Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
The sixteenth President of the United States of America; His leadership during the Civil War is credited with saving the “United States.”
“I now leave, not knowing when or whether ever I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of that Divine Being who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With assistance I cannot fail. Trusting in Him who can go with me, and remain with you, and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well.”
Delivering his farewell speech to his home state in Springfield, Illinois, as he left for Washington D.C.
“The Declaration of Independence which gave liberty not alone to the people of this country, but hope to all the world, for all future time. It was that which gave promise that in due time the weights would be lifted from the shoulders of all men, and that all should have an equal chance. This is the sentiment embodied in the Declaration of Independence…I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it.”
In a speech at Independence Hall in Philadelphia in February of 1861
“In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free – honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve. We shall nobly save – or meanly lose – the last, best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just – a way which if followed the world will forever applaud and God must forever bless.”
In his Second Annual Address before Congress in December of 1862
“I hold in my personal position and with the authority vested in me as an instrument of Providence. I have my own views and purposes, I have my convictions of duty, and my notions of what is right to be done. But I am conscious every moment that all I am and all I have is subject to the control of a Higher Power, and that Power can use me or not use me in any manner, and at any time, as in His wisdom and might may be pleasing to Him.”
In December of 1862
“…that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
In his Gettysburgh Address, November 19, 1863
The whole address is engraved in stone in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.