Benjamin Butler (politician)
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- The true touchstone of civil liberty is not that all men are equal but that every man has the right to be the equal of every other man – if he can.
- I have forborne, sir, in this discussion, to argue the question upon any other or different grounds of right than those adopted by your authorities, in claiming the negroes as property, because I understand that your fabric of opposition to the Government of the United States has the right of property in man as its corner-stone.
- As quoted in Autobiography and Personal Reminiscences of Major-General Benj. F. Butler (1892), p. 604
- Will you suffer your soldier, captured in fighting your battles, to be in confinement for months rather than release him by giving for him that which you call a piece of property, and which we are willing to accept as a man? You certainly appear to place less value upon your soldier than you do upon your negro. I assure you, much as we of the North are accused of loving property, our citizens would have no difficulty in yielding up any piece of property they have in exchange for one of their brothers or sons languishing in your prisons.
- As quoted in Autobiography and Personal Reminiscences of Major-General Benj. F. Butler (1892), pp. 604–605
Quotes about Benjamin Butler
- The great crisis facing the country was the rebellion and anybody in the North who wanted to preserve the Union now found the principal enemy to be those Southern slave owners who had broken up the country. The institution which sustained them and the institution they went to war to defend was slavery. And more and more northerners became convinced of that. As a consequence, a lot of them went the whole way over, from being conservative, pro-Southern, pro-slavery Democrats to becoming radical Republicans. Benjamin Butler is a good example, and Edwin M. Stanton is another one.