Thursday, October 19, 2006

Quotes & Notes from 'Team of Rivals'

- “There must be courts and law and order or society will be broken up - the disbanded armies will turn into robber bands and guerillas.”
Lincoln on post war policy towards the south

- “I fear you do not fully comprehend the danger of abridging the liberties of the people. Nothing but the sternest necessity can ever justify it. A government had better go to the extreme of toleration than to do aught that could be construed into an interference with, or to jeopardize in any degree, the common rights of its citizens.”
Lincoln, in 1863 when pressured to close down the Chicago Times at the beginning of his presidency

- “Your resignation of the office of Secretary of the Treasury is accepted. Of all I have said in commendation of your ability and fidelity, I have nothing to unsay. And yet you and I have reached a point of mutual embarrassment in our official relation, which it seems cannot be overcome or longer sustained consistently with the public service.”
Lincoln, accepting Salmon Chase's resignation

- Note: The emancipation proclamation was issued on the basis of the constitution, not of higher laws. i.e. Lincoln only issued the proclamation once he realized that he could create constitutional justification for it. In effect, he argued that the constitutional war powers allowed him to over ride the "rebel states' constitutionally protected right to slavery. Also, in 1864, he refused to sign into law the "Punitive reconstruction bill", even though it would have been politically expedient to do so… the bill laid down a 'rigid formula' for bringing states back into the union - suffrage would be denied to people who bore arms voluntarily or were officers in the confederate army. Lincoln preferred a more lenient approach. “I must keep some consciousness of being somewhere near right. I must keep some standard of principal fixed within myself"

- “To be wounded in the house of one's friends is perhaps the most grievous affliction that can befall a man.”

- “Having hope means that one will not give in to overwhelming anxiety, a defeatist attitude or depression in the face of difficult challenges or setbacks. Hope is more than a sunny view that everything will turn out alright. It is believing you have the will and the way to accomplish your goals."
Daniel Goleman, in "Emotional Intelligence" (1995) (As quoted by Goodwin)


From “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln”
by Doris Kearns Goodwin

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