Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.
Eugene Victor Debs (18551926)
I realize that, in speaking to you this afternoon, there are certain limitations placed upon the right of free speech. I must be exceedingly careful, prudent, as to what I say, and even more careful and prudent as to how I say it. I may not be able to say all I think; but I am not going to say anything that I do not think.
EUGENE V. DEBS, speech to the Socialist party of Ohio state convention, Canton, Ohio, June 16, 1918.Eugene V. Debs Speaks, ed. Jean Y. Tussey, p. 244 (1970).
This was Debss most famous speech. It was a socialist antiwar speech while the United States was at war, and it was used against him at his trial. He was convicted under the Espionage Law and sentenced to 10 years in prison. President Harding commuted the sentence in 1921.