Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate - we cannot consecrate - we cannot hallow - this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or to detract. The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us, the living, rather to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far nobly so advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
Let every lover of liberty, every well-wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the revolution never to violate, in the least particular, the laws of the country and never to tolerate their violation by others. As the patriots of '76 did to the support of the declaration of independence, so to the support of the constitution and laws, let every American pledge his life, his prosperity and his sacred honor. Let every man remember that to violate the laws is to trample on the blood of his fathers and to tear the charter of his own and his children's liberty. Let reverence for the laws be breathed by every American mother to the lisping babe that prattles on her lap. Let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges. Let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in the legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. In short, let it become the political religion of the nation.
Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)
Source: Words to remember, newspaper clipping, Albert W. Daw Collection