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714 pages, Paperback
First published October 6, 1995
"Whatever self-assurance Lincoln had gained from the cabinet crisis of December 1862 was sorely tested during the first six months of 1863, for he found that the shrewdness, tact and forbearance that had served him so well in face-to-face disagreements were not easily applied to large groups in conflict. In short, Lincoln still had much to learn about how to be President."
“All eyes turned to Springfield, where an inexperienced leader with a limited personal acquaintance among members of his own party grouped his way, on the basis of inadequate information, to formulate a policy for his own administration.”
““The right of a State to secede is not an open or debatable question,” he told Nicolay... “It is the duty of a President to execute the laws and maintain the existing Government. He cannot entertain any proposition for dissolution of dismemberment.” Consequently, as he wrote Weed, “No state can, in any way lawfully, get out of the Union, without the consent of the others...” Lincoln’s commitment to maintaining the Union was absolute.”
“If slavery was justified on the ground that masters were white while slaves were black", Lincoln warned, “By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet, with a fairer skin than your own.” If it was defended on the ground that masters were intellectually the superiors of blacks, the same logic applied: “By this rule, you are to be slave to the first man you meet, with an intellect superior to your own.”