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 Posted: Thu Sep 11th, 2008 06:41 pm
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Texas Defender
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martympg-

  I believe that you are referring to a letter written by Mr. Lincoln to Horace Greeley. He wrote:

" I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be: "The Union as it was." My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and it is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it, and if I could do it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union, and what I forbear; I forbear because I do not believe that it would help save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views. I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free."

  Mr. Lincoln, while personally opposing the institution of slavery (and especially its expansion), made it clear that his primary goal was always to preserve the Union. He was willing to take whatever measures necessary to accomplish this goal. He never wavered in his determination to accomplish his objective.

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