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112 Abraham Lincoln Quotes

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) is fondly remembered as the 16th president of the United States. A self-educated lawyer, he entered politics by running for local office, and then eventually at the national level for congress and the senate. His election as an anti-slavery expansion President triggered many Southern states to secede from the Union. He is widely credited by historians for preserving the Union of the United States and is considered one of the greatest Presidents in American history. He was famously assassinated, becoming a martyr for the causes enshrined in The Declaration of Independence, such as individual liberty, equality, and the pursuit of happiness.

Abraham Lincoln Famous Quotes:

  1. “Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” — Abraham Lincoln
  2. “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.” — Abraham Lincoln
  3. “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” — Abraham Lincoln
  4. “Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” — Abraham Lincoln
  5. “No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.” — Abraham Lincoln
  6. “Human action can be modified to some extent, but human nature cannot be changed.” — Abraham Lincoln
  7. “Love is the chain to lock a child to its parent.” — Abraham Lincoln
  8. “There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.” — Abraham Lincoln
  9. “You can tell the greatness of a man by what makes him angry.” — Abraham Lincoln
  10. “Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them.” — Abraham Lincoln
  11. “He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.” — Abraham Lincoln
  12. “Tact: the ability to describe others as they see themselves.” — Abraham Lincoln
  13. “A farce or comedy is best played; a tragedy is best read at home.” — Abraham Lincoln
  14. “Upon the subject of education, not presuming to dictate any plan or system respecting it, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people can be engaged in.” — Abraham Lincoln
  15. “For people who like that kind of a book that is the kind of book they will like.” — Abraham Lincoln
  16. “I am rather inclined to silence, and whether that be wise or not, it is at least more unusual nowadays to find a man who can hold his tongue than to find one who cannot.” — Abraham Lincoln
  17. “I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.” — Abraham Lincoln
  18. “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.” — Abraham Lincoln
  19. “When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” — Abraham Lincoln
  20. “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” — Abraham Lincoln
  21. “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” — Abraham Lincoln
  22. “Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.” — Abraham Lincoln
  23. “Adhere to your purpose and you will soon feel as well as you ever did. On the contrary, if you falter, and give up, you will lose the power of keeping any resolution, and will regret it all your life.” — Abraham Lincoln
  24. “And in the end it is not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” — Abraham Lincoln
  25. “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” — Abraham Lincoln
  26. “Every man’s happiness is his own responsibility.” — Abraham Lincoln
  27. “If I am killed, I can die but once; but to live in constant dread of it, is to die over and over again.” — Abraham Lincoln
  28. “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” — Abraham Lincoln
  29. “I would rather be a little nobody, than to be an evil somebody.” — Abraham Lincoln
  30. “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.” — Abraham Lincoln
  31. “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any other thing.” — Abraham Lincoln
  32. “I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.” — Abraham Lincoln
  33. “I have a congenital aversion to failure.” — Abraham Lincoln

34.“I happen temporarily to occupy this big White House. I am living witness that any one of your children may look to come here as my father’s child has.” — Abraham Lincoln

  1. “The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.” — Abraham Lincoln
  2. “I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.” — Abraham Lincoln
  3. “And having thus chosen our course, without guile, and with pure purpose, let us renew our trust in God, and go forward without fear, and with manly hearts.” — Abraham Lincoln
  4. “Human nature will not change. In any future great national trial, compared with the men of this, we shall have as weak and as strong, as silly and as wise, as bad and as good.” — Abraham Lincoln
  5. “What is to be, will be, and no prayers of ours can arrest the decree.” — Abraham Lincoln
  6. “Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.” — Abraham Lincoln
  7. “I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.” — Abraham Lincoln
  8. “I know not how to aid you, save in the assurance of one of mature age, and much severe experience, that you can not fail, if you resolutely determine, that you will not.” — Abraham Lincoln
  9. “I have not permitted myself, gentlemen, to conclude that I am the best man in the country; but I am reminded, in this connection, of a story of an old Dutch farmer who remarked to a companion once that ‘it was not best to swap horses while crossing streams’.” — Abraham Lincoln
  10. “I have stepped out upon this platform that I may see you and that you may see me, and in the arrangement I have the best of the bargain.”
  11. “The demon of intemperance ever seems to have delighted in sucking the blood of genius and of generosity.” — Abraham Lincoln
  12. “This is a world of compensations; and he who would be no slave, must consent to have no slave. Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it.” — Abraham Lincoln
  13. “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.” — Abraham Lincoln
  14. “In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free — honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.” — Abraham Lincoln
  15. “You think slavery is right and should be extended; while we think slavery is wrong and ought to be restricted. That I suppose is the rub. It certainly is the only substantial difference between us.” — Abraham Lincoln
  16. “The one victory we can ever call complete will be that one which proclaims that there is not one slave or one drunkard on the face of God’s green earth.” — Abraham Lincoln
  17. “All I ask for the negro is that if you do not like him, let him alone. If God gave him but little, that little let him enjoy.” — Abraham Lincoln
  18. “I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal.” — Abraham Lincoln
  19. “No man is good enough to govern another man, without that other’s consent. I say this is the leading principle–the sheet anchor of American republicanism.” — Abraham Lincoln
  20. “It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces; but let us judge not that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes.” — Abraham Lincoln
  21. “Surely God would not have created such a being as man, with an ability to grasp the infinite, to exist only for a day! No, no, man was made for immortality.” — Abraham Lincoln
  22. “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on 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 orphan – to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.” — Abraham Lincoln
  23. “I have never studied the art of paying compliments to women; but I must say that if all that has been said by orators and poets since the creation of the world in praise of women were applied to the women of America, it would not do them justice for their conduct during this war. I will close by saying, God bless the women of America!” — Abraham Lincoln
  24. “In regard to this Great Book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book.” — Abraham Lincoln
  25. “The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time. In the present civil war it is quite possible that God’s purpose is something different from the purpose of either party – and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect His purpose.” — Abraham Lincoln
  26. “I care not for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.” — Abraham Lincoln
  27. “Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.” — Abraham Lincoln
  28. “The United States government must not undertake to run the Churches. When an individual, in the Church or out of it, becomes dangerous to the public interest he must be checked.” — Abraham Lincoln
  29. “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable – a most sacred right – a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.” — Abraham Lincoln
  30. “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half-slave and half-free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved – I do not expect the house to fall – but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.” — Abraham Lincoln
  31. “This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it.” — Abraham Lincoln
  32. “I desire to so conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end, when I come to lay down the reins of power, I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me.” — Abraham Lincoln
  33. “Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.” — Abraham Lincoln
  34. “The ballot is stronger than the bullet.” — Abraham Lincoln
  35. “I cannot make it better known than it already is that I strongly favor colonization.” — Abraham Lincoln
  36. “Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser–in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.” — Abraham Lincoln
  37. “The love of property and consciousness of right and wrong have conflicting places in our organization, which often makes a man’s course seem crooked, his conduct a riddle.” — Abraham Lincoln
  38. “What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried?” — Abraham Lincoln
  39. “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.” — Abraham Lincoln
  40. “When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.” — Abraham Lincoln
  41. “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.” — Abraham Lincoln
  42. “Property is the fruit of labor…property is desirable…is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.” — Abraham Lincoln
  43. “I can make a General in five minutes but a good horse is hard to replace.” — Abraham Lincoln
  44. “My father taught me to work, but not to love it. I never did like to work, and I don’t deny it. I’d rather read, tell stories, crack jokes, talk, laugh—anything but work.” — Abraham Lincoln
  45. “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” — Abraham Lincoln
  46. “If we have no friends, we have no pleasure; and if we have them, we are sure to lose them, and be doubly pained by the loss.”
  47. “I distrust the wisdom if not the sincerity of friends who would hold my hands while my enemies stab me.” — Abraham Lincoln
  48. “I never encourage deceit, and falsehood, especially if you have got a bad memory, is the worst enemy a fellow can have. The fact is truth is your truest friend, no matter what the circumstances are.” — Abraham Lincoln
  49. “I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.” — Abraham Lincoln
  50. “Whatever you are, be a good one.” — Abraham Lincoln
  51. “I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.” — Abraham Lincoln
  52. “Those who look for the bad in people will surely find it.” — Abraham Lincoln
  53. “Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” — Abraham Lincoln
  54. “I will prepare and someday my chance will come.” — Abraham Lincoln
  55. “I do the very best I know how–the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.” — Abraham Lincoln
  56. “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.” — Abraham Lincoln
  57. “I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.” — Abraham Lincoln
  58. “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” — Abraham Lincoln
  59. “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” — Abraham Lincoln
  60. “I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being.” — Abraham Lincoln
  61. “Towering genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored.” — Abraham Lincoln
  62. “There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.” — Abraham Lincoln
  63. “If you are resolutely determined to make a lawyer of yourself, the thing is more than half done already.” — Abraham Lincoln
  64. “The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.” — Abraham Lincoln
  65. “I expect to maintain this contest until successful, or till I die, or am conquered, or my term expires, or Congress or the country forsakes me…
    A capacity, and taste, for reading, gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others. It is the key, or one of the keys, to the already solved problems. And not only so. It gives a relish, and facility, for successfully pursuing the [yet] unsolved ones.” — Abraham Lincoln
  66. “I have never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence.” — Abraham Lincoln
  67. “On the question of liberty, as a principle, we are not what we have been. When we were the political slaves of King George, and wanted to be free, we called the maxim that ‘all men are created equal’ a self evident truth; but now when we have grown fat, and have lost all dread of being slaves ourselves, we have become so greedy to be masters that we call the same maxim ‘a self evident lie.'” — Abraham Lincoln
  68. “Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere.” — Abraham Lincoln
  69. “Peace does not appear so distant as it did. I hope it will come soon, and come to stay; and so come as to be worth the keeping in all future time.” — Abraham Lincoln
  70. “I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free.” — Abraham Lincoln
  71. “In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free — honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best, hope of earth.” — Abraham Lincoln
  72. “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” — Abraham Lincoln
  73. “The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing.” — Abraham Lincoln
  74. “In very truth he was, the noblest work of God—an honest man.” — Abraham Lincoln
  75. “Passion has helped us; but can do so no more. It will in future be our enemy. Reason, cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason, must furnish all the materials for our future support and defense.” — Abraham Lincoln
  76. “I believe it is an established maxim in morals that he who makes an assertion without knowing whether it is true or false, is guilty of falsehood; and the accidental truth of the assertion, does not justify or excuse him.” — Abraham Lincoln
  77. “Let no young man choosing the law for a calling for a moment yield to the popular belief — resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your own judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer.” — Abraham Lincoln
  78. “In law it is a good policy to never plead what you need not, lest you oblige yourself to prove what you can not.” — Abraham Lincoln
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