Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.
Abraham Lincoln (180965)
It is my ambition and desire to so administer the affairs of the government while I remain President that if at the end I have lost every other friend on earth I shall at least have one friend remaining and that one shall be down inside me.
Attributed to President ABRAHAM LINCOLN by Enos Clarke, one of the seventy-member delegation of Radicals from Missouri, who met with Lincoln, September 30, 1863. This attribution was made by Clarke in an interview with Walter B. Stevens, who later published it in his Lincoln and Missouri, p. 100 (1916).
All contemporary accounts indicate there were no reporters at this meeting. Lincolns secretary, John Hay, took notes, but this statement is not in his notebooks. For that days notes, see John G. Nicolay and John Hay, Abraham Lincoln, A History, vol. 8, pp. 21520 (1890).