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“Let Us Have Faith that Right Makes Might…”
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Schuyler Colfax, U.S. representative from Indiana and vice president under Ulysses S. Grant, pens a famous quote from Lincoln’s Cooper Institute speech.

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN]. SCHUYLER COLFAX. Autograph Quote Signed, from Lincoln’s Cooper Institute speech given on February 27, 1860. Sept 10, 1877.

Inventory #23916       ON HOLD


“Let us have faith that Right makes Might; and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our Duty.” Lincoln’s Cooper Institute speech, Feb. ‘60.

                                    Yrs truly Schuyler Colfax / Sept 10 1877

Schuyler Colfax (1823-1885), born in New York City, moved with his family to Indiana when he was an adolescent.  Colfax pursued a career in journalism, serving as legislative correspondent for the Indiana State Journal and becoming part-owner of the Whig organ of northern Indiana, the South Bend Free Press (renamed the St. Joseph Valley Register in 1845).  Colfax was a member of the 1850 state constitutional convention, and four years later was elected as a Republican to Congress, where he served until 1869.  An energetic opponent of slavery, Colfax’s speech attacking the Lecompton Legislature in Kansas became the most widely requested Republican campaign document in the 1858 mid-term election. 

In 1862, following the electoral defeat of Galusha Grow, Colfax was elected Speaker of the House.  In that capacity, Colfax announced the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment on January 31, 1865: “The constitutional majority of two thirds having voted in the affirmative, the Joint Resolution is passed.”  Colfax considered February 1, 1865, the day he signed the House resolution, the happiest day of his life.  “Fourteen years before, among a mere handful of kindred spirits in the Constitutional Convention of his State, he had said: ‘Wherever, within my sphere, be it narrow or wide, oppression treads its iron heel on human rights, I will raise my voice in earnest protest.’  He had kept his word, and well earned his share in the triumph.” (Hollister, 245).  Colfax next served as Vice President under Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1873).  He lost a re-nomination bid in 1872 as a result of his involvement in the Crédit Mobilier of America scandal.  [Hollister, Ovando James.  Life of Schuyler Colfax (1886).]

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