ABRAHAM LINCOLN QUOTES IX

U.S. President (1809-1865)

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.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, speech in the United States House of Representatives, January 12, 1848

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I do not rise to speak now, if I can stipulate with the audience to meet me here at half-past six or at seven o'clock. It is now several minutes past five, and Judge Douglas has spoken over three hours. If you hear me at all, I wish you to hear me through. It will take me as long as it has taken him. That will carry us beyond eight o'clock at night. Now, every one of you who can remain that long can just as well get his supper, meet me at seven, and remain an hour or two later. The Judge has already informed you that he is to have an hour to reply to me. I doubt not but you have been a little surprised to learn that I have consented to give one of his high reputation and known ability this advantage of me. Indeed, my consenting to it, though reluctant, was not wholly unselfish, for I suspected, if it were understood that the Judge was entirely done, you Democrats would leave and not hear me; but by giving him the close, I felt confident you would stay for the fun of hearing him skin me.

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

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There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.

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

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Henry Clay is dead. His long and eventful life is closed. Our country is prosperous and powerful; but could it have been quite all it has been, and is, and is to be, without Henry Clay? Such a man the times have demanded, and such in the providence of God was given us. But he is gone. Let us strive to deserve, as far as mortals may, the continued care of Divine Providence, trusting that in future national emergencies He will not fail to provide us the instruments of safety and security.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, eulogy on Henry Clay, delivered in the State House at Springfield, Illinois, July 16, 1852

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That perfect liberty they sigh for -- the liberty of making slaves of other people -- Jefferson never thought of, their own fathers never thought of, they never thought of themselves, a year ago. How fortunate for them they did not sooner become sensible of their great misery!

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

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The Autocrat of all the Russias will resign his crown, and proclaim his subjects free republicans sooner than will our American masters voluntarily give up their slaves.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, letter to George Robertson, August 15, 1855

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We find ourselves under the government of a system of political institutions, conducing more essentially to the ends of civil and religious liberty, than any of which the history of former times tells us. We, when mounting the stage of existence, found ourselves the legal inheritors of these fundamental blessings. We toiled not in the acquirement or establishment of them; they are a legacy bequeathed us by a once hardy, brave, and patriotic, but now lamented and departed, race of ancestors. Theirs was the task (and nobly they performed it) to possess themselves, and through themselves us, of this goodly land, and to uprear upon its hills and its valleys a political edifice of liberty and equal rights; 'tis ours only to transmit these--the former unprofaned by the foot of an invader, the latter undecayed by the lapse of time and untorn by usurpation--to the latest generation that fate shall permit the world to know. This task gratitude to our fathers, justice to ourselves, duty to posterity, and love for our species in general, all imperatively require us faithfully to perform.

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

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It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence, to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words: And this, too, shall pass away.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, address before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, September 30, 1859

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Republicans are for both the man and the dollar, but in case of conflict the man before the dollar.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, attributed, Abraham Lincoln, Constitutionalism, and Equal Rights in the Civil War Era

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I see the signs of the approaching triumph of the Republicans in the bearing of their political adversaries. A great deal of their war with us nowadays is mere bushwhacking.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, speech at New Haven, Connecticut, March 6, 1860

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It is best for all to leave each man free to acquire property as fast as he can. Some will get wealthy. I don't believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good. So while we do not propose any war upon capital, we do wish to allow the humblest man an equal chance to get rich with everybody else. When one starts poor, as most do in the race of life, free society is such that he knows he can better his condition; he knows that there is no fixed condition of labor, for his whole life. I am not ashamed to confess that twenty-five years ago I was a hired laborer, mauling rails, at work on a flat-boat, just what might happen to any poor man's son! I want every man to have the chance, and I believe a black man is entitled to it, in which he can better his condition. When he may look forward and hope to be a hired laborer this year and the next, work for himself afterward, and finally to hire men to work for him! That is the true system.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, speech in New Haven, Connecticut, March 6, 1860

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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, reply to New York Workingmen's Democratic Republican Association, March 21, 1864

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Whatever may be the result of this ephemeral contest between Judge Douglas and myself, I see the day rapidly approaching when his pill of sectionalism, which he has been thrusting down the throats of Republicans for years past, will be crowded down his own throat.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, debate with Stephen Douglas, October 7, 1858

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Judge Douglas and I have made perhaps forty speeches apiece, and we have now for the fifth time met face to face to debate, and up to this day I have not found either Judge Douglas or any friend of his taking hold of the Republican platform or laying his finger upon anything in it that is wrong.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, debate with Stephen Douglas, October 7, 1858

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I don't want to be unjustly accused of dealing illiberally or unfairly with an adversary, either in court, or in a political canvass, or anywhere else. I would despise myself if I supposed myself ready to deal less liberally with an adversary than I was willing to be treated myself.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, debate with Stephen Douglas, September 18, 1858

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Now, I confess myself as belonging to that class in the country who contemplate slavery as a moral, social, and political evil, having due regard for its actual existence amongst us, and the difficulties of getting rid of it in any satisfactory way, and to all the constitutional obligations which have been thrown about it; but who, nevertheless, desire a policy that looks to the prevention of it as a wrong, and looks hopefully to the time when as a wrong it may come to an end.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, debate with Stephen Douglas, October 7, 1858

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I would then like to know how it comes about that when each piece of a story is true, the whole story turns out to be false?

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, debate with Stephen Douglas, September 18, 1858

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Judge Douglas has told me that he heard my speeches north and my speeches south--that he had heard me at Ottawa and at Freeport in the north, and recently at Jonesboro in the south, and there was a very different cast of sentiment in the speeches made at the different points. I will not charge upon Judge Douglas that he wilfully misrepresents me, but I call upon every fair-minded man to take these speeches and read them, and I dare him to point out any difference between my speeches north and south.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, debate with Stephen Douglas, September 18, 1858

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Judge Douglas turns away from the platform of principles to the fact that he can find people somewhere who will not allow us to announce those principles. If he had great confidence that our principles were wrong, he would take hold of them and demonstrate them to be wrong.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, debate with Stephen Douglas, October 7, 1858

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I take it that I have to address an intelligent and reading community who will peruse what I say, weigh it, and then judge whether I advance improper or unsound views, or whether I advance hypocritical and deceptive and contrary views in different portions of the country. I believe myself to be guilty of no such thing as the latter, though, of course, I cannot claim that I am entirely free from all error in the opinions I advance.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, debate with Stephen Douglas, October 7, 1858

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