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Lincoln on Re-election

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August 23, 1864

In the summer of 1864, Abraham Lincoln was growing convinced that he would not be re-elected.  He wrote the following letter and asked his cabinet to sign their names on the outside, sight unseen, to pledge their commitment to continue the fight to preserve the Union.

 

"This morning, as for some days past, it seems exceedingly probable that this Administration will not be re-elected. Then it will by my duty to so cooperate with the Government President elect, as to save the Union between the Election and the inauguration; as he will have secured his election on such ground that he cannot possibly save it afterwards."