— Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865
1860s, Speech at Hartford (1860)
Context: The proposition that there is a struggle between the white man and the negro contains a falsehood. There is no struggle. If there was, I should be for the white man. If two men are adrift at sea on a plank which will bear up but one, the law justifies either in pushing the other off. I never had to struggle to keep a negro from enslaving me, nor did a negro ever have to fight to keep me from enslaving him. They say, between the crocodile and the negro they go for the negro. The logical proportion is therefore; as a white man is to a negro, so is a negro to a crocodile; or, as the negro may treat the crocodile, so the white man may treat the negro. The 'don't care' policy leads just as surely to nationalizing slavery as Jeff Davis himself, but the doctrine is more dangerous because more insidious.