Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 2.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

Definition of Democracy [1]

[August 1, 1858?]

As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy. A. LINCOLN---


[1]   AD-IHi. The date which has been assigned to this document is apparently pure conjecture. The manuscript is associated with no speech or occasion known to the editors. It was given by Mrs. Lincoln to her friend Myra Bradwell of Chicago, who together with her husband, Judge James B. Bradwell, succeeded in having Mrs. Lincoln released from the institution in which she was confined as insane in her later years. The scrap of paper is unsigned, but a signature clipped from another document has been pasted below the definition.