ABRAHAM LINCOLN QUOTES IV

U.S. President (1809-1865)

Abraham Lincoln quote

I believe I shall never be old enough to speak without embarrassment when I have nothing to talk about.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, response to a serenade, December 6, 1864

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In this sad world of ours sorrow comes to all, and to the young it comes with bittered agony because it takes them unawares. The older have learned to expect it.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, letter to Fanny McCullough, December 23, 1862

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Tags: sorrow


Military glory -- that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, speech in opposition to the Mexican-American War, January 12, 1848

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Tags: war


When you lack interest in the case the job will very likely lack skill and diligence in the performance.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, notes for a law lecture, July 1, 1850

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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. As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and laws let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor--let every man remember that to violate the law is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own and his children's liberty. Let reverence for the laws be breathed by every American mother to the lisping babe that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in primers, spelling-books, and in almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay of all sexes and tongues and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars. While ever a state of feeling such as this shall universally or even very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, address to the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois, January 27, 1838

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Great distance in either time or space has wonderful power to lull and render quiescent the human mind.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, speech, February 22, 1842

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I would save the Union. I would save it in the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored, the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, letter to Horace Greeley, August 22, 1862

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If a man will stand up and assert, and repeat and reassert, that two and two do not make four, I know nothing in the power of argument that can stop him.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, speech at Peoria, Illinois, in reply to Senator Douglas, October 16, 1854

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Our government rests in public opinion. Whoever can change public opinion, can change the government.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, speech in Chicago, Illinois, December 10, 1856

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Tags: opinion


Free labor has the inspiration of hope; pure slavery has no hope. The power of hope upon human exertion, and happiness, is wonderful. The slave-master himself has a conception of it; and hence the system of tasks among slaves. The slave whom you can not drive with the lash to break seventy-five pounds of hemp in a day, if you will task him to break a hundred, and promise him pay for all he does over, he will break you a hundred and fifty. You have substituted hope, for the rod. And yet perhaps it does not occur to you, that to the extent of your gain in the case, you have given up the slave system, and adopted the free system of labor.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, fragmentary manuscript of a speech on free labor, September 17, 1859?

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Tags: hope


The negative principle that no law is free law, is not much known except among lawyers.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, speech at Peoria, Illinois, in reply to Senator Douglas, October 16, 1854

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Labor is the true standard of value.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, speech in Pittsburgh, PA, February 15, 1861

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Tags: value


I am a patient man--always willing to forgive on the Christian terms of repentance, and also to give ample time for repentance. Still, I must save this government, if possible. What I cannot do, of course I will not do, but it may as well be understood, once for all, that I shall not surrender this game leaving any available card unplayed.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, letter to Reverdy Johnson, July 26, 1862

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We expect some new disaster with each newspaper we read.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, speech at Bloomington, May 29, 1856

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Tags: newspapers


When Southern people tell us that they are no more responsible for the origin of slavery than we are, I acknowledge the fact. When it is said that the institution exists, and that it is very difficult to get rid of it in any satisfactory way, I can understand and appreciate the saying. I surely will not blame them for not doing what I should not know how to do myself. If all earthly power were given me, I should not know what to do as to the existing institution. My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia, to their own native land. But a moment's reflection would convince me that whatever of high hope (as I think there is) there may be in this in the long run, its sudden execution is impossible. If they were all landed there in a day, they would all perish in the next ten days; and there are not surplus shipping and surplus money enough to carry them there in many times ten days. What then? Free them all, and keep them among us as underlings? Is it quite certain that this betters their condition? I think I would not hold one in slavery at any rate, yet the point is not clear enough for me to denounce people upon.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, speech at Peoria, Illinois, in reply to Senator Douglas, October 16, 1854

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You say men ought to be hung for the way they are executing the law; I say the way it is being executed is quite as good as any of its antecedents. It is being executed in the precise way which was intended from the first, else why does no Nebraska man express astonishment or condemnation? Poor Reeder is the only public man who has been silly enough to believe that anything like fairness was ever intended, and he has been bravely undeceived.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, letter to Joshua F. Speed, August 22, 1855

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On my return from Philadelphia, yesterday, where, in my anxiety I had been led to attend the whig convention, I found your last letter. I was so tired and sleepy, having ridden all night, that I could not answer it till today; and now I have to do so in the H. R. The leading matter in your letter, is your wish to return to the side of the mountains. Will you be a good girl in all things, if I consent? Then come along, and that as soon as possible. Having got the idea in my head, I shall be impatient till I see you.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, letter to his wife, June 12, 1848

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I am afraid of the result upon organized action where great results are in view, if any of us allow ourselves to seek out minor or separate points, on which there may be difference of views as to policy and right, and let them keep us from uniting in action upon a great principle in a cause on which we all agree.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, speech in Chicago, March 1, 1859

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Tags: principles


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

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, speech, January 27, 1838

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It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861

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