Lincoln on the Difference Between North and South
December 22, 1860: Letter to Alexander Stephens
Do the people of the South really entertain fears that a Republican administration would, directly, or indirectly, interfere with their slaves, or with them, about their slaves? If they do, I wish to assure you, as once a friend, and still, I hope, not an enemy, that there is no cause for such fears. The South would be in no more danger in this respect, than it was in the days of Washington. I suppose, however, this does not meet the case. You think slavery is right, and ought to be extended; while we think it is wrong and ought to be restricted. That I suppose is the rub. It certainly is the only substantial difference between us.
Did You Know?
Lincoln issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, five days after the battle of Antietam. He visited the battlefield near Sharpsburg, Maryland on October 1-4, 1862. Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Illinois