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

Remarks at Lancaster, Pennsylvania [1]

February 22, 1861

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF OLD LANCASTER: I appear not to make a speech. I have not time to make them at length, and not strength to make them on every occasion, and, worse than all, I have none to make. I come before you to see and be seen and, as regards the ladies, I have the best of the bargain; but, as to the gentlemen, I cannot say as much. There is plenty of matter to speak about in these times, but it is well known that the more a man speaks the less he is understood---the more he says one thing, his adversaries contend he meant something else. I shall soon have occasion to speak officially, and then I will endeavor to put my thoughts just as plain as I can express myself, true to the Constitution and Union of all the States, and to the perpetual liberty of all the people. Until I so speak, there is no need to enter uponPage  243 details. In conclusion, I greet you most heartily, and bid you an affectionate farewell.


[1]   New York Tribune and Times, February 23, 1861. Other versions are substantially the same.