Remarkable parallels in Lincoln letter

[Note:  This item comes from friend Bruce Koball.  DLH]

From: Bruce R Koball <bkoball@well.com>
Subject: remarkable parallels in Lincoln letter
Date: March 31, 2017 at 12:57:17 PM EDT
To: dewayne@warpspeed.com

Hey Dewayne,

A friend just pointed me at this quote from A. Lincoln in an 1855 
letter to his friend Joshua Speed.

Lincoln and Speed were life-long friends although Speed was a 
slave-owner.

The Know-Nothings were an upstart political party, ostensibly 
anti-slavery but also, in fact strongly nativist, anti-immigrant and 
anti-Catholic, in reaction to the new wave of immigration from 
Catholic nations in Europe.

The parallels to today are striking, down to the mention of despotic 
Russia:

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 or degrading 
classes of white people? Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to 
be pretty rapid. As a nation, we began 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 [sic].

<http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/speed.htm>

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