I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.
Lincoln spoke these words shortly before his assassination in 1865. He had been one of the most reviled and savagely ridiculed Presidents in the history of the Republic. Now, with the Civil War drawing to a close, he was under renewed attack for his plan to rebuild the Union. Lincoln envisioned a country reunited in a spirit of charity and with an absence of malice. With the devastation past, Lincoln wanted to be about the business of binding and healing wounds.