• Inside the Lincoln Sitting Room

    Lincoln Home

    National Historic Site Illinois

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    Please be advised that tours of the Lincoln home fill rapidly during our busy summer season. We suggest that you visit the Lincoln Home National Historic Visitor Center early in the day for your best opportunity to receive a tour of the Lincoln home.

Lincoln on the Know Nothing Party

August 24, 1855: Letter to Joshua F. Speed

The American or "Know Nothing Party" was an anti-immigrant political party of the 1850's.

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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Did You Know?

Photo of Model of Lincoln's Patent

Abraham Lincoln is the only president to hold a patent. His patent was for a system of chambers designed to refloat boats that had run aground. He received Patent No. 6469 on May 22, 1849. Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Illinois