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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1698
AUTHOR: Alexander II (1818–81)
QUOTATION: I did more for the Russian serf in giving him land as well as personal liberty, than America did for the negro slave set free by the proclamation of President Lincoln. I am at a loss to understand how you Americans could have been so blind as to leave the negro slave without tools to work out his salvation. In giving him personal liberty, you have him an obligation to perform to the state which he must be unable to fulfill. Without property of any kind he cannot educate himself and his children. I believe the time must come when many will question the manner of American emancipation of the negro slaves in 1863. The vote, in the hands of an ignorant man, without either property or self respect, will be used to the damage of the people at large; for the rich man, without honor or any kind of patriotism, will purchase it, and with it swamp the rights of a free people.
ATTRIBUTION: ALEXANDER II, emperor of Russia, conversation with Wharton Barker, Pavlovski Palace, August 17, 1879.—Barker, “The Secret of Russia’s Friendship,” The Independent, March 24, 1904, p. 647.