Brief Bio: American statesman and lawyer
For further info: en.wikipedia.org
“The legitimate object of government”
The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves – in their separate, and individual capacities. In all that the people can individually do as well for themselves, government ought not to interfere. The desirable things which the individuals of a people can not do, or can not well do, for themselves, fall into two classes: those which have relation to wrongs, and those which have not. Each of these branch off into an infinite variety of subdivisions. The first – that in relation to wrongs – embraces all crimes, misdemeanors, and nonperformance of contracts. The other embraces all which, in its nature, and without wrong, requires combined action, as public roads and highways, public schools, charities, pauperism, orphanage, estates of the deceased, and the machinery of government itself. From this it appears that if all men were just, there still would be some, though not so much, need for government.
From the article “Fragment on Government”
“Discoveries and Inventions”
Beavers build houses; but they build them in nowise differently, or better, now than they did five thousand years ago…. Man is not the only animal who labors; but he is the only one who improves his workmanship. These improvements he effects by Discoveries and Inventions.
From the speech “Lecture on Discoveries and Inventions”
“The better angels of our nature”
We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
From the article “First Inaugral Address”
“Labor is the Superior of Capital”
Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
From the speech “Speech to Congress”
— Dec. 3, 1861