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Not only do I pray for it, on the score of human dignity, but I can clearly forsee that nothing but the rooting out of slavery can perpetuate the existence of our union, by consolidating it in a common bond of principle.

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Source Notes: Source: Attributed to GEORGE WASHINGTON.John Bernard, Retrospections of America, 17971811, p. 91 . This is from Bernards account of a conversation he had with Washington in 1798. Unverified.

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George Washington was commander in chief of the Continental army during the American Revolution and first president of the United States (1789-97).

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