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Speeches of Abraham Lincoln
1841 - Remarks In The Illinois Legislature

by Abraham Lincoln

January 23, 1841

In the House of Representatives January 23, 1841, while discussing the continuation of the Illinois and Michigan Canal, Mr. Moore was afraid the holders of the "scrip" would lose.

Mr. Napier thought there was no danger of that; and Mr. Lincoln said he had not examined to see what amount of scrip would probably be needed. The principal point in his mind was this, that nobody was obliged to take these certificates. It is altogether voluntary on their part, and if they apprehend it will fall in their hands they will not take it. Further the loss, if any there be, will fall on the citizens of that section of the country.

This scrip is not going to circulate over an extensive range of country, but will be confined chiefly to the vicinity of the canal. Now, we find the representatives of that section of the country are all in favor of the bill.

When we propose to protect their interests, they say to us: Leave us to take care of ourselves; we are willing to run the risk. And this is reasonable; we must suppose they are competent to protect their own interests, and it is only fair to let them do it.
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