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Abraham Lincoln

“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.

In this they are either attempting to play upon us, or they are in dead earnest. Either way, if we surrender, it is the end of us, and of the government. They will repeat the experiment upon us ad libitum… They now have the Constitution, under which we have lived over seventy years, and acts of Congress of their own framing, with no prospect of their being changed; and they can never have a more shallow pretext for breaking up the government, or extorting a compromise, than now.”


Abraham Lincoln’s letter to James T. Hale. January 11th, 1861. You’ll find it in Lincoln : Speeches and Writings: 1859-1865.

Two quotes:

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” — Joseph Anthony Wittreich

“Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But since no one was listening, everything must be said again.” — André Gide

Both can now be found on the quotes page.

Read another sublime letter from Lincoln below:

Abraham Lincoln

The Bixby Letter