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Lincoln: Speeches, Letters, Miscellaneous…
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Lincoln: Speeches, Letters, Miscellaneous Writings, Presidential Messages…

by Abraham Lincoln

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Read selections including: Address to the Union Meeting; Annual Message to Congress, 1862; Gettysburg Address; Speech at Columbus, OH; various letters. More than anything, I am still amazed at the degree of logic and intelligence involved in political debate just 150 years ago. This text contains almost everything Lincoln said as a politician before and during the Civil War. Many of our "elite" (i.e. those who would actually listen), would not even understand it today. In addition to speeches, I read a number of letters. In one to Henry Pierce, he describes the swapping of ideals between the parties of Jefferson and Adams -- comparing it to a drunken brawl he once witnessed in which the wrestling men exchanged a heavy overcoat in the process. One noteworthy excerpt from his campaign speech in Cincinnati, OH on 17 September 1859: "I hold that if there is any one thing that can be proved to be the will of God by external nature around us, without reference to revelation, it is the proposition that whatever any one man earns with his hands and by the sweat of his brow, he shall enjoy in peace. I say that whereas God Almighty has given every man one mouth to be fed, and one pair of hands adapted to furnish food for that mouth, if anything can be proved to be the will of Heaven, it is proved by this fact, that that mouth is to be fed by those hands, without being interfered with may any other man who has also his mouth to feed and his hands to labor with.... That they are to go forth and improve their condition as I have been trying to illustrate, is the inherent right given to mankind directly by the maker." ( )
  jpsnow | May 25, 2008 |
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