„Now, I say to you, my fellow-citizens, that in my opinion the signers of the Declaration had no reference to the negro whatever when they declared all men to be created equal. They desired to express by that phrase, white men, men of European birth and European descent, and had no reference either to the negro, the savage Indians, the Fejee, the Malay, or any other inferior and degraded race, when they spoke of the equality of men. One great evidence that such was their understanding, is to be found in the fact that at that time every one of the thirteen colonies was a slaveholding colony, every signer of the Declaration represented a slave-holding constituency, and we know that no one of them emancipated his slaves, much less offered citizenship to them when they signed the Declaration, and yet, if they had intended to declare that the negro was the equal of the white man, and entitled by divine right to an equality with him, they were bound, as honest men, that day and hour to have put their negroes on an equality with themselves.“
— Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865
Misattributed, Attributed at a few sites to a debate in Peoria, Illinois with Stephen Douglas on 16 October 1858. No historical record of such a debate actually exists, though there was a famous set of speeches by both in Peoria on 16 October 1854, but transcripts of Lincoln's speech http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=lincoln;cc=lincoln;type=simple;rgn=div1;q1=cleaver;view=text;subview=detail;sort=occur;idno=lincoln2;node=lincoln2%3A282 on that date do not indicate that he made such a statement. It in fact comes from a speech made by Douglas in the third debate http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=lincoln;cc=lincoln;type=simple;rgn=div1;q1=fejee;view=text;subview=detail;sort=occur;idno=lincoln3;node=lincoln3%3A17 against Lincoln at Jonesboro, Illinois on 15 September 1858.