Tag Archives: Know-Nothings

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.



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