Lincoln's first annual message to Congress contained a vision for the betterment of common man throughout the American generations.
12/3/1861 ...The execution of the laws for the suppression of the African slave trade...five vessels...seized and condemned...Two mates of vessels engaged in the trade, and one person in equipping a vessel as a slaver have been convicted...and one captain, taken with a cargo of Africans on board his vessel, has been convicted of the highest grade of offense under our laws, the punishment of which is death.
...there is not, of necessity, any such thing as the free hired laborer being fixed to that condition for life. Many independent men everywhere in these states, a few years back in their lives, were hired laborers. The prudent, penniless beginner in the world, labors for wages awhile, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land for himself; then labors on his own account another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him. This is the just, and generous, and prosperous system, which opens the way to all-gives hope to all, and consequent energy, and progress, and improvement of condition to all... Let them beware of surrendering a political power which they already possess, and which, if surrendered, will surely be used to close the door of advancement against such as they, and to fix new disabilities and burdens upon them, till all of liberty shall be lost.
...There are already among us those, who, if the Union be preserved, will live to see it contain two hundred and fifty millions. The struggle of today, is not altogether for today-it is for a vast future also... LL 447-54