Happy Constitution Day!

 

 

We admit that the U.S. general government is not charged with the duty of redressing, or preventing, all the wrongs in the world. But that government rightfully may, and, subject to the constitution, ought to, redress and prevent, all wrongs, which are wrongs to the nation itself. It is expressly charged with the duty of providing for the general welfare. We think slavery impairs, and endangers the general welfare. Those who do not think this are not of us, and we can not argue with them. We must shape our own course by our own judgment.

We must not disturb slavery in the states where it exists, because the constitution, and the peace of the country, both forbid us. We must not withhold an efficient fugitive slave law, because the constitution demands it.

But we must, by a national policy, prevent the spread of slavery into new territories, or free states, because the constitution does not forbid us, and the general welfare does demand such prevention. We must prevent the revival of the African slave trade, because the constitution does not forbid us, and the general welfare does require the prevention. We must prevent these things being done by either congresses or courts. The people—the people—are the rightful masters of both congresses, and courts—not to overthrow the constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it.

Abraham Lincoln, September 16, 17, 1859 (Emphasis added.)

Published in: on September 17, 2020 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Happy Constitution Day!  
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