President Abraham Lincoln: Lincoln Speaks, Quotes from Him
Some quotes and quotations from President of the United States Abraham Lincoln.
Quotes from Lincoln:
"I am rather inclined to silence and whether that be wise or not it is at least more unusual now-a-days to find a man who can hold his tongue than to find one who cannot."
"If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong."
"To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men."
"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, so we must think anew and
and act anew. We must disenthrall our-
selves, and then we shall save our country."
"My policy is to have no policy."
"The pilots on our Western rivers steer
from point to point as they call it--set-
ting the course of the boat no farther
than they can see--and that is all I pro-
pose to myself . . . . I am not going to
cross 'Big Muddy' until I reach it."
"Republicans are for both the man
and the dollar, but in case of conflict
the man before the dollar."
"Men moving only in an official circle
are apt to become merely official--not to
say arbitrary--in their ideas, and are
apter and apter with each passing day to
forget that they only hold power in a
"I claim not to have controlled events,
bu confess plainly that events have controlled me."
"Public opinion in this country is everything."
"Men are not flattered by being shown
that there has been a difference of pur-
pose between the Almighty and them."
"Fellow Citizens, I presume you all know who I am. I am humble Abraham Lincoln. My politics are short and sweet like the old woman's dance. I am in fa-
vour of a national bank. I am in favour of the internal improvement system
and a high protective tariff. If elected, I
shall be thankful; if not, it will be all the
same."--Lincoln's 1st campaign speech,
New Salem, 1832
My childhood's home I see again
And sadden with the view;
And still, as memory crowds my brain,
There's pleasure in it too.
O Memory! Thou midway world
Twixt earth and paradise,
Where things decayed and loved ones lost
In dreamy shadows rise,
And, freed from all that's earthly vile,
Seem hallowed, pure, and bright,
Like scenes in some enchanted isle
All bathed in liquid light.
--Poem by Lincoln, 1844, after
revisiting, for the 1st and only
time, the Indiana scenes of his boyhood
"A universal feeling, whether well or ill formed, cannot be safely disregarded."--1854
"As a nation, we began by declaring that'all men are created equal.' We now practically read it 'All men are created equal, except Negroes.' When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read, 'all men are created equal, except Negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.' When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some other country where they make no pretense of loving liberty--to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, without the base alloy of hypocrisy."--1855
"I protest, now and forever, against that counterfeit logic which presumes because I do not want a Negro woman for a slave I do necessarily want her for a wife. My understanding is that I do not have to have her for either."--Debate with Douglas, 1858
"As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy."--1858
"Fellow Citizens, we cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation."--Message to Congress, 1861
"For my own part, I consider the 1st necessity that is upon us, is of proving that popular Government is not an absurdity."--1861
"My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and it is not either to save or destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, 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."--Summer, 1862
"Among free men there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and those who take such appeal are sure to lose their cause and pay the costs."--1863
"Fondly we do hope--fervently do we pray--that this mighty scourge of war speedily pass away."--2nd inaugural address, 1865
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