From 1776: America's----journey to freedom
From The Declaration of Independence, 1776
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
1778: Patrick Henry to George Rogers Clark
I send you herewith some Copies of the Act of Government & Bill of Rights, together with the French Alliance. These will serve to show our new friends; the Ground upon which they are to stand, & the Support to be expected from their Countrymen of France. Equal Liberty & Happiness are the objects, to a participation of which we invite them.
Thomas Jefferson's First Inaugural Address, 1801
A rising nation spread over a wide and fruitful land, traversing all the seas with the rich productions of their industry, engaged in commerce with nations who feel power, and forget right, advancing rapidly to destinies beyond the reach of the mortal eye. When I contemplate these transcendent objects, & see the honor the happiness, & the hopes of this beloved country committed to the issue & the auspices of this day, I shrink from the contemplation, & humble myself before the magnitude of the undertaking.
The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863
All persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.
Abraham Lincoln's Inaugural Address, 1865
With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us drive to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphans to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.
The 19th Amendment, 1920
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.