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Quotations from
Abraham Lincoln


Abraham Lincoln oval etching, circa 1861      Abraham Lincoln was America's 16th President and he freed the slaves and won the Civil War which preserved the Union of the States. He was not very successful as a businessman, as a militia officer, nor as a lawyer or elected official in Illinois, but he is considered by many historians as the best and most-important President among the 40-plus men elected to that office.

Links are provided below for further investigation.
The references to WMail issues indicate quotes that appeared in the free monthly 'WMail' ezine
connected with the revolutionary "Working Minds Philosophy of Empowerment" created by G.E. Nordell.

After WMail Issue #72 in October 2007, essays & quotations & news are being posted to the Dateline Chamesa blog

Abraham Lincoln entry at Wikipedia

Abraham Lincoln Page
at Spirit of America Bookstore

the seven Lincoln–Douglas debates of 1858

Lincoln's First Inaugural Address, March 1861

The Emancipation Proclamation, 1 January 1863

Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, 19 November 1863

Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, 4 March 1865

The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (at University of Michigan)

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character,
give him power.”  {Issue #36}
•      •
“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important
than any other one thing.”  {Issue #43 & blog 2/2016}
•      •
“What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements,
our bristling sea coasts, our army and our navy. These are not our reliance against tyranny. All of those may
be turned against us without making us weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty
which God has planted in us. Our defence is in the spirit which prized liberty as the heritage of all men,
in all lands everywhere.” (in 1858)  {blog 10/2007}
•      •
“And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.”  {blog 12/2007}
•      •
“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety
of my country. Corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow,
and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices
of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”
(in a letter written to Col. William Elkins on 21 November 1864)  {blog 7/2008}
•      •
“Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?”  {blog 9/2008}
•      •
“Three things make up a nation: its land, its people, and its laws.”  {blog 12/2008}
•      •
“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.” (in 1838)  {blog 8/2009}

“We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing.”  {blog 8/2009}
•      •
“We, the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts; not to overthrow the Constitution, but to
overthrow men who pervert the Constitution.”  {blog 8/2009}
•      •
“The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.”  {blog 9/2009}
•      •
“It has so happened in all the ages of the world that some have laboured and others have, without
labour, enjoyed a large proportion of the fruits. This is wrong, and should not continue.”  {blog 12/2009}
•      •
“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.”  {blog 12/2010}
•      •
“God must have loved the plain people, he made so many of them.”  {blog 4/2011}
•      •
“Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it
tried on him personally.”  {blog 4/2011}
•      •
“Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.”  {blog 6/2011}
•      •
“Character is like a tree and a reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it;
the tree is the real thing.”  {blog 10/2011}
•      •
“I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.”  {blog 7/2012}
•      •
“No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.”  {blog 10/2012 & 7/2015}
•      •
“Whatever you are, be a good one.”  {blog 12/2012}
•      •
“I am an optimist because I don't see the point in being anything else.”  {blog 1/2013}
•      •
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”  {blog 1/2013}
•      •
“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”  {blog 1/2013}
•      •
“These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert to fleece the people.”  {blog 3/2013}

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”  {blog 3/2013}
•      •
“We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.”  {blog 8/2013}
•      •
“Whenever there is a conflict between human rights and property rights, human rights must prevail.”  {blog 12/2013}
•      •
“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.”  {blog 11/2015}
•      •
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”  {blog 2/2016}
•      •
“Die when I may, I want it said by those who knew me best that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower
where I thought a flower would grow.”  {blog 2/2017}
•      •
“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution
but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”  {blog 3/2017}
•      •
“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.”
~~ Judeo-Christian Bible, Matthew 12:25
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
~~ Abraham Lincoln, June 1858 speech
~~ Lyndon B. Johnson, February 1964 speech {quoting Lincoln}
{blog 3/2018}
•      •
“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 up to what light I have.”  {blog 4/2018}

Abraham Lincoln Quotations Not Yet Used on the Blog

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."

"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing."

"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet
any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts."

"If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?"

"It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels worthy of himself and claims kindred
to the great God who made him."

"No man is good enough to govern another man without that other's consent."

"You may deceive all the people part of the time, and part of the people all the time,
but not all the people all the time."

"A friend is one who has the same enemies as you have."

"As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy."

"Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm."

"Fourscore 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."

"He who molds the public sentiment . . . makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to make."

"How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg."

"I can make more generals, but horses cost money."

"My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure."

"No matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens."

"Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as a heritage of all men, in all lands,
everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors."

"Public opinion in this country is everything."

"Stand with anybody that stands right, stand with him while he is right, and
part with him when he goes wrong."

"The assertion that 'all men are created equal' was of no practical use in effecting our separation
from Great Britain and it was placed in the Declaration not for that, but for future use."

"The ballot is stronger than the bullet."

"The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next."

"The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep for which the sheep thanks the shepherd
as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty.
Plainly, the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of liberty."

"The way for a young man to rise is to improve himself in every way he can, never suspecting that anybody wishes to hinder him."

"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 exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it."

"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves."

"Towering genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored."

"What kills a skunk is the publicity [that] it gives itself."

"You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was."

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