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Abraham Lincoln

Edited by JOHN G. NICOLAY and JOHN HAY

With a General Introduction by RICHARD Watson GILDER, and Special Articles

by OTHER EMINENT PERSONS

New and Enlarged Edition

VOLUME VII

New York

FRANCIS D. TANDY COMPANY

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The Influence of Abraham Lincoln

1

O

N THE 12th of February, 1809, two

babes were born-one in the woods of

Kentucky, amid the hardships and poverty of pioneers; one in England, surrounded by wealth and culture. One was educated in the University of Nature, the other at Cambridge. One associated his name with the enfranchisement of labor, with the emancipation of millions, with the salvation of the Republic. He is known to us as Abraham Lincoln. The other broke the chains of superstition and filled the world with intellectual light, and he is known as Charles Darwin.

Nothing is grander than to break chains from the bodies of men-nothing nobler than to destroy the phantoms of the soul. Because of these two men the nineteenth century is illustri

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A few men and women make a nation glorious -Shakespeare made England immortal, Vol

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1 Copyright 1894 by R. G. Ingersoll. Printed from The Dresden Edition of “The Complete Works of Robert Ingersoll' by special permission.

taire civilized and humanized France; Goethe, Schiller and Humboldt lifted Germany into the light. Angelo, Raphael, Galileo and Bruno crowned with fadeless laurel the Italian brow, and now the most precious treasure of the Great Republic is the memory of Abraham Lincoln.

Every generation has its heroes, its iconoclasts, its pioneers, its ideals. The people always have been and still are divided, at least into classes—the many, who with their backs to the sunrise worship the past, and the few, who keep their faces toward the dawn—the many, who are satisfied with the world as it is; the few, who labor and suffer for the future, for those to be, and who seek to rescue the oppressed, to destroy the cruel distinctions of caste, and to civilize mankind.

Yet it sometimes happens that the liberator of one age becomes the oppressor of the next. His reputation becomes so great—he is so revered and worshipped—that his followers, in his name, attack the hero who endeavors to take another step in advance.

The heroes of the Revolution, forgetting the justice for which they fought, put chains upon the limbs of others, and in their names the lovers of liberty were denounced as ingrates and traitors.

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