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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1497
AUTHOR: Abraham Lincoln (1809–65)
QUOTATION: My friends—… I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of that Divine Being, who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance, I cannot fail.
ATTRIBUTION: President-elect ABRAHAM LINCOLN, farewell address at Springfield, Illinois, February 11, 1861.—The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, ed. Roy P. Basler, vol. 4, p. 190 (1953).

“W. H. Lamon, who witnessed this scene of farewell, says: ‘having reached the train he [Lincoln] ascended the rear platform, and, facing the throng which had closed around him, drew himself up to his full height, removed his hat, and stood for several seconds in profound silence…. There was an unusual quiver on his lip, and a still more unusual tear on his furrowed cheek…. At length he began in a husky tone of voice, and slowly and impressively delivered his farewell to his neighbors. Imitating his example, every man in the crowd stood with his head uncovered in the fast-falling rain.’”—Complete Works of Abraham Lincoln, new and enl. ed., ed. John G. Nicolay and John Hay, vol. 6, p. 110 (1905).
SUBJECTS: Presidency