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


[1]   ALS, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut. Greeley's communication of August 19, printed in the Tribune of August 20, 1862, under the headline ``The Prayer of Twenty Millions,'' expressed disappointment with ``the policy you seem to be pursuing with regard to the slaves of Rebels. . . . I. We require of you . . . that you EXECUTE THE LAWS. . . . II. We think you are strangely and disastrously remiss . . . with regard to the emancipating provisions of the new Confiscation Act. . . . III. We think you are unduly influenced by the counsels . . . of certain fossil politicians hailing from the Border Slave States. . . . IV. We think timid counsels in such a crisis calculated to prove perilous. . . . V. We complain that the Union cause has suffered . . . from mistaken deference to Rebel Slavery. . . . VI. We complain that the Confiscation Act which you approved is habitually disregarded by your Generals. . . . VII. Let me call your attention to the recent tragedy in New-Orleans. . . . A considerable body of . . . men, held in Slavery by two Rebel sugar-planters . . . made their way to the great mart of the South-West, which they knew to be in the undisputed possession of the Union forces. . . . They came to us for liberty and protection. . . . They were set upon and maimed, captured and killed, because they sought the benefit of that act of Congress. . . . VIII. On the face of this wide earth, Mr. President, there is not one disinterested, determined, intelligent champion of the Union cause who does not feel that all attempts to put down the Rebellion and at the same time uphold its inciting cause are preposterous and futile. . . . IX. I close as I began with the statement that what an immense majority of the Loyal Millions of your countrymen require of you is a frank, declared, unqualified, ungrudging execution of the laws of the land. . . .''

Greeley printed Lincoln's letter in the Tribune on August 25 and followed with a lengthy response, of which the following provides the core: ``I never doubted . . . that you desire, before and above all else, to re-establish the now derided authority . . . of the Republic. I intended to raise only this question---Do you propose to do this by recognizing, obeying, and enforcing the laws, or by ignoring, disregarding, and in effect denying them?''

[2]   At this point Lincoln crossed out the following sentence: ``Broken eggs can never be mended, and the longer the breaking proceeds the more will be broken.''