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Abraham Lincoln Says

"It is my conviction that, had the Proclamation been issued even six months earlier than it was, public sentiment would not have sustained it. Just so as to the subsequent action in reference to enlisting blacks in the border states.

The step, taken sooner, could not, in my judgment, have been carried out. A man watches his pear tree day after day, impatient for the ripening of the fruit.

Let him attempt to force the process, and he may spoil both fruit and tree. But let him patiently wait and the ripe pear at length falls into his lap.

We have seen this great revolution in public sentiment slowly but surely progressing, so that, when final action came, the opposition was not strong enough to defeat the purpose."

-Remark to his portrait painter Francis Carpenter, 1864