Thoughts of Abraham Lincoln

Thoughts of Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, a self-taught lawyer, legislator and vocal opponent of slavery, was elected 16th president of the United States in November 1860, shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War. Lincoln proved to be a shrewd military strategist and a savvy leader: His Emancipation Proclamation paved the way for slavery’s abolition, while his Gettysburg Address stands as one of the most famous pieces of oratory in American history. In April 1865, with the Union on the brink of victory, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth; his untimely death made him a martyr to the cause of liberty, and he is widely regarded as one of the greatest presidents in U.S. history. Here are few thoughts of Abraham Lincoln.

Thoughts of Abraham Lincoln-

  1. All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.
  2. Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.
  3. No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.
  4. I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.
  5. I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.
  6. Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
  7. Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.
  8. You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.
  9. A house divided against itself cannot stand.
  10. My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth.
  11. If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.
  12. Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
  13. Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.
  14. Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?
  15. America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
  16. He who molds the public sentiment… makes statutes and decisions possible or impossible to make.
  17. It is a quality of revolutions not to go by old lines or old laws, but to break up both and make new ones.
  18. Never stir up litigation. A worse man can scarcely be found than one who does this.
  19. To give victory to the right, not bloody bullets, but peaceful ballots only, are necessary.
  20. I have great respect for the semicolon; it is a mighty handy little fellow.

Inspiring Thoughts of Abraham Lincoln

  1. When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.
  2. Whatever you are, be a good one.
  3. Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.
  4. Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.
  5. I do the very best I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.
  6. The leading rule for the lawyer, as for the man of every calling, is diligence
  7. My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.
  8. 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.
  9. No matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens.
  10. I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.
  11. Slavery is founded in the selfishness of man’s nature – opposition to it is his love of justice. These principles are an eternal antagonism; and when brought into collision so fiercely, as slavery extension brings them, shocks and throes and convulsions must ceaselessly follow.
  12. Everybody likes a compliment.
  13. I will prepare and some day my chance will come.
  14. You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.
  15. Sir, 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.
  16. Gold is good in its place; but loving, brave, patriotic men are better than gold.
  17. With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.
  18. As our case is new, we must think and act anew.
  19. Don’t swap horses in crossing a stream.
  20. How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg? Four. Saying that a tail is a leg doesn’t make it a leg.

Few more thoughts of Abraham Lincoln

  1. A man watches his pear tree day after day, impatient for the ripening of the fruit. Let him attempt to force the process, and he may spoil both fruit and tree. But let him patiently wait, and the ripe pear at length falls into his lap.
  2. The ballot is stronger than the bullet.
  3. Marriage is neither heaven nor hell, it is simply purgatory.
  4. Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.
  5. We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.
  6. If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?
  7. Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.
  8. You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.
  9. We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.
  10. I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.
  11. The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep’s for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act as the destroyer of liberty. Plainly, the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of liberty.
  12. That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.
  13. Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.
  14. I think that slavery is wrong, morally, socially and politically. I desire that it should be no further spread in these United States, and I should not object if it should gradually terminate in the whole Union.
  15. No policy that does not rest upon some philosophical public opinion can be permanently maintained.
  16. 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.
  17. 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 valuable – a most sacred right – a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.
  18. Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them.
  19. Some single mind must be master, else there will be no agreement in anything.
  20. The people know their rights, and they are never slow to assert and maintain them when they are invaded.
  21. It is a great piece of folly to attempt to make anything out of my early life.
  22. Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new at all.
  23. The people themselves, and not their servants, can safely reverse their own deliberate decisions.

Other thoughts of Abraham Lincoln

  1. I never had a policy; I have just tried to do my very best each and every day.
  2. Repeal the Missouri Compromise – repeal all compromises – repeal the Declaration of Independence – repeal all past history, you still cannot repeal human nature. It will be the abundance of man’s heart that slavery extension is wrong; and out of the abundance of his heart, his mouth will continue to speak.
  3. Four score 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.
  4. What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself.
  5. A woman is the only thing I am afraid of that I know will not hurt me.
  6. A friend is one who has the same enemies as you have.
  7. Every one desires to live long, but no one would be old.
  8. I care not much for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.
  9. When you have got an elephant by the hind legs and he is trying to run away, it’s best to let him run.
  10. I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.
  11. It is not my nature, when I see a people borne down by the weight of their shackles – the oppression of tyranny – to make their life more bitter by heaping upon them greater burdens; but rather would I do all in my power to raise the yoke than to add anything that would tend to crush them.
  12. It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.
  13. This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it.
  14. Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.
  15. Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it.
  16. 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.
  17. A private soldier has as much right to justice as a major-general.
  18. Towering genius disdains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored.
  19. 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.
  20. If ever I feel the soul within me elevate and expand to those dimensions not wholly unworthy of its Almighty Architect, it is when I contemplate the cause of my country, deserted by all the world beside, and I standing up boldly and lone and hurling defiance at her victorious oppressors.

Miscellaneous Thoughts of Abraham Lincoln

  1. The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.
  2. As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.
  3. No man is good enough to govern another man without the other’s consent.
  4. Avoid popularity if you would have peace.
  5. I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right; but it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation may be on the Lord’s side.
  6. Fellow citizens, we cannot 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.
  7. 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.
  8. My father… removed from Kentucky to… Indiana, in my eighth year… It was a wild region, with many bears and other wild animals still in the woods. There I grew up… Of course when I came of age, I did not know much. Still somehow, I could read, write, and cipher… but that was all.
  9. 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.
  10. I am rather inclined to silence.
  11. I have always hated slavery, I think, as much as any abolitionist. I have been an Old Line Whig. I have always hated it, but I have always been quiet about it until this new era of the introduction of the Nebraska Bill began.
  12. If you think you can slander a woman into loving you, or a man into voting for you, try it till you are satisfied.
  13. Never regret what you don’t write.
  14. Labour 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. Labour is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
  15. I pass my life in preventing the storm from blowing down the tent, and I drive in the pegs as fast as they are pulled up.
  16. These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert to fleece the people; and now that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people’s money to settle the quarrel.
  17. The people will save their government, if the government itself will allow them.
  18. Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.
  19. True patriotism is better than the wrong kind of piety.
  20. 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.

Few More Thoughts of Abraham Lincoln

  1. Important principles may, and must, be inflexible.
  2. He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.
  3. I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.
  4. I learned a great many years ago that in a fight between husband and wife, a third party should never get between the woman’s skillet and the man’s ax-helve.
  5. A capacity, and taste, for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others.
  6. Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or not, I can say, for one, that I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow-men, by rendering myself worthy of their esteem. How far I shall succeed in gratifying this ambition is yet to be developed.
  7. The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.
  8. 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.
  9. That our government should have been maintained in its original form from its establishment until now is not much to be wondered at. It had many props to support it through that period, which now are decayed and crumbled away. Through that period, it was felt by all to be an undecided experiment; now, it is understood to be a successful one.
  10. I hope to stand firm enough to not go backward, and yet not go forward fast enough to wreck the country’s cause.
  11. It would astonish if not amuse the older citizens to learn that I (a strange, friendless, uneducated, penniless boy, working at ten dollars per month) have been put down as the candidate of pride, wealth, and aristocratic family distinction.
  12. The man who could go to Africa and rob her of her children, and then sell them into interminable bondage, with no other motive than that which is furnished by dollars and cents, is so much worse than the most depraved murderer that he can never receive pardon at my hand.
  13. My parents were both born in Virginia, of undistinguished families – second families, perhaps I should say.
  14. Nothing new here, except my marrying, which to me is a matter of profound wonder.
  15. Among the friends of Union, there is great diversity of sentiment and of policy in regard to slavery and the African race among us.
  16. The point – the power to hurt – of all figures lies in the truthfulness of their application.
  17. In so far as the government lands can be disposed of, I am in favor of cutting up the wild lands into parcels so that every poor man may have a home.
  18. The legal right of the Southern people to reclaim their fugitives I have constantly admitted. The legal right of Congress to interfere with their institution in the states, I have constantly denied.
  19. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be wrong.
  20. Illinois surpasses every other spot of equal extent upon the face of the globe in fertility of soil and in the proportion able amount of the same which is sufficiently level for actual cultivation.


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