America In The 1800s

Following is part of a speech Abraham Lincoln made (16th president of the United States):  ” You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.  You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.  You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred.  You cannot help the poor by discouraging the rich.  You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.  You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.  You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.  You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.”

When I was in high school I loved history.  My favorite character in History was Abraham Lincoln.  Lincoln moved to Illinois when he was 21 years old in 1830.  He was elected to the U.S. house as an Illinois Representative in 1846.

The first two years my husband and I were married we lived in Illinois.  I was in hog heaven.  I was near the small historic village Lincoln lived in, not far from the home he lived in after he married his wife Mary.  I visited all of the historic sites where Lincoln had lived.  I stepped back into time where the man I had read so much about lived.

What brought all this to mind for me was finding this old Pioneer Cookbook an elderly lady gave me when I was living in Illinois.  It contained quotes, recipes, old health remedies, how to be a good wife, a good child, a gentleman, and an upstanding citizen.  How to make stove polish, glue, even how to restore furniture and tan animal hides.  I read a lot of this information this morning and I thought – “Wow, we have come such a long way in this world, but I wonder if we are happier or better off than those who lived in the 1800s.  My thoughts, no we are not doing better, we are doing worse.  You see, people in the 1800s had morals, love, concern for others, happiness, love for God, and all the attributes we need in our lives today.

Here is the description of  Gentlemen from this book: A gentleman is a man who is clean inside and outside; who neither looks up to the rich nor down on the poor; who can love without squealing and win without bragging; who is considerate to women, children and old people; who is too brave to lie, too generous to cheat, and too sensible to loaf; who takes his share of the world’s goods and lets other people take theirs.  (I say, a gentleman is a man of morals, honesty, integrity, and compassion).

I will leave you with this small article from this cookbook about Laughter: Truly there is nothing sweeter or pleasanter to the ear than the merry laugh of a happy, joyous girl, and nothing dissipates gloom and sadness quicker, and drives dull care away like a good, hearty laugh.  We do not laugh enough; nature should teach us this lesson, it is true; the earth needs the showers, but if it did not catch and hold the sunshine, too, where would be the brightness and beauty it lavishes upon us.  1891

We need to venture back to the age of our ancestors and reestablish the habits of goodness and love in our lives.  What I see in this world today is unconcern and hatred. We are the only ones who can change this world in 2015, so let’s all begin to make planet earth a better place to live.  Smile Gentlemen and Ladies!


One thought on “America In The 1800s

  1. Powerful,brilliant and yes we need more gentlemen and gentlewomen for that matter. Like how you summed it up at the end. Thanks for sharing the quotes, what a brilliant book, we have so lost our way as the human race…..

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