The Bulwark of Liberty and Independence
Patriot Day 2008
One hundred and fifty years ago today, September 11, 1858, Abraham Lincoln then a candidate for the U.S. Senate gave a speech at Edwardsville, Illinois, including the following proclamation near the end:
What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army. These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of them may be turned against our liberties, without making us stronger or weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, every where. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. Familiarize yourselves with the chains of bondage, and you are preparing your own limbs to wear them. Accustomed to trample on the rights of those around you, you have lost the genius of your own independence, and become the fit subjects of the first cunning tyrant who rises.
(Originally published in the Alton, Illinois, Weekly Courier, September 16, 1858.)
Lane Core Jr. CIW P Thu. 09/11/08 09:11:21 AM
Categorized as Historical & Speeches and Suchlike.