Good-bye, gentlemen! I am not asking to be Governor of Illinois … I have in my composition that which I have declared to the world as my views upon religion. My position I would not, under any circumstances, not even for my life, seem to renounce. I would rather refuse to be President of the United States than to do so. My religious belief is my own. It belongs to me, not to the State of Illinois. I would not smother one sentiment of my heart to be the Emperor of the round world.
Robert Green Ingersoll to the delegation from the Republican Party upon their asking him to be their candidate for Governor of Illinois — on condition that he remain silent about his religous views (not to change them, simply to remain silent)