Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.
John Randolph (17731833)
In regard to this principle, that all men are born free and equal, if there is an animal on earth to which it does not applythat is not born free, it is manhe is born in a state of the most abject want, and in a state of perfect helplessness and ignorance, which is the foundation of the connubial tie . Who should say that all the soil in the world is equally rich, the first rate land in Kentucky and the Highlands of Scotland because the superficial content of the acre is the same, would be just as right as he who should maintain the absolute equality of man in virtue of his birth. The ricketty and scrofulous little wretch who first sees the light in a work-house, or in a brothel, and who feels the effects of alcohol before the effects of vital air, is not equal in any respect to the ruddy offspring of the honest yeoman; nay, I will go further, and say that a prince, provided he is no better born than royal blood will make him, is not equal to the healthy son of a peasant.
Senator JOHN RANDOLPH of Roanoke, remarks in the Senate, Register of Debates, vol. 2, March 2, 1826, col. 126.