President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

“Whatever you are, be a good one.”

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

“And in the end it is not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.”

“Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.”

“My best friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read.”

“The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend.”

“Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?”

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

“When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.”

“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.”

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

“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.”

“Those who look for the bad in people will surely find it.”

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

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

“I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.”

“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”

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

“I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.”

“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.”

“I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how a man could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.”

“Tact: the ability to describe others as they see themselves.”

“No man is poor who has a Godly mother.”

“Character is like a tree and reputation its shadow. The shadow is what we think it is and the tree is the real thing.”

“If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”

“The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”

“It’s not me who can’t keep a secret. It’s the people I tell that can’t.”

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

“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.”

“It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.”

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

“Every man’s happiness is his own responsibility.”

“I laugh because I must not cry, that is all, that is all. ”

“The Lord prefers common-looking people. That is why he makes so many of them.”

“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.”

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

“I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.”

“A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.”

“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 will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

“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.”

“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.”

“I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being.”

“To sin by silence, when they should protest, makes cowards of men.”

“He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.”

“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 blockhead enough to have me.”

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”

“The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships.”

“No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar”

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

“There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.”

“We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.”

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

“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, and beer.”

“I care not for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.”

“I am not concerned that you have fallen — I am concerned that you arise.”

“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.”

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

“You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot further brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred.
You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away men’s initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.”

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

“The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession.”

“Those who write clearly have readers, those who write obscurely have commentators.”

“Stand with anyone that is right; stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.”

“Take all that you can of this book upon reason, and the balance on faith, and you will live and die a happier man. (When a skeptic expressed surprise to see him reading a Bible)”

“I don’t know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.”

“To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.”

“You can tell the greatness of a man by what makes him angry”

“All I have learned, I learned from books.”

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

“My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it.”

“I do the very best I know how, the very best I can, and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.”

“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.”

“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.”

“The best way to predict your future is to create it”

“The things I want to know are in books. My best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I haven’t read.”

“Get books, sit yourself down anywhere, and go to reading them yourself.”

“Live a good life. In the end it is not the years in a life, but the life in the years.”

“Congressmen who willfully take action during wartime that damages morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hung”

“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can excersize their Constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it.”

“Lets have faith that right makes might; and in that faith let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.”
“The worst thing you can do for anyone you care about is anything that they can do on their own.”

“You destroy your enemy when you make him your friend.”

“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.”

“Hypocrite: The man who murdered his parents, and then pleaded for mercy on the grounds that he was an orphan.”

“Nothing will divert me from my purpose.”

“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”

“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.”

“If I were to try 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 I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what’s said against me won’t amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”

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

“Prohibition… goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control mans’ appetite through legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not even crimes… A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our Government was founded.”

“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 built.”

“You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.”

“When I get ready to talk to people, I spend two thirds of the time thinking what they want to hear and one third thinking about what I want to say.”
“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.”

“A tendency to melancholy…let it be observed, is a misfortune, not a fault.”

“You cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and independence”

“A woman is the only thing I am afraid of that I know will not hurt me.”

“Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”

“Our safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution of the United States as our fathers made it inviolate. The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. ”

“Achievement has no color”

“No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent.”

“Through their deeds, the dead of battle have spoken more eloquently for themselves than any of the living ever could. But we can only honor them by rededicating ourselves to the cause for which they gave a last full measure of devotion. ”

“Determine that the thing can and shall be done and then… find the way.”

“Be with a leader when he is right, stay with him when he is still right, but, leave him when he is wrong.”

“Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality.”

“Force is all conquering, but it’s victories are short lived.”

“I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him. ”

“If this country is ever demoralized, it will come from trying to live without work.”

“If there is anything that links the human to the divine, it is the courage to stand by a principle when everybody else rejects it.”

“Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.”

“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.”

“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.”

“We trust, sir, that God is on our side. It is more important to know that we are on God’s side.”

“Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction … nor of dungeons to ourselves. 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.”

“If any man tells you he loves America, yet hates labor, he is a liar. If any man tells you he trusts America, yet fears labor, he is a fool.”

“You cannot have the right to do what is wrong!”

“You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.”

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do, for themselves – in their separate, and individual capacities.”

“I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man. All the good from The Savior of the world is communicated to us through this Book.”

“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.”

“I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”

“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.”

“Life is hard but so very beautiful”

“It will not do to investigate the subject of religion too closely, as it is apt to lead to infidelity.”

“The leading rule for the lawyer, as for the man of every other calling, is diligence. Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done to-day.”

“Love is the chain whereby to lock a child to its parent.”

“You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong”

“I am nothing, truth is everything.”

“Education does not mean teaching people what they do not know. It means teaching them to behave as they do not behave.”

“God must have loved the ordinary events because he made so many of them. ”

“He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I ever met.”

“The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation is the philosophy of government in the next.”

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

“I believe that people should fight for what they believe and only what they believe.”

“Truth is generally the best vindication against slander”

“Don’t worry when you are not recognized but strive to be worthy of recognition”

“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.”

“Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition… I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow men, by rendering myself worthy of their esteem.”

“That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.”

“Too big to cry too young to laugh…”

“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — 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.”

“This too shall pass.”

“I do the very best I can, I mean to keep going. If the end brings me out all right, then what is said against me won’t matter. If I’m wrong, ten angels swearing I was right won’t make a difference.”

“A government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

“Be not deceived. Revolutions do not go backward.”

“If you are going to fight, don’t let them talk you into negotiating. But, if you are going to negotiate, don’t let them talk you into fighting.”

“People who have no vices, have very few virtues.”

“We shall need all the anti-slavery feeling in the country, and more; you can go home and try to bring the people to your views, and you may say anything you like about me, if that will help… When the hour comes for dealing with slavery, I trust I will be willing to do my duty though it cost my life.”

“The written word may be man’s greatest invention. It allows us to converse with the dead, the absent, and the unborn.”

“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.”

“Judge not, that ye be not judged.”

“Writing, the art of communicating thoughts to the mind through the eye, is the great invention of the world … enabling us to converse with the dead, the absent, and the unborn, at all distances of time and space.”

“The way for a young man to rise, is to improve himself every way he can, never suspecting that any body wishes to hinder him.”

“Investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

“Writing is the great invention of the world.”
“A universal feeling, whether well or ill-founded cannot be safely disregarded.”

“It is not best to swap horses while crossing the river.”

“I am very little inclined on any occasion to say anything unless I hope to produce some good by it.”

“Everybody likes compliment.”

“Important principles may and must be inflexible.”

“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”

“A capacity and taste for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others.”

“The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.”

“You can have anything you want if you want it badly enough. You can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose.”

“The worst thing you can do for those you love is the things they could and should do themselves.”

“Avoid popularity if you would have peace”

“I am approached with the most opposite opinions and advice, and that by religious men, who are equally certain that they represent the Divine will. I am sure that either the one or the other is mistaken in that belief, and perhaps in some respects both. I hope it will not be irreverent for me to say that if it is probable that God would reveal his will to others, on a point so connected with my duty, it might be supposed he would reveal it directly to me; for, unless I am more deceived in myself than I often am, it is my earnest desire to know the will of Providence in this matter. And if I can learn what it is, I will do it! These are not, however, the days of miracles, and I suppose it will be granted that I am not to expect a direct revelation. I must study the plain, physical facts of the case, ascertain what is possible and learn what appears to be wise and right.”

“That we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

“Fellow-citizens, we can not escape history. We of this Congress and this administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance or insignificance can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation.”

“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. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name, liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names, liberty and tyranny. The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as a liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty, especially as the sheep was a black one. Plainly the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of the word liberty.”

“A capacity and taste for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others.”

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