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MR. LINCOLN began life as a
day laborer, under the hardest conditions, toiling for scanty and often uncertain wages. The bond of fellowship between him and all other workingmen, the world over, was never broken. They were peculiarly his people, and it was for them and with them that he believed himself to be still working. That they understood him and continually regarded him as one of themselves, was a most important element in his political influence, in his power to control and direct national affairs. There was, however, so little of the demagogue' in his nature that he simply took their
appreciation for granted and his utterances concerning labor and laboring men were brief and few in number.”
SPEECH AT CINCINNATI, O., SEPT., 1859.
" That there is a certain relation between capital and labor, I admit. That it does exist, and rightfully exists, I think is true. That men who are industrious, and sober, and honest, in the pursuit of their own interests, should after awhile accumulate capital, and after that should be allowed to enjoy it in peace, and also, if they should choose, when they have accumulated it, to use it to save themselves from actual labor and hire other people to labor for them, is right. In doing so they do not wrong the men they employ, for they find men who have not of their own land to work on or shops to work in, and who are benefited by working for others, as hired laborers, receiving their capital for it. Thus, a few men that own capital hire a few others, and these establish the relations of capital and labor rightfully. A relation of which I make no complaint. But I insist that the relation after all does not embrace more than one eighth of the labor of the country.”
ANNUAL MESSAGE TO CONGRESS,
“ Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration."
ANNUAL MESSAGE, DEC., 1861. “No men living are more worthy to be trusted than those who toil up from poverty,-none less inclined to take or touch aught which they have not honestly earned. Let them beware of surrendering a political power which they already possess, and which, if surrendered, will surely be used to close the door of advancement against such as they, and to fix new disabilities and burdens upon them, till all of liberty he lost."
REPLY TO A COMMITTEE OF THE WORKINGMEN'S ASSOCIATION OF
NEW YORK, MAR. 21, 1864. “The strongest bond of human sympathy, outside of the family relation, should be one uniting all working people, of all nations, and tongues, and kindreds. Nor should this lead to a war upon property, or
the owners of property. Property is the fruit of labor ; property is desirable ; is a positive good to the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and, hence, is just encouragement to energy and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built."
LAST PUBLIC UTTERANCE
LINCOLN, APRIL 4, 1865. “ Mr. Colfax :-I want you to take a message from me to the miners whom you visit. 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