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"If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them.
My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy slavery.
If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.
What I do about slavery and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union."
-a reply to Horace Greeley's editorial, Aug. 1862