to know you were so.
My opinion is that you had better not do it. You have not been accustomed to hardship, and it may be more severe than you now immagine.
Whatever woman may cast her lot with mine, should any ever do so, it is my intention to do all in my power to make her happy and contented; and there is nothing I can immagine, that would make me more unhappy than to fail in the effort.
The Savior of the whole world chose twelve disciples, and even one of that small number, selected by superhuman wisdom, turned out a traitor and a devil.
I never despair of sustaining myself before the people upon any measure that will stand a full investigation.
I believe it can be sustained, because it does not increase the tax upon the 'many poor' but upon the 'wealthy few.'
You were in an ill-Humor when you wrote that letter, and, no doubt, intended that I should be thrown into one also; which, however, I respectfully decline being done.
I am willing to pledge myself in black and white to cut my own throat from ear to ear, if, when I meet you, you shall seriously say, that you believe me capable of betraying my friends for any price.
The resources of the State must be husbanded. Economy is to be the order of the day. We must find some new sources of revenue. We need them, and shall need them, for many years to come.
If we do our duty we shall succeed in the congressional election, but if we relax an iota, we shall be beaten.
Others have been made fools of by the girls; but this can never be with truth said of me. I most emphatically, in this instance, made a fool of myself.
I have now come to the conclusion never again to think of marrying; and for this reason; I can never be satisfied with any one who would be blockhead enough to have me.
Having ever regarded Government as their deadliest bane, they make a jubilee of the suspension of its operations.
Remember in the depth and even the agony of despondency, that very shortly you are to feel well again.
Intensity of thought … will some times wear the sweetest idea thread-bare and turn it to the bitterness of Death .
The negroes were strung together precisely like so many fish upon a trot-line. In this condition they were being separated forever from the scenes of their childhood, their friends, their fathers and mothers, and brothers and sisters ...
I doubt not that it [the Bible] is really … the best cure for the Blues could one but take it according to the truth.
I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth.
I have, within the last few days, been making a most discreditable exhibition of myself in the way of hypochondriaism.
I know that the great volcano at Washington, aroused and directed by the evil spirit that reigns there, is belching forth the lava of political corruption ...
I would rejoice to be spared the labor of a contest; but ‘being in’ I shall go it thoroughly, and to the bottom.
I hold it to be a paramount duty of us in the free states ...to let the slavery of the other states alone.
[W]hatever fees we earn at a distance, if not paid before, we have noticed we never hear of after the work is done. We therefore, are growing a little sensitive on that point.
How miserably things seem to be arranged in this world. If we have no friends, we have no pleasure; and if we have them, we are sure to lose them, and be doubly pained by the loss.
The demon of intemperance ever seems to have delighted in sucking the blood of genius and of generosity.
It is an old and a true maxim, that a ``drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.'' So with men. If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.
To add brightness to the sun, or glory to the name of Washington, is alike impossible. Let none attempt it. In solemn awe pronounce the name, and in its naked Death less splendor, leave it shining on.
He expressed the sentiments he believed to be correct, and however much others may differ from him in those views, he has a right to be heard, and should not be interrupted.
Being elected to Congress, though I am very grateful to our friends, for having done it, has not pleased me as much as I expected.
A messenger came to tell me Bob was lost; but by the time I reached the house, his mother had found him and had him whipped – and by now very likely he is run away again.
I do not think I could myself, be brought to support a man for office, whom I knew to be an open enemy of, and scoffer at, Religion .
That I am not a member of any Christian Church, is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures; and I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of Religion in general, or of any denomination of Christians in particular.
I range the fields with pensive tread, / And pace the hollow rooms, / And feel (companion of the dead) / I’m living in the tombs.
The friends I left that parting day, / How changed, as time has sped! / Young childhood grown, strong / manhood gray, / And half of all are dead.
I promise you to ``keep cool'' under all circumstances.
When you [Mary Lincoln] were here, I thought you hindered me some in attending to business; but now, having nothing but business – no variety – it has grown exceedingly tasteless to me.
What did he and Eddy think of the little letters father sent them? Dont let the blessed fellows forget father.
It would pass at any time, were it not that every fellow must say something, and offer an amendment; and so time is wasted, it is shoved by, and is a long while coming up again.
Owing to my father being left an orphan at the age of six years, in poverty, and in a new country, he became a wholly uneducated man; which I suppose is the reason why I know so little of our family History .
Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion … and you allow him to make war at pleasure.
The blood of this war, like the blood of Abel, is crying to Heaven against him [President Polk].
Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government.
It has so happened in all ages of the world, that some have labored, and others have, without labor, enjoyed a large proportion of the fruits.
They are the majority, and therefore have both the legal and moral right to have their interest first consulted.
In harmony and good feeling, let us transact the business for which we have assembled and let no firebrands be cast amongst us to produce discord and dissensions ...
... You are an idler. I doubt whether since I saw you, you have done a good whole day's work in any one day.
Go it while you’re young!
The way for a young man to rise, is to improve himself every way he can, never suspecting that any body wishes to hinder him.
You must not wait to be brought forward by the older men. For instance do you suppose that I should ever have got into notice if I had waited to be hunted up and pushed forward by older men. … Gather up all the shrewd wild boys about town, whether just of age, or little under age.
An honest laborer digs coal at about seventy cents a day, while the president digs abstractions at about seventy dollars a day. The coal is clearly worth more than the abstractions, and yet what a monstrous inequality in the prices!
Come on just as soon as you [Mary Lincoln] can. I want to see you, and our dear-dear boys very much.
I find quite as much material for a lecture in those points wherein I have failed, as in those wherein I have been moderately successful.
Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can.
I neither seek, expect, or desire a nomination for a seat in the next Congress.
We lost our little boy. He was sick fifty-two days & died the morning of the first day of this month. It was not our first, but our second child. We miss him very much.
In 1840 we fought a fierce and laborious battle in Illinois, many of us spending almost the entire year in the contest. The general victory came, and with it, the appointment of a set of drones, including this same Butterfield, who had never spent a dollar or lifted a finger in the fight.
It is a delicate matter to oppose the wishes of a friend ...
Your petitioner has invented a new and improved manner of combining adjustable buoyant chambers with steam boats or other vessels which has not, as he verily believes been heretofore used or known ...
If you intend to go to work, there is no better place than right where you are; if you do not intend to go to work, you can not get along any where.
Squirming and crawling from place to place can do no good … Go to work is the only cure for your case.
If we [father and son] could meet now, it is doubtful whether it would not be more painful than pleasant.
When I received the letter I put it in my old hat, and buying a new one the next day, the old one was set aside, and so, the letter lost sight of for a time.
He [Zachary Taylor] seems rather to have conquered by the exercise of a sober and steady judgment, coupled with a dogged incapacity to understand that defeat was possible.
… when the din had ceased, and the smoke had blown away, our country's flag was still seen, fluttering in the breeze.
The presidency, even to the most experienced politicians, is no bed of roses. …
Never stir up litigation. A worse man can scarcely be found than one who does this. A moral tone ought to be infused into the profession which should drive such men out of it.
Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser – in fees, expenses, and waste of time.
If the negro is a man, why then my ancient faith teaches me that ``all men are created equal;'' and that there can be no moral right in connection with one man's making a slave of another.
When the white man governs himself that is self-government; but when he governs himself, and also governs another man, that is more than self-government – that is despotism.
Our government breaks down that restriction and opens the door for slavery to enter where before it could not go. This is practically legislating for slavery, recognising it, endorsing it, propagating it, extending it.
We were proclaiming ourselves political hypocrites before the world, by thus fostering Human Slavery and proclaiming ourselves, at the same time, the sole friends of Human Freedom.
In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere.
We proposed to give all a chance; and we expected the weak to grow stronger, the ignorant, wiser; and all better, and happier together.
Although volume upon volume is written to prove slavery a very good thing, we never hear of the man who wishes to take the good of it, by being a slave himself.
A free people, in times of peace and quiet – when pressed by no common danger – naturally divide into parties.
His will was indomitable; but this quality often secures to its owner nothing better than a character for useless obstinacy.
The man who is of neither party, is not – cannot be, of any consequence.
His defeat now gives me more pleasure than my own gives me pain.
As a Senator, I should claim no right, as I should feel no inclination, to give the central portion of the state any preference over the North, or any other portion of it.
We shall have a terrible struggle with our adversaries. They are desperate, and bent on desperate deeds.
It has come round that a whig may, by possibility, be elected to the U.S. Senate; and I want the chance of being the man.
I hereby decline to accept the office of Representative in the General Assembly, for the said county of Sangamon, to which office I am reported to have been elected on the 7th. of Novr. Inst.
A universal feeling, whether well or ill-founded, can not be safely ignored.
Slavery is founded in the selfishness of man’s nature – opposition to it is [in] his love of justice.
Stand with anybody that stands RIGHT. Stand with him while he is right and PART with him when he goes wrong.
According to our ancient faith, the just powers of government are derived from the consent of the governed.
Stand on middle ground and hold the ship level and steady.
When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ``all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and catholics. When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty – to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy.
From Louisville to the mouth of the Ohio there were, on board, ten or a dozen slaves, shackled together with irons.  That sight was a continual torment to me; and I see something like it every time I touch the Ohio, or any other slave-border.
As a nation, we began by declaring that ``all men are created equal.'' We now practically read it ``all men are created equal, except negroes.''
The fourth of July has not quite dwindled away; it is still a great day – for burning fire-crackers!!!
Our poltical problem now is 'Can we, as a nation, continue together permanently – forever – half slave, and half free?' The problem is too mighty for me.
I should know no better how to bring that about, than to lift myself over a fence by the straps of my boots.
Indeed I do not perceive how any one professing to be sensitive to the wrongs of the negroes, can join in a league to degrade a class of white men.
The political atmosphere is such, just now, that I fear to do any thing, lest I do wrong.
us here in Illinois? If so we would like to know it soon; it will save us a great deal of labor to surrender at once.
Have they concluded that the republican cause, generally, can be best promoted by sacraficing us here in Illinois? If so we would like to know it soon; it will save us a great deal of labor to surrender at once.
The Declaration [of Independence] contemplated the progressive improvement in the condition of all men everywhere.
One after another they have closed the heavy iron doors upon him [African Americans], and now they have him, as it were, bolted in with a lock of a hundred keys …
Let minor differences, and personal preferences, if there be such; go to the winds. Let it be seen by the result, that the cause of free-men and free-labor is stronger in Chicago that day, than ever before.
We are a great empire. We are eighty years old. We stand at once the wonder and admiration of the whole world.
Douglas is a great man – at keeping from answering questions he don't want to answer.
It is a long time till the election; and what may turn up, no one can tell.
The Union, in any event, won’t be dissolved. We don’t want to dissolve it, and if you attempt it, we won’t let you.
The slave-breeders and slave-traders, are a small, odious and detested class, among you; and yet in politics, they dictate the course of all of you, and are as completely your masters, as you are the masters of your own negroes.
I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved – I do not expect the house to fall – but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing, or all the other.
Of strange, discordant, and even, hostile elements, we gathered from the four winds, and formed and fought the battle through, under the constant hot fire of a disciplined, proud, and pampered enemy.
Legislation and adjudication must follow, and conform to, the progress of society.
I think our prospects gradually, and steadily, grow better; though we are not yet clear out of the woods by a great deal.
Politically speaking, there is a curious state of things here.
As yet, the wind is an untamed, and unharnessed force; and quite possibly one of the greatest discoveries hereafter to be made, will be the taming, and harnessing of the wind.
Climbing upon the back of an animal, and making it carry us, might not occur very readily. I think the back of the camel would never have suggested it.
Who shall say 'I am the superior, and you are the inferior'?
I believe there is no right, and ought to be no inclination in the people of the free States to enter into the slave States, and interfere with the question of slavery at all. I have said that always.
You don’t know what you are talking about, my friend. I am quite willing to answer any gentleman in the crowd who asks an intelligent question.
May they [firefighters] extinguish all the bad flames, but keep the flame of patriotism ever burning brightly in the hearts of the ladies.
The leading rule for the Lawyer, as for the man of every other calling, is diligence. Leave nothing for to-morrow which can be done to-day.
How in God’s name do you let such paragraphs into the Tribune? ... I confess it astonishes me.
I was a candidate when the Mexican war broke out – and I then took the ground, which I never varied from, that the Administration had done wrong in getting us into the war, but that the Officers and soldiers who went to the field must be supplied and sustained at all events.
In my opinion, neither the General Government, nor any other power outside of the slave states, can constitutionally or rightfully interfere with slaves or slavery where it already exists.
When a man hears himself somewhat misrepresented, it provokes him – at least, I find it so with myself; but when the misrepresentation becomes very gross and palpable, it is more apt to amuse him.
If you wish to be a Lawyer, attach no consequence to the place you are in, or the person you are with; but get books, sit down anywhere, and go to reading for yourself. That will make a Lawyer of you quicker than any other way.
As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy.
Yours of yesterday, naming places, times, and terms, for joint discussions between us, was received this morning. Although, by the terms, as you propose, you take four openings and closes to my three, I accede, and thus close the [debate] arrangement.
I agree to an arrangement [of debates] for us to speak at the seven places you have named, and at your own times.
I do not wish Douglas to put words into my mouth. I do not wish him to construe my words as he pleases, and then represent me as meaning what he wishes me to mean, but I do wish the people to read and judge for themselves.
I will not say that [Douglas] willfully misquotes, but he does fail to quote accurately.
I planted myself upon the truth, and the truth only, so far as I knew it, or could be brought to know it.
I claim not to be more free from errors than others – perhaps scarcely so much.
Nobody has ever expected me to be President. In my poor, lean, lank face nobody has ever seen that any cabbages were sprouting out.
The smallest problems are often the most difficult things to deal with.
It used to be a fashion amongst men that when a charge was made, some sort of proof was brought forward to establish it, and if no proof was found to exist, the charge was dropped.
Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere.
Familiarize yourself with the chains of bondage, and you are preparing your own limbs to wear them.
By all means, don’t say 'If I can'; say 'I will.'
I am ... pledged to a belief in the right and duty of Congress to prohibit slavery in all the United States Territories.
I should be exceedingly glad to know that there would never be another slave State admitted into the Union ... I should be exceedingly glad to see slavery abolished in the District of Columbia.
Douglas and I, for the first time this canvass, crossed swords here yesterday; the fire flew some, and I am glad to know I am yet alive.
With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed. Consequently he who molds public sentiment, goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or pronounces decisions.
There is no reason in the world why the negro is not entitled to all the natural rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. [Loud cheers.] I hold that he is as much entitled to these as the white man.
Has Douglas the exclusive right, in this country, of being on all sides of all questions? Is nobody allowed that high privilege but himself?
Has it not got down as thin as the homeopathic soup that was made by boiling the shadow of a pigeon that had starved to Death ?
We have enough objects of charity at home, and it is our duty to take care of our own poor, and our own suffering, before we go abroad to intermeddle with other people's business.
This slavery question has been the only one that has ever endangered our Republican institutions – the only one that has ever threatened or menaced a dissolution of the Union – that has ever disturbed us in such a way as to make us fear for the perpetuity of our liberty.
I confess myself as belonging to that class in the country who contemplate slavery as a moral, social and political evil.
There is no contending against the Will of God; but still there is some difficulty in ascertaining, and applying it, to particular cases.
You are young, and I am older;/You are hopeful, I am not--/Enjoy life, ere it grow colder--/Pluck the roses ere they rot.
Douglas is playing cuttlefish, a small species of fish that has no mode of defending itself when pursued except by throwing out a black fluid, which makes the water so dark the enemy cannot see it.
I would despise myself if I supposed myself ready to deal less liberally with an adversary than I was willing to be treated myself.
We can just as clearly see the end of the world as we can see the end of this [slavery] agitation.
Though I now sink out of view, and shall be forgotten, I believe I have made some marks which will tell for the cause of civil liberty long after I am gone.
I have been on expences so long without earning any thing that I am absolutely without money now for even household purposes.
Let the past as nothing be. For the future my view is that the fight must go on.
I am not, nor ever have been, connected with the party called the Know-Nothing party, or party calling themselves the America n party. Certainly no man of truth, and I believe, no man [of] good character for truth can be found to say on his own knowledge that I ever was connected with that party.
Just think of such a sucker as me as President!
I now have a high degree of confidence that we shall succeed, if we are not over-run with fraudulent votes to a greater extent than usual.
I think the negro is included in the word 'men' used in the Declaration of Independence.
I believe the declaration that ‘all men are created equal’ is the great fundamental principle upon which our free institutions rest.
Commerce brings us together, and makes us better friends. We like one another the more for it.
Is he [youth] not the inventor and owner of the present, and sole hope of the future?
Our friends here from different parts of the State, in and out of the Legislature, are united, resolute, and determined; and I think it is almost certain that we shall be far better organized for 1860 than ever before.
His policy, which rigourously excludes all idea of there being any wrong in slavery, does lead inevitably to the nationalization of the Institution; and all who deprecate that consummation, and yet are seduced into his support, do but cut their own throats.
I have an abiding faith that we shall beat them in the long run. Step by step the objects of the leaders will become too plain for the people to stand them.
I think we have fairly entered upon a durable struggle as to whether this nation is to ultimately become all slave or all free, and though I fall early in the contest, it is nothing if I shall have contributed, in the least degree, to the final rightful result.
It being my own judgment that the fight must go on, it affords me great pleasure to learn that our friends are nowhere dispirited.
Another $blow-up$ is coming; and we shall have fun again.
Douglas managed to be supported both as the best instrument to put down and to uphold the slave power; but no ingenuity can long keep these antagonisms in harmony.
I am glad I made the late race. It gave me a hearing on the great and durable question of the age, which I could have had in no other way.
Understanding the spirit of our institutions to aim at the elevation of men, I am opposed to whatever tends to degrade them.
I have some little notoriety for commiserating the oppressed condition of the negro; and I should be strangely inconsistent if I could favor any project for curtailing the existing rights of white men, even though born in different lands, and speaking different languages from myself.
Of course I would have preferred success; but failing in that, I have no regrets for having rejected all advice to the contrary, and resolutely made the struggle.
I must, in candor, say I do not think myself fit for the Presidency.
I do not think there is the least use of doing any more with the Law suit. I not only do not think you are sure to gain it, but I do think you are sure to lose it. Therefore the sooner it ends the better.
Stand by your principles; stand by your guns; and victory complete and permanent is sure at the last.
Writing … is the great invention of the world.
There are more mines above the Earth’s surface than below it. All nature – the whole world, material, moral, and intellectual – is a mine.
The inclination to exchange thoughts with one another is probably an original impulse of our nature.
A new country is most favorable – almost necessary – to the emancipation of thought, and the consequent advancement of civilization and the arts.
It gives a relish, and facility, for successfully pursuing the unsolved ones [problems].
A capacity, and taste, for reading, gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others. It is the key, or one of the keys, to the already solved problems.
I know nothing so pleasant to the mind, as the discovery of anything which is at once new and valuable – nothing which so lightens and sweetens the toil, as the hopeful pursuit of such discovery.
Free labor has the inspiration of hope; pure slavery has no hope.
Twenty-five years ago, I was a hired laborer. The hired laborer of yesterday, labors on his own account today; and will hire others to labor for him tomorrow. Advancement – improvement in conditions – is the order of things in a society of equals.
The power of hope upon human exertion, and happiness, is wonderful.
I hold if the Almighty had ever made a set of men that should do all the eating and none of the work, he would have made them with mouths only and no hands.
I have found that when one is embarrassed, usually the shortest way to get through with it is to quit talking or thinking about it, and go at something else.
No party can command respect which sustains this year, what it opposed last.
If the [Democrats] shall be beaten in 1860, it has to be done by the North; no human invention can deprive them of the South.
If a house was on fire there could be but two parties. One in favor of putting out the fire. Another in favor of the house burning.
A young man, before the enemy has learned to watch him, can do more than any other.
I have enlisted for the permanent success of the Republican cause; and, for this object, I shall labor faithfully in the ranks, unless, as I think not probable, the judgment of the party shall assign me a different position.
What brought these Democrats with us? The Slavery issue. Drop that issue and they have no motive to remain, and will not remain with us. It is idiotic to think otherwise.
We must have though a man who recognizes the slavery issue as being the living issue of the day; who does not hesitate to declare slavery a wrong, nor to deal with it as such; who believes in the power and duty of Congress to prevent the spread of it.
Ere long the most valuable of all arts will be the art of deriving a comfortable subsistence from the smallest area of soil.
Heads are regarded as explosive materials, only to be safely kept in damp places, as far as possible from the peculiar sort of fire which ignites them.
No other human occupation opens so wide a field for the profitable and agreeable combination of labor with cultivated thought, as agriculture.
Every blade of grass is a study; and to produce two, where there was but one, is both a profit and a pleasure.
Every head should be cultivated …
I think that if anything can be proved by natural theology, it is that slavery is morally wrong.
If they think they are able to slander a woman into loving them, or a man into voting with them, they will learn better presently.
God gave man a mouth to receive bread, hands to feed it, and his hand has a right to carry bread to his mouth without controversy.
What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried?
Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.
Persisting in a charge which one does not know to be true, is simply malicious slander.
I am not in a position where it would hurt much for me to not be nominated on the national ticket; but I am where it would hurt some for me to not get the Illinois delegates.
My father, at the Death of his father, was but six years of age; and he grew up literally without education.
I would rather have a full term in the Senate than in the Presidency.
With pleasure I write my name in your Album. Ere long some younger man will be more happy to confer his name upon you. Don't allow it, Mary, until fully assured that he is worthy of the happiness. Dec. 7- 1859 Your friend A. LINCOLN
If I went West, I think I would go to Kansas – to Leavenworth, or Atchison. Both these are, and will continue to be fine growing places.
I could not raise ten thousand dollars if it would save me from the fate of John Brown. Nor have my friends, so far as I know, yet reached the point of staking any money on my chances of success.
I cannot enter the ring on the money basis – first, because, in the main, it is wrong; and secondly, I have not, and can not get, the money.
I say, in the main, the use of money is wrong; but for certain objects, in a political contest, the use of some is both right and indispensable.
I am not ashamed to confess that twenty five years ago I was a hired laborer, mauling rails, at work on a flat-boat – just what might happen to any poor man’s son.
Our best and greatest men have greatly underestimated the size of this [slavery] question. They have constantly brought forward small cures for great sores – plasters too small to cover the wound.
Whether we will or not, the question of Slavery is THE question, the all absorbing topic of the day.
Public opinion is founded, to a great extent, on a property basis. What lessens the value of property is opposed, what enhances its value is favored.
I am glad to know that there is a system of labor where the laborer can strike if he wants to! I would to God that such a system prevailed all over the world.
While we do not propose any war upon capital, we do wish to allow the humblest man an equal chance to get rich with everybody else.
The people of the South have too much of good sense, and good temper, to attempt the ruin of the government ... At least, so I hope and believe.
All that can be said is $Justice and fairness to all.$
I know not how to aid you, save in the assurance of one of mature age, and much severe experience, that you can not fail, if you resolutely determine, that you will not.
If I fail, it will be for lack of ability, and not of purpose.
It seems as if the question whether my first name is ‘Abraham’' or ‘Abram’' will never be settled. It is ‘Abraham.’
You suggest that a visit to the place of my nativity might be pleasant to me. Indeed it would. But would it be safe? Would not the people Lynch me?
But fight we must, and conquer we shall, in the end.
I accept the nomination tendered me by the Convention ...
I am not wanting in the purpose, though I may fail in the strength, to maintain my freedom from bad influences. ... May the Almighty grant that the cause of truth, justice, and humanity, shall in no wise suffer at my hands.
I wish no explanation made to our enemies. What they want is a squabble and a fuss; and that they can have if we explain; and they can not have if we don't.
In all our rejoicing let us neither express, nor cherish, any harsh feeling towards any citizen who, by his vote, has differed with us. Let us at all times remember that all America n citizens are brothers of a common country, and should dwell together in the bonds of fraternal feeling.
Mary, Mary, we are elected!
I would much like to visit the old home, and old friends of my boyhood, but I fear the chance for doing so soon, is not very good.
As to the whiskers, having never worn any, do you not think people would call it a piece of silly affect[at]ion if I were to begin it now?
It now really looks as if the Government is about to fall into our hands. Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana have surpassed all expectation.
Some specimens of your Soap have been used at our house and Mrs. L. declares it is a superb article. She at the same time, protests that I have never given sufficient attention to the ``soap question'' to be a competent judge.
Work, work, work, is the main thing.
There is now a Republican electoral ticket in Missouri, so that you can vote for me if your neighbors will let you. I would advise you not to get into any trouble about it.
... The importance of thorough [political] organization is felt and appreciated by our friends everywhere. And yet it involves so much more of dry, and irksome labor, that most of them shrink from it – preferring parades, and shows, and monster meetings. I know not how this can be helped.
I am slow to listen to criminations among friends, and never espouse their quarrels on either side. My sincere wish is that both sides will allow bygones to be bygones.
The political horizon looks dark and lowering; but the people, under Providence, will set all right.
I am sorry any republican inclines to dally with Pop. Sov. [popular sovereignty] of any sort. It acknowledges that slavery has equal rights with liberty, and surrenders all we have contended for.
My opinion is that no state can, in any way lawfully, get out of the Union, without the consent of the others; and that it is the duty of the President, and other government functionaries to run the machine as it is.
I have no thought of recommending the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, nor the slave trade among the slave states … and if I were to make such recommendation, it is quite clear Congress would not follow it.
Prevent … our friends from demoralizing themselves, and our cause, by entertaining propositions for compromise of any sort, on ‘slavery extention.’ … On that point hold firm, as with a chain of steel.
You know I think the fugitive slave clause of the constitution ought to be enforced – to put it on the mildest form, ought not to be resisted.
Let there be no compromise on the question of extending slavery. If there be, all our labor is lost, and, ere long, must be done again.
These political fiends are not half sick enough yet. `Party malice' and not `public good' possesses them entirely.
So I think of the whole people of this nation – they will ever do well if well done by. We will try to do well by them in all parts of the country, North and South, with entire confidence that all will be well with all of us.
Let us at all times remember that all America n citizens are brothers of a common country, and should dwell together in the bonds of fraternal feeling.
Without a name, perhaps without a reason why I should have a name, there has fallen upon me a task such as did not rest even upon the Father of his country.
I hold that while man exists, it is his duty to improve not only his own condition, but to assist in ameliorating mankind; and therefore … I am for those means which will give the greatest good to the greatest number.
I do not deny the possibility that the people may err in an election; but if they do, the true cure is in the next election.
We all believe in the maintainance of the Union, of every star and every stripe of the glorious flag ...
To this place and the kindness of these people, I owe everything. ... I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return [to Springfield], with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington.
On the territorial question – that is, the question of extending slavery under the national auspices – I am inflexible. I am for no compromise which assists or permits the extension of the institution on soil owned by the nation. And any trick by which the nation is to acquire territory, and then allow some local authority to spread slavery over it, is as obnoxious as any other.
in the formation of my Cabinet, I shall aim as nearly as possible at perfection. Any man whom I may appoint to such a position, must be, as far as possible, like Caesar's wife, pure and above suspicion, of unblemished reputation, and undoubted integrity.
What is our present condition? We have just carried an election on principles fairly stated to the people. Now we are told in advance, the government shall be broken up, unless we surrender to those we have beaten, before we take the offices.
I promise you that I shall unselfishly try to deal fairly with all men and all shades of opinion among our friends.