Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 7.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

Reply to Delegation from the National Union League [1]

June 9, 1864

Gentlemen: I can only say, in response to the kind remarks of your chairman, as I suppose, that I am very grateful for the renewed confidence which has been accorded to me, both by the convention and by the National League. I am not insensible at all to the personal compliment there is in this; yet I do not allow myself to believe that any but a small portion of it is to be appropriated as a personal compliment. The convention and the nation, I am assured,Page  384

are alike animated by a higher view of the interests of the country for the present and the great future, and that part I am entitled to appropriate as a compliment is only that part which I may lay hold of as being the opinion of the convention and of the League, that I am not entirely [2] unworthy to be intrusted with the place I have occupied for the last three years. I have not permitted myself, gentlemen, to conclude that I am the best man in the country; but I am reminded, in this connection, of a story of an old Dutch farmer, who remarked to a companion once that ``it was not best to swap horses when crossing streams.''

Annotation

[1]   New York Times, Herald, and Tribune, June 10, 1864. The delegation presented a copy of resolutions adopted by the Union League, approving and endorsing ``the nominations made by the Union National Convention at Baltimore.'' (DLC-RTL).

[2]   ``Entirely'' appears only in the Tribune.