Abraham Lincoln Quotes

Most popular Abraham Lincoln Quotes

When I am getting ready to reason with a man, I spend one-third of my time thinking about myself and what I am going to say and two-thirds about him and what he is going to say.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

communication empathy persuasion wisdom

A drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall. So with men, if you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches his heart; which, say what you will, is the great high road to his reason.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

persuasion

Onward and upward.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

inspirational

I was raised to farm work.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

personal

Human nature will not change.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

human nature

Whatever you are, be a good one.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

career how to live life

I am not an accomplished lawyer.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

personal

Everyone has a least one book in him.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

writing

The ballot is stronger than the bullet.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

democracy voting war

Freedom is the last, best hope of earth.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

freedom

Bad promises are better broken than kept.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

promises

Avoid popularity if you would have peace.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

celebrity inner peace

I'm a slow walker, but I never walk back.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

moving forward

A house divided against itself cannot stand.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

iconic unity

Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

patience

I will prepare and some day my chance will come.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

hopeful inspirational

I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

principles

If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?
β€” Abraham Lincoln

funny

Important principles may, and must, be inflexible.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

principles

Think of strangers as friends you have not met yet.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

friendship strangers

To ease another 's heartache is to forget one's own.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

service

A friend is a man who has the same enemies you have.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

enemies friendship

I don't like that man. I must get to know him better.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

attitude positive

What kills the skunk is the publicity it gives itself.
β€” Abraham Lincoln (Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln)
It is best not to swap horses while crossing the river.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

change

I have no wealthy or popular relations to recommend me.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

personal

Would God show His will for me to others and not to me?
β€” Abraham Lincoln

God

Truth is generally the best vindication against slander.
β€” Abraham Lincoln
He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

criticism

No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

lying

We shall meanly lose or nobly save the last hope of earth.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

American Civil War

Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?
β€” Abraham Lincoln

enemies food for thought wisdom

Force is all-conquering, but its victories are short-lived.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

violence war

My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

work

Tact: the ability to describe others as they see themselves.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

tact

Marriage is neither heaven nor hell, it is simply purgatory.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

marriage

We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

wisdom

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

freedom slavery

God must have loved the common people, he made so many of them.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

the public

Most of us are just about as happy as we make up our minds to be.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

happiness

There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

law

The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

law

The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

future time

The power of hope upon human exertion, and happiness, is wonderful.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

hope

No man is good enough to govern another without the other's consent.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

democracy government slavery

I must, in candor, say I do not think myself fit for the Presidency.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

personal

You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

action responsibility wisdom

A woman is the only thing I am afraid of that I know will not hurt me.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

women

Military glory --the attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

war

I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

justice mercy

I am not concerned that you have fallen β€” I am concerned that you arise.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

failure inspirational

He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

witty insults

Labor is superior to capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

capitalism

I can make a General in five minutes but a good horse is hard to replace.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

horses war

No matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

cats

I don't think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

self-improvement

He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of a man I ever met.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

witty insults

Towering genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

adventure genius

It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.
β€” Abraham Lincoln (Six Months at the White House with Abraham Lincoln)

human nature vice vice & virtue virtue

I never had a policy; I have just tried to do my very best each and every day.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

how to live life personal

People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

wordplay

Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

drive motivational perseverance

The people will save their government, if the government itself will allow them.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

government

When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

religion

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.
β€” Abraham Lincoln (Waiting)

waiting wordplay

We know nothing of what will happen in future, but by the analogy of experience.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

experience wisdom

I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

attitude positive

If there is anything that a man can do well, I say let him do it. Give him a chance.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

career

With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

laughter personal

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

holding your tongue silence witty

Public sentiment is everything; with it nothing can fail, without it nothing can succeed.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

governing public opinion public relations

Honest statesmanship is the wise employment of individual meannesses for the public good.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

statesmanship

I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

personal

As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

slavery

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

drive motivational success

We want, and must have, a national policy, as to slavery, which deals with it as being wrong.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

slavery

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

adversity character power

I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

animal rights

I do the very best I know how β€” the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

doing your best

What is conservatism? Is it not the adherence to the old and tried against the new and untried?
β€” Abraham Lincoln

conservatives

My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

failure

To give the victory to the right, not bloody bullets, but peaceful ballots only, are necessary.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

elections

I don't know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

ancestors

Fondly do we hope--fervently do we pray--that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

war

He who molds the public sentiment... makes statues and decisions possible or impossible to make.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

governing public relations

The cause of civil liberty must not be surrendered at the end of one, or even one hundred defeats.
β€” Abraham Lincoln
Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

the public

You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.
β€” Abraham Lincoln
It will not do to investigate the subject of religion too closely, as it is apt to lead to infidelity.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

religion

Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

slavery

When you have got an elephant by the hind legs and he is trying to run away, it's best to let him run.
β€” Abraham Lincoln
My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

inspirational unity

The fiery trials through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

legacy

Tell me what brand of whiskey that Grant drinks. I would like to send a barrel of it to my other generals.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

American Civil War iconic

If once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow-citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

governing public relations

Must a government be too strong for the liberties of its people or too weak to maintain its own existence?
β€” Abraham Lincoln

government

My father, at the death of his father, was but six years of age; and he grew up, literally without education.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

personal

He who does something at the head of one Regiment, will eclipse him who does nothing at the head of a hundred.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

action bravery war

Men are not flattered by being shown that there has been a difference of purpose between the Almighty and them.
β€” Abraham Lincoln
I hold, that in contemplation of universal law, and of the Constitution, the Union of these States is perpetual.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

America iconic

I hope to stand firm enough to not go backward, and yet not go forward fast enough to wreck the country's cause.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

progress

Our common country is in great peril, demanding the loftiest views, and boldest action to bring it speedy relief.
β€” Abraham Lincoln
We hoped for a happy termination of this terrible war long before this; but God knows best, and has ruled otherwise.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

American Civil War

In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free β€” honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

slavery

That some should be rich, shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

wealth

My wife is as handsome as when she was a girl, and I...fell in love with her; and what is more, I have never fallen out.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

personal

Dont interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

American constitution

The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

inspirational

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.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

morals

If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.
β€” Abraham Lincoln
Character is like a tree and reputation is like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

character reputation

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.
β€” Abraham Lincoln
Our government rests in public opinion. Whoever can change public opinion, can change the government, practically just so much.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

government marketing public relations

The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well, and doing well whatever you do, without a thought of fame.
β€” Abraham Lincoln
God gave man a mouth to receive bread, hands to feed it, and his hand has a right to carry bread to his mouth without controversy.
β€” Abraham Lincoln
These men ask for just the same thing, fairness, and fairness only. This, so far as in my power, they, and all others, shall have.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

equality slavery

If all do not join now to save the good old ship of the Union this voyage nobody will have a chance to pilot her on another voyage.
β€” Abraham Lincoln
Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world?
β€” Abraham Lincoln
I am struggling to maintain the government, not to overthrow it. I am struggling especially to prevent others from overthrowing it.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

American Civil War

God bless the Methodist Church β€” bless all the churches β€” and blessed be God, Who, in this our great trial, giveth us the churches.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

Christianity religion

We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.
β€” Abraham Lincoln
Let us, therefore, study the incidents of this [war], as philosophy to learn wisdom from, and none of them as wrongs to be revenged.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

American Civil War

The Bible is not my book, and Christianity is not my religion. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

Bible Christianity religion

I was losing interest in politics, when the repeal of the Missouri Compromise aroused me again. What I have done since then is pretty well known.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

personal

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.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

action

What has once happened, will invariably happen again, when the same circumstances which combined to produce it, shall again combine in the same way.
β€” Abraham Lincoln
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.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

inspirational

It is my pleasure that my children are free and happy, and unrestrained by parental tyranny. Love is the chain whereby to bind a child to its parents.
β€” Abraham Lincoln
Others have been made fools of by the girls; but, this can never be with truth said of me. I most emphatically, in this instance, made a fool of myself.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

funny personal

We accepted this war for an object, a worthy object, and the war will end when that object is attained. Under God, I hope it never will until that time.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

American Civil War

All that I am or hope to be I owe to my angel mother. I remember my mother's prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

mother personal

What would you do in my position? Would you drop the war where it is? Or, would you prosecute it in future, with elderstalk squirts, charged with rose water?
β€” Abraham Lincoln

American Civil War

Prohibition goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation and makes crimes out of things that are not crimes.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

alcohol

Although volume upon volume is written to prove slavery a very good thing, we never hear of the man who wishes to take the good of it, by being a slave himself.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

slavery

That this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

America iconic

I do not understand that because I do not want a Negro woman for a slave I must necessarily want her for a wife. My understanding is that I can just let her alone.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

slavery

And then, the Negro being doomed, and damned, and forgotten, to everlasting bondage, is the white man quite certain that the tyrant demon will not turn upon him too?
β€” Abraham Lincoln

slavery

I have come to the conclusion never again to think of marrying, and for this reason, I can never be satisfied with anyone who would be blockheaded enough to have me.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

marriage personal

I freely acknowledge myself the servant of the people, according to the bond of service β€” the United States Constitution; and that, as such, I am responsible to them.
β€” Abraham Lincoln
In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and, to the young, it comes with bitterest agony, because it takes them unawares. The older have learned to ever expect it.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

sorrow

Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

American Civil War

I do not deny the possibility that the people may err in an election; but if they do, the true [cure] is in the next election, and not in the treachery of the person elected.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

democracy government

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.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

America equality iconic

But, slavery is good for some people! As a good thing, slavery is strikingly peculiar, in this, that it is the only good thing which no man ever seeks the good of, for himself.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

slavery

Our eldest boy, Bob, has been away from us nearly a year at school, and will enter Harvard University this month. He promises very well, considering we never controlled him much.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

personal

While the people retain their virtue, and vigilance, no administration, by any extreme of wickedness or folly, can very seriously injure the government, in the short space of four years.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

America democracy government

The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

slavery

To correct the evils, great and small, which spring from want of sympathy and from positive enmity among strangers, as nations or as individuals, is one of the highest functions of civilization.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

civilization sympathy

I am slow to learn and slow to forget that which I have learned.  My mind is like a piece of steelβ€”very hard to scratch anything on it, and almost impossible after you get it there to rub it out.
β€” Abraham Lincoln (Herndon's Lincoln: The True Story of a Great Life)

personal

I know there is a God, and that He hates injustice and slavery. I see the storm coming, and I know that His hand is in it. If he has a place and work for me and I think He has I believe I am ready.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

God slavery

With [the Union saved] its form of government is saved to the world; its beloved history, and cherished memories, are vindicated; and its happy future fully assured, and rendered inconceivably grand.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

American Civil War

This is a world of compensation; 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, cannot long retain it.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

iconic slavery

Suppose you go to war, you cannot fight always; and when, after much loss on both sides, and no gain on either, you cease fighting, the identical old questions, as to terms of intercourse, are again upon you.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

American Civil War war

But in a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

American Civil War

Take it that 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.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

capitalism property rights

I am not a very sentimental man; and the best sentiment I can think of is, that if you collect the signatures of all persons who are no less distinguished than I, you will have a very undistinguishing mass of names.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

personal

There are few things wholly evil or wholly good. Almost everything, especially of government policy, is an inseparable compound of the two, so that our best judgment of the preponderance between them is continually demanded.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

governing right and wrong

My earlier views of the unsoundness of the Christian scheme of salvation and the human origin of the scriptures, have become clearer and stronger with advancing years and I see no reason for thinking I shall ever change them.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

Christianity religion

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.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

America American constitution

Whatever woman may cast her lot with mine, should any ever do so, it is my intention to do all in my power to make her happy and contented; and there is nothing I can imagine, that would make me more unhappy than to fail in the effort.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

personal

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.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

governing

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.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

inspirational principles

There is an important sense in which government is distinctive from administration. One is perpetual; the other is temporary and changeable. A man may be loyal to his government and yet oppose the particular principles and methods of administration.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

America democracy government iconic

The Democracy of to-day hold the liberty of one man to be absolutely nothing, when in conflict with another man's right of property. Republicans, on the contrary, are for both the man and the dollar; but in cases of conflict, the man before the dollar.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

American Civil War slavery

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. When ever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

America American constitution government

All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth in their military chest; with a Bonaparte for a commander, could not by force take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

America

We must believe that He permits it [this war] for some wise purpose of his own, mysterious and unknown to us; and though with our limited understandings we may not be able to comprehend it, yet we cannot but believe, that he who made the world still governs it.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

American Civil War

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.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

iconic unity

Whether or not the world would be vastly benefited by a total banishment from it of all intoxicating drinks seems not now an open question. Three-fourths of mankind confess the affirmative with their tongues, and I believe all the rest acknowledge it in their hearts.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

alcohol

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 valuableβ€”a most sacred rightβ€”a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

America democracy government

Slavery is founded on the selfishness of man's nature β€” opposition to it on his love of justice. These principles are in eternal antagonism; and when brought into collision so fiercely as slavery extension brings them, shocks and throes and convulsions must ceaselessly follow.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

slavery

Do not worry; eat three square meals a day; say your prayers; be courteous to your creditors; keep your digestion good; exercise; go slow and easy. Maybe there are other things your special case requires to make you happy, but my friend, these I reckon will give you a good lift.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

how to live life

Mr. Clay's lack of a more perfect early education, however it may be regretted generally, teaches at least one profitable lesson; it teaches that in this country, one can scarcely be so poor, but that, if he will, he can acquire sufficient education to get through the world respectably.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

education

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 may be engaged in. That everyone may receive at least a moderate education appears to be an objective of vital importance.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

education

I certainly know that if the war fails, the administration fails, and that I will be blamed for it, whether I deserve it or not. And I ought to be blamed, if I could do better. You think I could do better; therefore you blame me already. I think I could not do better; therefore I blame you for blaming me.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

accountability American Civil War

Honor to the Soldier, and Sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his countrys cause. Honor also to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field, and serves, as he best can, the same cause honor to him, only less than to him, who braves, for the common good, the storms of heaven and the storms of battle.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

soldiers war

I will say then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races; that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

African-Americans slavery

In regard to this great book [the Bible], I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Saviour gave to the world was communicated through this book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man's welfare, here and hereafter, are to be found portrayed in it.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

Bible Christianity religion

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. It will then have been proved that, among free men, there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and that they who take such appeal are sure to lose their case, and pay the cost.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

American Civil War

In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect, and defend it.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

American Civil War

The evacuation of Petersburg and Richmond, and the surrender of the principal insurgent army, give hope of a righteous and speedy peace whose joyous expression can not be restrained. In the midst of this, however, He, from Whom all blessings flow, must not be forgotten. A call for a national thanksgiving is being prepared, and will be duly promulgated.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

American Civil War God gratitude

In a certain sense, and to a certain extent, he [the President] is the representative of the people. He is elected by them, as well as Congress is. But can he, in the nature [of] things, know the wants of the people, as well as three hundred other men, coming from all the various localities of the nation? If so, where is the propriety of having a Congress?
β€” Abraham Lincoln

America government

Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. 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.
β€” Abraham Lincoln (Lincoln's second inauguration address)

American Civil War

That I am not a member of any Christian church is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures; and I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or of any denomination of Christians in particular....I do not think I could myself be brought to support a man for office whom I knew to be an open enemy of, or scoffer at, religion.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

Christianity religion

This extraordinary war in which we are engaged falls heavily upon all classes of people, but the most heavily upon the soldier. For it has been said, all that a man hath will he give for his life; and while all contribute of their substance the soldier puts his life at stake, and often yields it up in his countrys cause. The highest merit, then, is due to the soldier.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

American Civil War soldiers

I am exceedingly anxious that this Union, the Constitution, and the liberties of the people shall be perpetuated in accordance with the original idea for which that struggle was made, and I shall be most happy indeed if I shall be an humble instrument in the hands of the Almighty, and of this, his almost chosen people, for perpetuating the object of that great struggle.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

American constitution

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.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

American Civil War iconic inspirational unity

It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, and to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in Holy Scripture, and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

God

Property is the fruit of labor; property is desirable; it 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.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

capitalism property rights

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 the courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

law

If I were to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best that I know how, the very best that I can, and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, then angels swearing that I was right would make no difference.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

doing your best

We have forgotten the gracious hand which has preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving Grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

God gratitude

If the policy of the government, upon vital questions affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the people will have ceased, to be their own rulers, having, to that extent, practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal. Nor is there, in this view, any assault upon the court, or the judges. It is a duty, from which they may not shrink, to decide cases properly brought before them; and it is no fault of theirs, if others seek to turn their decisions to political purposes.
β€” Abraham Lincoln

America democracy government

My friends, no one, not in my situation, can appreciate my feeling of sadness at this parting. To this place and the kindness of these people, I owe everything. Here I have lived a quarter of a century, and have passed from a young to an old man. Here my children have been born, and one is buried. I now leave, not knowing when, or whether ever, I may return, with a task before me greater than that which rested upon Washington. Without the assistance of that Divine Being who ever attended him, I cannot succeed. With that assistance I cannot fail. Trusting in Him who can go with me, and remain with you, and be everywhere for good, let us confidently hope that all will yet be well. To His care commending you, as I hope in your prayers you will commend me, I bid you an affectionate farewell.
β€” Abraham Lincoln (Farewell address made by president-elect Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, Illinois on February 11, 1861)

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