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I have never had a feeling that did not spring
from the sentiments emobied in the Declaration of Independence and I
have pondered over the dangers which were incurred by the men who
assembled here and adopted that Declaration of Independence and I have
pondered over the toils that were endured by the officers and soldiers
of the army who achieved that independence. I have often inquired of
myself, what great principle or idea it was that kept this Confederacy
so long together. It was not the mere matter of the separation of the
colonies from the mother land; but something in that Declaration giving
liberty, not alone to the people of this Country, but hope to the world
for all future time. It was that which gave promise that in due time
the weights should be lifted from the shoulders of all men, and that all
should have an equal chance. This is the sentiment in that Declaration
at Independence Hall
on Washington's Birthday, 1861