Born Saturday 7 November 1801, died Sunday 24 June 1877
If, amid the multitude of contending counsel, you have hesitated and doubted; if, when a great measure suggested itself, you have shrunk from the vast responsibility, afraid to go forward lest you should go wrong, what wonder?
There is a measure needing courage to adopt and enforce it, which I believe to be of virtue sufficient to redeem the nation in this its darkest hour: one only; I know of no other to which we may rationally trust for relief from impending dangers without and within.
In the due exercise of your official power, in strictest accordance with law and the Constitution, you can deprive the enemy of that which, above all else, has given, and still gives him, aid and comfort.
In days when the public safety is imminently threatened, and the fate of a nation may hang upon a single act, we owe frank speech, above all other men, to him who is highest in authority. I shall speak to you as man to man.
Fulfill - you can far more than fulfill - the brightest anticipations of those who, in the name of human freedom, and in the face of threats that have ripened into terrible realities since, fought that battle which placed you where you now stand.