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Contents > Author > Abraham Lincoln > Equality 1809- 1865
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Abraham Lincoln
Equality
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I am not a Know-Nothing; that is certain. How could I be? How
can any one who abhors the oppression of Negroes be in
favor of degrading classes of white people? 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 shall prefer emigrating to some country
where they make no pretense of loving liberty -- to Russia, for
instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the
base alloy of hypocrisy.

(Letter to Joshua F. Speed, August 24, 1855)

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