Lincoln Insists on His Original Wording

This letter reveals Lincoln’s determination to retain the original meaning of his Cooper Union Address. While accepting grammatical correction, Lincoln had been deliberate in his choice of words and so told Nott: “I do not wish the sense changed, or modified, to a hair’s breadth.” Even the smallest change in text would diminish the power and meaning of Lincoln’s words.

You propose to substitute “Democrats” for “Douglas”—But what I am saying there is true of Douglas, and is not true of “Democrats” generally; so that the proposed substitution would be a very considerable blunder.