Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation

Delaney Cochran

One of the greatest Presidents in U.S history, Abraham Lincoln, once said “If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of free men we must live through all time or die by suicide.” Abraham Lincoln says this during his Lyceum address on January 21th, 1838, 23 years before the beginning of the Civil War. Lincoln was trying to get the point across that our nation is as strong as, or stronger, than any other country. No other nation can break this country a part, the only way America will fall is if we crumble from within. He spoke of the ideals of our great Declaration of Independence the founding fathers brought forth, but warned of the destructive motives inside our country. The address was indirectly stated towards the murder of Elijah Lovejoy, an editor of an abolitionist newspaper, by a pro-slavery mob. Talk of abolition was becoming more common, and Lincoln knew that soon the conflict would evolve even larger. Then Lincoln states 20 years later, a mere 3 years before the Civil War, when things in that country started becoming heated, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Lincoln’s opinion is clear; he understood that this great nation would not succeed or prosper if the South seceded from the Union. When Lincoln states “as a nation of free men, we must live through all time or die by suicide.” It is apparent that he believes that the United States will not fall to another country, but “die by suicide,” only we the people of the United States, can bring America to its fault. Delaney Cochran Fisher High School Fisher IL