In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall
have the most solemn one to ‘preserve, protect, and defend it’.
Source: March 4, 1861 – Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address
– Abraham Lincoln