"We pale-faced people think that this world is a great, round ball." At this point the President directed their attention to a globe and Professor Joseph Henry, the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, gave a brief account of world geography, pointing out Washington D C, and their own region. Lincoln then told them, "The pale-faced people are more numerous and prosperous because they cultivate the earth, produce bread and depend upon the products of the earth rather than wild game for subsistence." Another reason for the greater wealth and power of the "pale-faced people," Lincoln continued, was the absence of anarchic violence: "Although we are now engaged in a great war between one another, we are not so much disposed to fight and kill one another as our red brethren."
Lincoln attributed the technological superiority of Anglo-Americans not to racial characteristics but to culture: "But for the difference in habit of observation, why did Yankees almost instantly discover gold in California, which had trodden over and overlooked by Indians and Mexican greasers, for centuries?"
What Lincoln Believed, by Michael Lind, pages 55 and 57.
Lincoln might have added that if "Mexican greasers" did somehow manage to produce anything valuable from mining the earth, the "paled-faced people" had organized a government that could acquire their property by virtue of executive decree.