Lincoln on Thomas Jefferson

April 6, 1859: Letter to H.L. Pierce

In this letter Lincoln explains his thoughts on Thomas Jefferson and the phrase "all men are created equal."

All honor to Jefferson - to the man who, in the concrete pressure of a struggle for national independence by a single people, had the coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into a merely revolutionary document, an abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times, and so embalm it there, that to-day, and in all coming days, it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling-block to the very harbingers of re-appearing tyranny and oppression.

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