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Lincoln on Freedom

“Let us readopt the Declaration of Independence, and with it the practices and policy which harmonize with it. Let all Americans – let all lovers of liberty everywhere join in the great and good work. If we do this, we shall not only save the Union, but we shall have so saved it as to make and keep it forever worthy of the saving.”

Speech at Peoria, October 16, 1854

“Many free countries have lost their liberties, and ours may lose hers; but if she shall, may it be my proudest plume that I never deserted her.”

Speech at Springfield, December 26, 1839


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Lincoln on Informed Policy Positions

“I deem it just to the country, to myself, to you, that I should see everything, hear everything, and have every light that can possibly be brought within my reach, to aid me before I shall speak officially, in order that when I do speak, I may have the best means of taking true and correct grounds.”

Attributed, The Writings of Abraham Lincoln, 1861, by Arthur Lapsley


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Lincoln on International Trade

“The United States, I think ought… to be (liberal) to international trade and commerce.”

Message to Congress, December 8, 1863

“It appears to me that the national debt renders a modification of the existing tariff indispensable; I shall be pleased to see it adjusted with due reference to the protection of our home industries. The particulars, it seems to me, must and should be left to the untrammeled discretion of Congress.”

Memorandum, July 1, 1848


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Lincoln on Limited Government

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do for themselves, in their separate and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere.”

Notes, July 1, 1854


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Lincoln on Media Bias

“These political fiends are not sick enough yet. Party malice, and not public good possess them entirely.”

Letter to Henry Raymond, November 28, 1860

“Please pardon me for suggesting that if papers like yours which have heretofore garbled and misrepresented what I have said, will now fully and fairly place it before their readers, there can be no further misunderstanding.”

Letter to N.P. Paschall, November 16, 1860


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Lincoln on the National Debt

“Time alone relieves a debtor nation, so long as its population increases faster thatn unpaid interest accumulates on its debt.”

Message to Congress, December 1, 1862

“I have very large ideas of the mineral wealth of our nation. I believe it is practically inexhaustible. It abounds all over the western country, from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific, and its development has scarcely commenced. During the war, when we were adding a couple of millions of dollars every day to our national debt, I did not care about encouraging the increase in the volume of our precious metals, we had the country to save first. But now that the rebellion is overthrown, and we know pretty nearly the amount of our national debt, the more gold and silver we mine, we make the payment of that debt so much the easier. Now, I am going to encourage that in every possible way.”

Told to Speaker Colfax; Washington D.C., April 14, 1865


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Lincoln on National Defense

Lincoln supported a strong military, including a draft, to defend the Nation, saying, “Shall we shrink from the necessary means to maintain our free government, which our grandfathers employed to establish it and our own fathers have already employed once to maintain it?”

Letter to Joseph Segar, September 5, 1863


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