Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 5.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

Remarks to Delegation of Veterans of 1812 [1]

July 4, 1862

MR. PRESIDENT AND GENTLEMEN: I am indeed very grateful for this courtesy which you have thought fit to extend me (for the time being), the head of the Government. I am exceedingly sorry that the continual and intense engrossment of my attention by other matters has not permitted me to devote a moment's thought to the manner in which I should receive you. I have no pretty speech, or any other sort of speech, prepared, with which to entertain you for a single moment. I am indeed surrounded, as is the whole country, by very trying circumstances. I am grateful to you for the approbation which you give me of what I have done, and grateful for the support which the whole country seems to give me. I hope that, although far advanced in life as many of you are, you will, gentlemen, yet live to see better days than those which it is now our misfortune to behold. Thanking you for the support which you in this manner give me, unprepared as I am, I could not with any degree of entertainment detain you longer.


[1]   New York Tribune, July 7, 1862. These remarks are misdated July 4, 1863, by Hertz (II, 899). Lincoln spoke in reply to a brief speech of introduction made by William W. Seaton, president of the Association of the Surviving Soldiers of the War of 1812.