Remarks to Committee of Reformed Presbyterian Synod

July 17, 1862

Mr. Lincoln then replied.

As to the moral character of the institution of Slavery, and as to its political bearing on the institutions of this or any other Nation, he said there was, between him and the committee, no difference of sentiment. He went on to say

Had Slavery no existence among us, and were the question asked shall we adopt such an institution? we should agree as to the reply which should be made. If there be any diversity in our views it is not as to whether we should receive Slavery when free from it, but as to how we may best get rid of it already amongst us. Were an individual asked whether he would wish to have a wen on his neck, he could not hesitate as to the reply; but were it asked whether a man who has such a wen should at once be relieved of it by the application of the surgeon’s knife, there might be diversity of opinion, perhaps the man might bleed to death, as the result of such an operation.

Feeling deeply my responsibility to my country and to that God to whom we all owe allegiance, I assure you I will try to do my best, and so may God help me.

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