The present rebellion brought our republic to a severe test; and a presidential election occurring in regular course during the rebellion added not a little to the strain. If the loyal people, united, were put to the utmost of their strength by the rebellion, must they not fail when divided, and partially paralyzed, by a political war among themselves? But the election was a necessity. We can not have free government without elections.
Abraham Lincoln – American politician, 1861-65 16th president (1809-1865), abolished slavery in 1863, speech as Response to a serenade after his re-election, 10th November 1864