In the presidency, as outside, Lincoln was great enough to do the right thing even when the whole country was against him. When the commander of a Union vessel took the Confederate commissioners. Mason and Slidell, by force from a British steamer, the North made a hero of the officer. Lincoln realized instantly that this act was of the same class as those committed by Great Britain which brought on the War of 1812. In spite of the clamor of the whole country he restored the Confederate commissioners to Great Britain and disavowed their capture.
He who looks ever into the far future and seeks constantly to know the eternal purposes of life wins to a clearer vision than ordinary men. It was so with Abraham Lincoln. Listen to some of the messages that he has left for us of another generation:
without that other's consent.}}
This is a world of compensation. He who would be no slave must be content to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not themselves, and under a just God cannot long retain it.
It is best for all to leave each man free to acquire property as fast as he can. I don't believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich. It would do more harm than good. I want every man to have a chance to better his condition.