Thought for the Day from Abe Lincoln: On Know-Nothings and Emigrating to Russia


(image by Sharon Cummings)

From Abraham Lincoln’s 1855 Letter to Joshua Speed

Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began by declaring that “all men are created equal.” We now practically read it “all men are created equal, except negroes.” When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read “all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.” When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretence of loving liberty — to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy.

6 Replies to “Thought for the Day from Abe Lincoln: On Know-Nothings and Emigrating to Russia”

  1. The Nation Magazine does a wonderful job of explaining how progressive and democratic programs only last a short time and they take an exceptional leader to make them happen.
    Somehow we have a tendency to sit back on our laurels when we seem to have made some progress in caring about all people. We have too many people in the U.S who think of themselves as privileged if only because of their skin color or sex! For years the story of skin color was attached to the Biblical story of Cain and Abel. Cain had a mark put on him and many Christian groups interpreted that as being dark skin! The scientific reason for darker skin is truly based on how close one lived to the equator. Dark skin is a protection from the damaging sun rays of living near the equator! How many “white” people want to have darker skin and yet they are so prejudiced against dark skin!

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