“I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages” — Abraham Lincoln
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Lincoln held the view that newly freed slaves should be encouraged to work for reasonable wages. By saying they should “labor faithfully for reasonable wages”, Lincoln indicates his belief that compensated labor was an important part of the transition from slavery to freedom. The quote reflects Lincoln’s perspective that former slaves should have the opportunity to earn wages through their own work, rather than be denied compensation or economic independence as they had been under slavery.