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Mad As Hell And… Quotes of the Day – Friday, May 31, 2013 – Ayn Rand

Mad As Hell And… Quotes of the Day – Friday, May 31, 2013 – Ayn Rand

“A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.”

And

“A desire presupposes the possibility of action to achieve it; action presupposes a goal which is worth achieving.”

And

“Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.”

And

“Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice.”

And

“From the smallest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and everything we have comes from one attribute of man – the function of his reasoning mind.”

And

“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values.”

And

“I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”

And

“Man’s unique reward, however, is that while animals survive by adjusting themselves to their background, man survives by adjusting his background to himself.”

And

“Money demands that you sell, not your weakness to men’s stupidity, but your talent to their reason.”

And

“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.”

And

“People create their own questions because they are afraid to look straight. All you have to do is look straight and see the road, and when you see it, don’t sit looking at it – walk.”

And

“The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.”

And

“The purpose of morality is to teach you, not to suffer and die, but to enjoy yourself and live.”

And

“The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”

And

“The truth is not for all men, but only for those who seek it.”

And

“There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.”

And

“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision.  Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road new, the vision unborrowed, and the response they received–hatred.  The great creators–the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors–stood alone against the men of their time.  Every great new thought was opposed.  Every great new invention was denounced.  The first motor was considered foolish.  The first airplane was considered impossible.  The power loom was considered vicious.  Anesthesia was considered sinful.  But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead.  They fought, they suffered and they paid.  But they won.”  Ayn Rand, Howard Roark in The Fountainhead, 1943

And

“To achieve, you need thought. You have to know what you are doing and that’s real power.”

And

“To say “I love you” one must first be able to say the “I.””

And

“Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think.”

And

“When man learns to understand and control his own behavior as well as he is learning to understand and control the behavior of crop plants and domestic animals, he may be justified in believing that he has become civilized.”

And

“You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.” John Galt in Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Wikipedia:  Ayn Rand

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Mad As Hell And… Quotes of the Day – Thursday, May 30, 2013 – Edmund Hillary

Mad As Hell And… Quotes of the Day – Thursday, May 30, 2013 – Edmund Hillary

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.”

And

“You don’t have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things – to compete. You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated.”

And

“People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.”

And

“Nobody climbs mountains for scientific reasons. Science is used to raise money for the expeditions, but you really climb for the hell of it.”

And

“I’ve always hated the danger part of climbing, and it’s great to come down again because it’s safe … But there is something about building up a comradeship — that I still believe is the greatest of all feats — and sharing in the dangers with your company of peers. It’s the intense effort, the giving of everything you’ve got. It’s really a very pleasant sensation.”

And

“While standing on top of Everest, I looked across the valley, towards the other great peak, Makalu, and mentally worked out a route about how it could be climbed… it showed me that, even though I was standing on top of the world, it wasn’t the end of everything for me, by any means. I was still looking beyond to other interesting challenges.”

And

“I am a lucky man. I have had a dream and it has come true, and that is not a thing that happens often to men.”

Wikipedia: Edmund Hillary

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Mad As Hell And… Quotes of the Day – Wednesday, May 29, 2013 – Calvin Coolidge

Mad As Hell And… Quotes of the Day – Wednesday, May 29, 2013 – Calvin Coolidge

“After all, the chief business of the American people is business. They are profoundly concerned with producing, buying, selling, investing and prospering in the world.”

And

“All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.”

And

“I have found it advisable not to give too much heed to what people say when I am trying to accomplish something of consequence. Invariably they proclaim it can’t be done. I deem that the very best time to make the effort.”

And

“If I had permitted my failures, or what seemed to me at the time a lack of success, to discourage me I cannot see any way in which I would ever have made progress.”

And

“Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers. It may not be difficult to store up in the mind a vast quantity of face within a comparatively short time, but the ability to form judgments requires the severe discipline of hard work and the tempering heat of experience and maturity.”

And

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.  The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

And

“Parties do not maintain themselves. They are maintained by effort. The government is not self-existent. It is maintained by the effort of those who believe in it. The people of America believe in American institutions, the American form of government and the American method of transacting business.”

And

“I favor the policy of economy, not because I wish to save money, but because I wish to save people. The men and women of this country who toil are the ones who bear the cost of the Government. Every dollar that we carelessly waste means that their life will be so much the more meager. Every dollar that we prudently save means that their life will be so much the more abundant. Economy is idealism in its most practical form.”

And

“The chief business of the American people is business.”

And

“If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final.”

Wikipedia Page: Calvin Coolidge

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Mad As Hell And… Quotes of the Day – Tuesday, May 28, 2013 – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Mad As Hell And… Quotes of the Day – Tuesday, May 28, 2013 – Franklin D. Roosevelt

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.”

And

“Be sincere; be brief; be seated.”

And

“Confidence… thrives on honesty, on honor, on the sacredness of obligations, on faithful protection and on unselfish performance. Without them it cannot live.”

And

“I do not look upon these United States as a finished product. We are still in the making.”

And

“I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people.”

And

“I’m not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can sure pick smart colleagues.”

And

“In our seeking for economic and political progress, we all go up – or else we all go down.”

And

“It is the duty of the President to propose and it is the privilege of the Congress to dispose.”

And

“It isn’t sufficient just to want – you’ve got to ask yourself what you are going to do to get the things you want.”

And

“Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.”

And

“Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.”

And

“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”

And

“Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are.”

And

“Take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly, and try another. But by all means, try something.”

And

“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.”

And

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

And

“The overwhelming majority of Americans are possessed of two great qualities a sense of humor and a sense of proportion.”

And

“The truth is found when men are free to pursue it.”

And

“The United States Constitution has proved itself the most marvelously elastic compilation of rules of government ever written.”

And

“There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.”

And

“There is nothing I love as much as a good fight.”

And

“We have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon.”

And

“This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory.”  First Inaugural Address, 4 March 1933

And

“Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”

And

“The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson — and I am not wholly excepting the Administration of W. W. The country is going through a repetition of Jackson’s fight with the Bank of the United States — only on a far bigger and broader basis.”  Letter to Col. Edward Mandell House, 21 November 1933

And

“Yes, we are on the way back — not by mere chance, not by a turn of the cycle. We are coming back more soundly than ever before because we planned it that way, and don’t let anybody tell you differently.”  Speech at the Citadel, 23 October 1935

And

“In the future days which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants — everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor — anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation.”
The Four Freedoms Speech, January 6, 1941

And

“We must scrupulously guard the civil rights and civil liberties of all our citizens, whatever their background. We must remember that any oppression, any injustice, any hatred, is a wedge designed to attack our civilization.”
Greeting to the American Committee for the Protection of the Foreign Born, Washington, D.C., 9 January 1940

And

“There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.”  Speech to the Democratic National Convention, 1936

And

“We do not see faith, hope, and charity as unattainable ideals, but we use them as stout supports of a nation fighting the fight for freedom in a modern civilization.”  Speech to the Democratic National Convention, 1936

And

“Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

The United States was at peace with that nation, and, at the solicitation of Japan, was still in conversation with its government and its Emperor looking toward the maintenance of peace in the Pacific.

It will be recorded that the distance of Hawaii from Japan makes it obvious that the attack was deliberately planned many days or even weeks ago. During the intervening time the Japanese Government has deliberately sought to deceive the United States by false statements and expressions of hope for continued peace.

As Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense, that always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph, so help us God.

I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, December 7, 1941, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese Empire.”  Response to the attack on Pearl Harbor, 1941

Wikipedia:   Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Mad As Hell And… Quotes of the Day – Monday, May 27, 2013 – Abraham Lincoln

Mad As Hell And… Quotes of the Day – Monday, May 27, 2013 – Abraham Lincoln


“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

And

“All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind.”

And

“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 a purpose – and you allow him to make war at pleasure.”

And

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.”

And

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

And

“Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable – a most sacred right – a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.”

And

“As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.”

And

“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.”

And

“Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new at all.”

And

“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”

And

“Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or not, I can say for one that I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow men, by rendering myself worthy of their esteem.”

And

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

And

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”

And

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.”

And

“I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end… I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me.”

And

“I do the very best I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.”

And

“I never had a policy; I have just tried to do my very best each and every day.”

And

“I was losing interest in politics, when the repeal of the Missouri Compromise aroused me again. What I have done since then is pretty well known.”

And

“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.”

And

“If there is anything that a man can do well, I say let him do it. Give him a chance.”

And

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

And

“It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”

And

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

And

“Surely God would not have created such a being as man, with an ability to grasp the infinite, to exist only for a day! No, no, man was made for immortality.”

And

“The assertion that “all men are created equal” was of no practical use in effecting our separation from Great Britain and it was placed in the Declaration not for that, but for future use.”

And

“These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people.”

And

“Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”

And

“You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man’s initiative and independence.”

And

“Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.”

And

“Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it.”

And

“The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall our selves, and then we shall save our country. Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation.”  Second State of the Union Address, December 1, 1862

And

“At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? — Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! — All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.” Lycecum Address, 1838

And

“Slavery is founded in the selfishness of man’s nature — opposition to it, in his love of justice. These principles are an eternal antagonism; and when brought into collision so fiercely, as slavery extension brings them, shocks, and throes, and convulsions must ceaselessly follow. Repeal the Missouri Compromise — repeal all compromises — repeal the Declaration of Independence — repeal all past history, you still can not repeal human nature. It still will be the abundance of man’s heart, that slavery extension is wrong; and out of the abundance of his heart, his mouth will continue to speak.”

And

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow, this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” The Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863

And

Lincoln’s War, The Untold Story of American’s Greatest President as Commander in Chief by Geoffrey Perret

Here is a great excerpt from that book that happened just after the First Battle of Bull Run, August 1861:

“Dozens of regiments had set up impromptu around Fort Corcoran, on Arlington Heights. Every day these canvas congeries trembled like leaves in the wind as fresh rumors of an impending Confederate attack. And every day Lincoln heard fresh stories of demoralized troops, mutinous regiments, poor discipline. Some regiments were entitled to – and clamoring for – an immediate discharge, their ninety-day service complete. The War Department’s officers seemed to busy for the burdensome task of mustering them out. Unchecked, however, mutinous sentiments could spread through camps like a virulent disease.

Lincoln decided to see for himself, and Seward went with him. A few days after Bull Run, they rode across the Potomac in an open carriage on an impromptu visit to the troops. What greeted them was redoubts spreading across the landscape, tents sprouting like mushrooms in nearly every direction, dusty roads, a cross-hatching of cart tracks, men milling or lolling about, few signs of order or purpose. Yet the District, on edge for its safety, has more than enough men to defend it – if the men chose.

As the carriage rattled along towards Fort Corcoran, a red-bearded colonel strode up: William Tecumseh Sherman. He had commanded a brigade at Bull Run, superbly. Sherman asked if the President had come to see the troops. “Yes,” said Lincoln. “We heard that you had got over the big scare and we thought we would come over and see the boys.”

Sherman got into the carriage, giving the driver directions to a camp at the top of a small hill. Sitting next to Lincoln, he asked if the President intended to speak to the men. “I would like to,” said Lincoln.

Sherman said he no objection to that, but he did not want cheering, “No hurrahing, no humbug. We had enough of it before Bull Run to spoil any set of them.” None worse than the 69 th New York, filled with Irishmen angry at not being discharged. Sherman had rebuked one of the officers of lax discipline.

Standing in the carriage, Lincoln gave an impromptu talk to Sherman’s troops: bravery, sacrifice, gratitude, a glorious future. The men began to cheer, but he held up his hand. “Don’t cheer boys, I confess I rather like it myself, but Colonel Sherman says it is not military, and I guess we had better defer to his opinion.”

Closing his impromptu peroration, Lincoln said that as Commander in Chief, he was determined that every man should be treated exactly as the law required: his indirect promise that those entitled to a discharge would soon have one. As the carriage moved on, a young officer ran after it, calling out piteously, “Mr. Lincoln! Mr. Lincoln!”

Lincoln ordered the driver to stop. Here was the officer of the 69 th New York whom Sherman had criticized, panting hard. “Mr. President, I have a cause of grievance. This morning I went to speak to Colonel Sherman, and he threatened to shoot me.”

“I told him Mr. President, that if he refused to obey my order, I would shoot him on the spot,” said Sherman. “And I here repeat it, sir, that if I remain in command here, and he or any other man refuses to obey my orders, I’ll shoot him on the spot.”

Lincoln bent forward. “My lad, if I were you, and he threatened to shoot, I would not trust him, for I believe he would do it!” The troops, until then sympathetic to the officer, howled with laughter.

Both Seward and Lincoln were impressed by the comparative tidiness of the camps of Sherman’s regiments. “This is the first bright moment I’ve experienced since the battle,” Lincoln told Sherman before riding off. From his own military experience, he knew that neatness and cleanliness is an army spelled discipline; neglect was a signal of trouble to come.”

End of excerpt from Lincoln’s War

And

The Perpetuation of Our Political Institutions:
Address Before the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois
January 27, 1838

“As a subject for the remarks of the evening, the perpetuation of our political institutions, is selected.

In the great journal of things happening under the sun, we, the American People, find our account running, under date of the nineteenth century of the Christian era.–We find ourselves in the peaceful possession, of the fairest portion of the earth, as regards extent of territory, fertility of soil, and salubrity of climate. We find ourselves under the government of a system of political institutions, conducing more essentially to the ends of civil and religious liberty, than any of which the history of former times tells us. We, when mounting the stage of existence, found ourselves the legal inheritors of these fundamental blessings. We toiled not in the acquirement or establishment of them–they are a legacy bequeathed us, by a once hardy, brave, and patriotic, but now lamented and departed race of ancestors. Their’s was the task (and nobly they performed it) to possess themselves, and through themselves, us, of this goodly land; and to uprear upon its hills and its valleys, a political edifice of liberty and equal rights; ’tis ours only, to transmit these, the former, unprofaned by the foot of an invader; the latter, undecayed by the lapse of time and untorn by usurpation, to the latest generation that fate shall permit the world to know. This task of gratitude to our fathers, justice to ourselves, duty to posterity, and love for our species in general, all imperatively require us faithfully to perform.

How then shall we perform it?–At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it?– Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never!–All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

I hope I am over wary; but if I am not, there is, even now, something of ill-omen, amongst us. I mean the increasing disregard for law which pervades the country; the growing disposition to substitute the wild and furious passions, in lieu of the sober judgment of Courts; and the worse than savage mobs, for the executive ministers of justice. This disposition is awfully fearful in any community; and that it now exists in ours, though grating to our feelings to admit, it would be a violation of truth, and an insult to our intelligence, to deny. Accounts of outrages committed by mobs, form the every-day news of the times. They have pervaded the country, from New England to Louisiana;–they are neither peculiar to the eternal snows of the former, nor the burning suns of the latter;–they are not the creature of climate– neither are they confined to the slave-holding, or the non-slave- holding States. Alike, they spring up among the pleasure hunting masters of Southern slaves, and the order loving citizens of the land of steady habits.–Whatever, then, their cause may be, it is common to the whole country.

It would be tedious, as well as useless, to recount the horrors of all of them. Those happening in the State of Mississippi, and at St. Louis, are, perhaps, the most dangerous in example and revolting to humanity. In the Mississippi case, they first commenced by hanging the regular gamblers; a set of men, certainly not following for a livelihood, a very useful, or very honest occupation; but one which, so far from being forbidden by the laws, was actually licensed by an act of the Legislature, passed but a single year before. Next, negroes, suspected of conspiring to raise an insurrection, were caught up and hanged in all parts of the State: then, white men, supposed to be leagued with the negroes; and finally, strangers, from neighboring States, going thither on business, were, in many instances subjected to the same fate. Thus went on this process of hanging, from gamblers to negroes, from negroes to white citizens, and from these to strangers; till, dead men were seen literally dangling from the boughs of trees upon every road side; and in numbers almost sufficient, to rival the native Spanish moss of the country, as a drapery of the forest.

Turn, then, to that horror-striking scene at St. Louis. A single victim was only sacrificed there. His story is very short; and is, perhaps, the most highly tragic, if anything of its length, that has ever been witnessed in real life. A mulatto man, by the name of McIntosh, was seized in the street, dragged to the suburbs of the city, chained to a tree, and actually burned to death; and all within a single hour from the time he had been a freeman, attending to his own business, and at peace with the world.

Such are the effects of mob law; and such as the scenes, becoming more and more frequent in this land so lately famed for love of law and order; and the stories of which, have even now grown too familiar, to attract any thing more, than an idle remark.

But you are, perhaps, ready to ask, “What has this to do with the perpetuation of our political institutions?” I answer, it has much to do with it. Its direct consequences are, comparatively speaking, but a small evil; and much of its danger consists, in the proneness of our minds, to regard its direct, as its only consequences. Abstractly considered, the hanging of the gamblers at Vicksburg, was of but little consequence. They constitute a portion of population, that is worse than useless in any community; and their death, if no pernicious example be set by it, is never matter of reasonable regret with any one. If they were annually swept, from the stage of existence, by the plague or small pox, honest men would, perhaps, be much profited, by the operation.–Similar too, is the correct reasoning, in regard to the burning of the negro at St. Louis. He had forfeited his life, by the perpetuation of an outrageous murder, upon one of the most worthy and respectable citizens of the city; and had not he died as he did, he must have died by the sentence of the law, in a very short time afterwards. As to him alone, it was as well the way it was, as it could otherwise have been.–But the example in either case, was fearful.–When men take it in their heads to day, to hang gamblers, or burn murderers, they should recollect, that, in the confusion usually attending such transactions, they will be as likely to hang or burn some one who is neither a gambler nor a murderer as one who is; and that, acting upon the example they set, the mob of to-morrow, may, and probably will, hang or burn some of them by the very same mistake. And not only so; the innocent, those who have ever set their faces against violations of law in every shape, alike with the guilty, fall victims to the ravages of mob law; and thus it goes on, step by step, till all the walls erected for the defense of the persons and property of individuals, are trodden down, and disregarded. But all this even, is not the full extent of the evil.–By such examples, by instances of the perpetrators of such acts going unpunished, the lawless in spirit, are encouraged to become lawless in practice; and having been used to no restraint, but dread of punishment, they thus become, absolutely unrestrained.–Having ever regarded Government as their deadliest bane, they make a jubilee of the suspension of its operations; and pray for nothing so much, as its total annihilation. While, on the other hand, good men, men who love tranquility, who desire to abide by the laws, and enjoy their benefits, who would gladly spill their blood in the defense of their country; seeing their property destroyed; their families insulted, and their lives endangered; their persons injured; and seeing nothing in prospect that forebodes a change for the better; become tired of, and disgusted with, a Government that offers them no protection; and are not much averse to a change in which they imagine they have nothing to lose. Thus, then, by the operation of this mobocractic spirit, which all must admit, is now abroad in the land, the strongest bulwark of any Government, and particularly of those constituted like ours, may effectually be broken down and destroyed–I mean the attachment of the People. Whenever this effect shall be produced among us; whenever the vicious portion of population shall be permitted to gather in bands of hundreds and thousands, and burn churches, ravage and rob provision-stores, throw printing presses into rivers, shoot editors, and hang and burn obnoxious persons at pleasure, and with impunity; depend on it, this Government cannot last. By such things, the feelings of the best citizens will become more or less alienated from it; and thus it will be left without friends, or with too few, and those few too weak, to make their friendship effectual. At such a time and under such circumstances, men of sufficient talent and ambition will not be wanting to seize the opportunity, strike the blow, and overturn that fair fabric, which for the last half century, has been the fondest hope, of the lovers of freedom, throughout the world.

I know the American People are much attached to their Government;–I know they would suffer much for its sake;–I know they would endure evils long and patiently, before they would ever think of exchanging it for another. Yet, notwithstanding all this, if the laws be continually despised and disregarded, if their rights to be secure in their persons and property, are held by no better tenure than the caprice of a mob, the alienation of their affections from the Government is the natural consequence; and to that, sooner or later, it must come.

Here then, is one point at which danger may be expected.

The question recurs, “how shall we fortify against it?” The answer is simple. Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others. As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor;–let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the character of his own, and his children’s liberty. Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap–let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs;–let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

When I so pressingly urge a strict observance of all the laws, let me not be understood as saying there are no bad laws, nor that grievances may not arise, for the redress of which, no legal provisions have been made.–I mean to say no such thing. But I do mean to say, that, although bad laws, if they exist, should be repealed as soon as possible, still while they continue in force, for the sake of example, they should be religiously observed. So also in unprovided cases. If such arise, let proper legal provisions be made for them with the least possible delay; but, till then, let them, if not too intolerable, be borne with.

There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law. In any case that arises, as for instance, the promulgation of abolitionism, one of two positions is necessarily true; that is, the thing is right within itself, and therefore deserves the protection of all law and all good citizens; or, it is wrong, and therefore proper to be prohibited by legal enactments; and in neither case, is the interposition of mob law, either necessary, justifiable, or excusable.

But, it may be asked, why suppose danger to our political institutions? Have we not preserved them for more than fifty years? And why may we not for fifty times as long?

We hope there is no sufficient reason. We hope all dangers may be overcome; but to conclude that no danger may ever arise, would itself be extremely dangerous. There are now, and will hereafter be, many causes, dangerous in their tendency, which have not existed heretofore; and which are not too insignificant to merit attention. That our government should have been maintained in its original form from its establishment until now, is not much to be wondered at. It had many props to support it through that period, which now are decayed, and crumbled away. Through that period, it was felt by all, to be an undecided experiment; now, it is understood to be a successful one.–Then, all that sought celebrity and fame, and distinction, expected to find them in the success of that experiment. Their all was staked upon it:– their destiny was inseparably linked with it. Their ambition aspired to display before an admiring world, a practical demonstration of the truth of a proposition, which had hitherto been considered, at best no better, than problematical; namely, the capability of a people to govern themselves. If they succeeded, they were to be immortalized; their names were to be transferred to counties and cities, and rivers and mountains; and to be revered and sung, and toasted through all time. If they failed, they were to be called knaves and fools, and fanatics for a fleeting hour; then to sink and be forgotten. They succeeded. The experiment is successful; and thousands have won their deathless names in making it so. But the game is caught; and I believe it is true, that with the catching, end the pleasures of the chase. This field of glory is harvested, and the crop is already appropriated. But new reapers will arise, and they, too, will seek a field. It is to deny, what the history of the world tells us is true, to suppose that men of ambition and talents will not continue to spring up amongst us. And, when they do, they will as naturally seek the gratification of their ruling passion, as others have so done before them. The question then, is, can that gratification be found in supporting and maintaining an edifice that has been erected by others? Most certainly it cannot. Many great and good men sufficiently qualified for any task they should undertake, may ever be found, whose ambition would inspire to nothing beyond a seat in Congress, a gubernatorial or a presidential chair; but such belong not to the family of the lion, or the tribe of the eagle. What! think you these places would satisfy an Alexander, a Caesar, or a Napoleon?–Never! Towering genius distains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored.–It sees no distinction in adding story to story, upon the monuments of fame, erected to the memory of others. It denies that it is glory enough to serve under any chief. It scorns to tread in the footsteps of any predecessor, however illustrious. It thirsts and burns for distinction; and, if possible, it will have it, whether at the expense of emancipating slaves, or enslaving freemen. Is it unreasonable then to expect, that some man possessed of the loftiest genius, coupled with ambition sufficient to push it to its utmost stretch, will at some time, spring up among us? And when such a one does, it will require the people to be united with each other, attached to the government and laws, and generally intelligent, to successfully frustrate his designs.

Distinction will be his paramount object, and although he would as willingly, perhaps more so, acquire it by doing good as harm; yet, that opportunity being past, and nothing left to be done in the way of building up, he would set boldly to the task of pulling down.

Here, then, is a probable case, highly dangerous, and such a one as could not have well existed heretofore.

Another reason which once was; but which, to the same extent, is now no more, has done much in maintaining our institutions thus far. I mean the powerful influence which the interesting scenes of the revolution had upon the passions of the people as distinguished from their judgment. By this influence, the jealousy, envy, and avarice, incident to our nature, and so common to a state of peace, prosperity, and conscious strength, were, for the time, in a great measure smothered and rendered inactive; while the deep-rooted principles of hate, and the powerful motive of revenge, instead of being turned against each other, were directed exclusively against the British nation. And thus, from the force of circumstances, the basest principles of our nature, were either made to lie dormant, or to become the active agents in the advancement of the noblest cause–that of establishing and maintaining civil and religious liberty.

But this state of feeling must fade, is fading, has faded, with the circumstances that produced it.

I do not mean to say, that the scenes of the revolution are now or ever will be entirely forgotten; but that like every thing else, they must fade upon the memory of the world, and grow more and more dim by the lapse of time. In history, we hope, they will be read of, and recounted, so long as the bible shall be read;– but even granting that they will, their influence cannot be what it heretofore has been. Even then, they cannot be so universally known, nor so vividly felt, as they were by the generation just gone to rest. At the close of that struggle, nearly every adult male had been a participator in some of its scenes. The consequence was, that of those scenes, in the form of a husband, a father, a son or brother, a living history was to be found in every family– a history bearing the indubitable testimonies of its own authenticity, in the limbs mangled, in the scars of wounds received, in the midst of the very scenes related–a history, too, that could be read and understood alike by all, the wise and the ignorant, the learned and the unlearned.–But those histories are gone. They can be read no more forever. They were a fortress of strength; but, what invading foeman could never do, the silent artillery of time has done; the leveling of its walls. They are gone.–They were a forest of giant oaks; but the all-resistless hurricane has swept over them, and left only, here and there, a lonely trunk, despoiled of its verdure, shorn of its foliage; unshading and unshaded, to murmur in a few gentle breezes, and to combat with its mutilated limbs, a few more ruder storms, then to sink, and be no more.

They were the pillars of the temple of liberty; and now, that they have crumbled away, that temple must fall, unless we, their descendants, supply their places with other pillars, hewn from the solid quarry of sober reason. Passion has helped us; but can do so no more. It will in future be our enemy. Reason, cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason, must furnish all the materials for our future support and defence.–Let those materials be moulded into general intelligence, sound morality, and in particular, a reverence for the constitution and laws: and, that we improved to the last; that we remained free to the last; that we revered his name to the last; that, during his long sleep, we permitted no hostile foot to pass over or desecrate his resting place; shall be that which to learn the last trump shall awaken our WASHINGTON.

Upon these let the proud fabric of freedom rest, as the rock of its basis; and as truly as has been said of the only greater institution, “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Wikipedia:  Abraham Lincoln

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