Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 4.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
Page  197

Remarks at Lawrenceburg, Indiana [1]

February 12, 1861

My fellow-countrymen. You call upon me for a speech; I have none to give to you, and have not sufficient time to devote to it if I had. I suppose you are all Union men here, (cheers and cries of ``Right'') and I suppose that you are in favor of doing full justice to all, whether on that side of the river (pointing to the Kentucky shore), or on your own. (Loud cheering and cries of ``We are.'') If the politicians and leaders of parties were as true as the PEOPLE, there would be little fear that the peace of the country would be disturbed. I have been selected to fill an important office for a brief period, and am now, in your eyes, invested with an influence which will soon pass away; but should my administration prove to be a very wicked one, or what is more probable, a very foolish one, if you, the PEOPLE, are but true to yourselves and to the Constitution, there is but little harm I can do, thank God!

Annotation

[1]   Cincinnati Daily Commercial, February 13, 1861. Of the several newspaper reports of this speech, this seems to be the only attempt at a complete verbatim report.