Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 4.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.
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Fragment of Draft of Message to Congress [1]

[July 4, 1861]

Random 6.

I recommend that you give the legal means for making this contest a short, and a decisive one---that you authorize to be applied to thePage  421 work, at least three hundred thousand men, and three hundred millions of dollars. That number of men is less than one twelfth [2] of those of proper ages, within those regions where all are willing to engage; and the sum is less than an eighteenth [3] of the money-value owned by the men who are ready to devote the whole. A right result will be worth more to the world than ten times the men, and ten times the money. The evidence reaching us from the people leaves no doubt that the material for the work is abundant; and that it needs only the hand of legislation to give it legal sanction; and the hand of the Executive to give it practical shape and efficiency. The departments here have had more trouble to avoid receiving troops faster than they could provide them than from any other cause. In a word, the people will save their government, if the government itself will allow them.


[1]   AD, DLC-RTL. The single page of manuscript is a preliminary draft of the twentieth paragraph of the Message of July 4, infra.

[2]   ``Tenth'' deleted, ``twelfth'' inserted.

[3]   ``Tenth'' deleted, ``eighteenth'' inserted.

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