Gary B. Nash, et al., eds., The American People: Creating a Nation and Society, 3rd ed. (New York: Harper Collins College Publishers, 1994), 483-84.
Lincoln, however, differed from most contemporaries in his deep commitment to the humane principles of equality and essential diginity of all human beings, including blacks. Douglas, by contrast, arguing against race mixing in a blatant bid for votes, continually made racial slurs. Lincoln believed not only that blacks were 'entitled to all the natural rights...in the Declaration of Independence" but also that they had many specific economic rights as well, like 'the right to put into his mouth the bread that his own hands had earned.' In these rights, blacks were, Lincoln said, 'my equal and the equal of Judge Douglas, and the equal of every living man.'