Abraham Lincoln Letter to Joshua F. Speed lays into Anti-Immigrant Nativist Party ‘Know-Nothing’

“We are the Party of Lincoln.”

HOUSE MINORITY LEADER KEVIN MCCARTHY (R-CA)

No, you’re not. You are false, as if entirely alien to the very name you claim.

You delude the members, and disrespect the origins of the Republican Party.

Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we begin by declaring that “all men are created equal.”

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

ABRAHAM LINCOLN LETTER TO JOSHUA F. SPEED

AUGUST 24, 1855

“I am not a Know-Nothing. That is certain. How could I be? How can any one who abhors the oppression of negroes, be in favor of degrading classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid. As a nation, we begin by declaring that “all men are created equal.” We now practically read it “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 should 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 hypocracy.

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