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Writings of Abraham Lincoln, the — Volume 1: 1832-1843 by Abraham Lincoln
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THE WRITINGS OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN

CONSTITUTIONAL EDITION



VOLUME 1.


INTRODUCTORY

Immediately after Lincoln's re-election to the Presidency, in an off-hand
speech, delivered in response to a serenade by some of his admirers on
the evening of November 10, 1864, he spoke as follows:

"It has long been a grave question whether any government not too strong
for the liberties of its people can be strong enough to maintain its
existence in great emergencies. On this point, the present rebellion
brought our republic to a severe test, and the Presidential election,
occurring in regular course during the rebellion, added not a little to
the strain.... The strife of the election is but human nature
practically applied to the facts in the case. What has occurred in this
case must ever occur in similar cases. Human nature will not change. In
any future great national trial, compared with the men of this, we shall
have as weak and as strong, as silly and as wise, as bad and as good.
Let us therefore study the incidents in this as philosophy to learn
wisdom from and none of them as wrongs to be avenged.... Now that the
election is over, may not all having a common interest reunite in a
common fort to save our common country? For my own part, I have striven
and shall strive to avoid placing any obstacle in the way. So long as I