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all men are created equal

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  • My favorite quote with this phrase:

    “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 as ‘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 pretence of loving liberty—to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.�?

    —Abraham Lincoln to Joshua Speed, August 24, 1855, quoted in Stephen B. Oates, With Malice Toward None: A Life of Abraham Lincoln (New York: Harper and Row, 1977), 122.

    August 28, 2008