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 it comes to this I should 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.
Near eighty years ago we began by declaring that all men are created equal; but now from
that beginning we have run down to the other declaration, that for some men to enslave
others is a "sacred right of self-government." These principles cannot stand together. They
are as opposite as God and Mammon; and whoever holds to the one must despise the other.
Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation whenever he shall deem it necessary
to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems
it necessary for such purpose - and you allow him to make war at pleasure.
You can better succeed with the ballot. You can peaceably then redeem the government and
preserve the liberties of mankind through your votes and voice and moral influence... Let
there be peace. Revolutionize throught he ballot box and restore the government once more
to the affections and hearts of men by making it express, as it was intended to do, the
highest spirit of justice and liberty.