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Thursday, November 15, 1860.+-

Springfield, IL.

Lincoln's secretary, John G. Nicolay, recalls a conversation between Lincoln and "two gentlemen" regarding the South's possible break from the Union. Nicolay notes that Lincoln's "impression is . . . that this government possesses both the authority and the power to maintain its own integrity." According to Nicolay, Lincoln adds, "'That however is not the ugly point of this matter. The ugly point is the necessity of keeping the government together by force, as ours should be a government of fraternity.'" Michael Burlingame, ed., With Lincoln in the White House: Letters, Memoranda, and Other Writings of John G. Nicolay, 1860-1865 (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2000), 10.