David Strathairn: William Seward
Abraham Lincoln : Abolishing slavery by constitutional provisions settles the fate for all coming time. Not only of the millions now in bondage, but of unborn millions to come. Two votes stand in its way. These votes must be procured.
William Seward : We need two yeses. Three abstentions. Four yeses and one more abstention and the amendment will pass.
Abraham Lincoln : You've got a night and a day and a night; several perfectly good hours! Now get the hell out of here and get them!
James Ashley : Yes. But how?
Abraham Lincoln : Buzzard's guts, man! I am the President of the United States of America! Clothed in immense power! You will procure me these votes.
William Seward : Gentleman, you have a visitor.
W.N. Bilbo : [checking his friend cards] Oh my God, goddamn...
W.N. Bilbo : [President Lincoln walks in] I'll be fucked.
Abraham Lincoln : I wouldn't bet against it, Mr...?
W.N. Bilbo : W.N.Bilbo.
Abraham Lincoln : Yeah, Mr. Bilbo. Gentlemen...
Robert Latham : Sir.
W.N. Bilbo : Why are you here? No offense, but Mr. Seward's banished the very mention of your name, he won't even let us use fifty-cent pieces 'cause they got your face on 'em.
Abraham Lincoln : The Secretary of State here tells me that, uh... you got eleven Democrats in the bag. That's encouraging.
Richard Schell : Oh, you've got no cause to be encouraged. Sir. Uh...
Robert Latham : Are we being... fired?
Abraham Lincoln : [quoting Shakespeare] 'We have heard the chimes of midnight, Master Shallow.' I'm here to alert you boys that the great day of reckoning is nigh upon us.
William Seward : Madam, if the rebels surrendered next week, would you, at the end of this month, want Congressman Burton to vote for the Thirteenth Amendment?
Mrs. Jolly : If that was how it was, no more war an' all, I reckon Mr Jolly much prefer not to have Congress pass the Amendment.
William Seward : And... why is that?
Mr. Jolly : [looks at Seward in surprise] Niggers.
Mrs. Jolly : If he don't have to let some Alabama coon come up from Missouri and steal his chickens and his job, we'd much prefer that.
[Seward takes Mrs Jolly's letter, walks over to Lincoln and puts it on his desk]
William Seward : [quietly] The people. I begin to see why you're in such a great hurry to put it through.