My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or 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 save 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—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.
— Abraham Lincoln ( 1862)
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Publication information: Book title: We Have No Leaders:African Americans in the Post-Civil Rights Era. Contributors: Robert C. Smith - Author, Ronald W. Walters - Author. Publisher: State University of New York Press. Place of publication: Albany, NY. Publication year: 1996. Page number: Not available.
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