President Abraham Lincoln speech at a fair for the Sanitary Commission on March 18th, 1864:
“I appear to say but a word. This extraordinary war in which we are engaged falls heavily upon all classes of people, but the most heavily upon the soldier. For it has been said, ‘all that a man hath will he give for his life;’ and while all contribute of their substance the soldier puts his life at stake, and often yields it up in his country’s cause. The highest merit, then, is due to the soldier.
In this extraordinary war extraordinary developments have manifested themselves, such as have not been seen in former wars; and amongst these manifestations nothing has been more remarkable than these fairs for the relief of suffering soldiers and their families. And the chief agents in these fairs are the women of America.
I am not accustomed to the language of eulogy. I have never studied the art of paying compliments to women. But I must say, that if all that has been said by orators and poets since the creation of the world in praise of women were applied to the women of America, it would not do them justice for their conduct during this war. I will close by saying, God bless the women of America.”
– President Abraham Lincoln
“President Abraham Lincoln Speech, 1863” sources: Speech is from President Lincoln’s address at a fair for the Sanitary Commission on March 18th, 1864 – “Speeches and Letters of Abraham Lincoln, 1832 – 1865.” Edited by Merwin Roe. Published in London by J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd and in New York by E.P. Dutton & Co in 1907 / Portrait of President Lincoln taken on November 8th, 1863 by Alexander Gardner / Mead Art Museum / Wikimedia Commons