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Contents > Author > Abraham Lincoln > Education and Labor 1809- 1865
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Abraham Lincoln
Education and Labor
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The old general rule was that educated people did not perform
manual labor. They managed to eat their bread, leaving the toil
of producing it to the uneducated. This was not an insupportable
evil to the working bees, so long as the class of drones remained
very small. But now, especially in these free States, nearly all are
educated -- quite too nearly all, to leave the labor of the uneducated,
in any wise adequate to the support of the whole. It follows from this
that henceforth educated people must labor. Otherwise, education
itself would become a positive and intolerable evil. No country can
sustain, in idleness, more than a small percentage of its numbers.
The great majority must labor at something productive.

(Address before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society,
September 30, 1859)
 

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