I know no class of my fellowmen, however just, enlightened, and humane, which can be wisely and safely trusted absolutely with the liberties of any other class.
To suppress free speech is a double wrong. It violates the rights of the hearer as well as those of the speaker.
Liberty is meaningless where the right to utter one’s thoughts and opinions has ceased to exist. That, of all rights, is the dread of tyrants. It is the right which they first of all strike down.
Any one having a white face, and being so disposed, could stop us, and subject us to examination. ... When I get there [in Pennsylvania], I shall not be required to have a pass; I can travel without being disturbed.
... and in thinking of my life, I almost forgot my liberty.
Let us render the tyrant no aid; let us not hold the light by which he can trace the footprints of our flying brother.
Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will.
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they have resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they suppress.
The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.
The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.
The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.
Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want rain without thunder and lightning.
Find out just what the people will submit to and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.
What is possible for me is possible for you.
No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.
To educate a man is to unfit him to be a slave.
He who would be free must strike the first blow.
What shall be done with the four million slaves if they are emancipated? ... Primarily, it is a question less for man than for God -- less for human intellect than for the laws of nature to solve. It assumes that nature has erred; that the law of liberty is a mistake; that freedom, though a natural want of the human soul, can only be enjoyed at the expense of human welfare, and that men are better off in slavery than they would or could be in freedom; that slavery is the natural order of human relations, and that liberty is an experiment. What shall be done with them? Our answer is, do nothing with them; mind your business, and let them mind theirs. Your doing with them is their greatest misfortune. They have been undone by your doings, and all they now ask, and really have need of at your hands, is just to let them alone. They suffer by every interference, and succeed best by being let alone.
Interpreted as it ought to be interpreted, the constitution is a Glorious Liberty Document!