Over 100 Abraham Lincoln Quotes

Abraham Lincoln served as the 16th president of the United States between 1861–1865 and died in office upon his assassination. Lincoln led the nation through the American Civil War.

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In this article we look at some of his quotes

List of quotes

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

Love your enemies just in case your friends turn out to be bastards.

Must a government be too strong for the liberties of its people or too weak to maintain its own existence?

He reminds me of the man who murdered both his parents, and then when sentence was about to be pronounced pleaded for mercy on the grounds that he was an orphan

I will prepare and some day my chance will come.

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.

You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.

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

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

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

What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself.

Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others.

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us finish the work we are in

Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history

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

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

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

What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried

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

I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere to go. My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day.

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 will prepare and some day my chance will come.

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

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

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

Whatever you are, be a good one.

You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could do for themselves.

Whatever you are, be a good one.

Treat your friend as if he will one day be your enemy, and your enemy as if he will one day be your friend

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

I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors, and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views

A foolish man tells a woman to stop talking, but a wise man tells her that her mouth is extremely beautiful when her lips are closed

Force is all-conquering, but its victories are short-lived.

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

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

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.

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.

Whatever you are, be a good one.

It often requires more courage to dare to do right than to fear to do wrong.

All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother

Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.

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 act anew.

A yawn may not be polite, but at least it is an honest opinion

You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.

People are lonely because they build walls instead of bridges.

People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be

With the catching ends the pleasure of the chase

A statesman is he who thinks in the future generations, and a politician is he who thinks in the upcoming elections.

If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend

Avoid popularity if you would have peace.

Important principles may and must be inflexible.

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

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

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 – I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office,

A man’s reputation is what other people think of him; his character is what he really is.

If by the mere force of numbers a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written constitutional right, it might, in a moral point of view, justify revolution

Stand with anybody that stands right, stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

Whenever there is a conflict between human rights and property rights, human rights must prevail

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.

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

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

Tact is the art of making guests feel at home when that’s really where you wish they were.

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.

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 shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors, and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views

A rose without thorns is like love without heartbreak; it doesn’t make sense.

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

This is the one hundred and tenth anniversary of the birthday of Washington. We are met to celebrate this day. Washington is the mightiest name on earth–long since mightiest in the cause of civil liberty; still mightiest in moral reformation. On that name an eulogy is expected. It can not be. To add brightness to the sun or glory to the name of Washington is alike impossible. Let none attempt it. In solemn awe pronounce the name and in its naked, deathless splendor leave it shining on.

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.

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.

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right.

I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.

In giving freedom to the slave we assure freedom to the free,–honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve.

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

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

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

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool then to speak out and remove all doubt.

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

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

The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.

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

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

What I do say is that no man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent.

He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help.

You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.

How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.

When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. And that’s my religion.

lincoln quote

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

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

Folks who have no vices have plaguey few virtues.

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

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

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

I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.

Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history.

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 act anew.

We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth-stone, 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.

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

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us finish the work ;we are in.

Let us at all times remember that all American citizens are brothers of a common country, and should dwell together in bonds of fraternal feeling.

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

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

Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people.

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

We know nothing of what will happen in future, but by the analogy of experience.

Knavery and flattery are blood relations.

Force is all-conquering, but its victories are short-lived.

Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and, under a just God, cannot long retain it.

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 should be on the Lord’s side.

Must a government of necessity be too strong for the liberties of its people or too weak to maintain its own existence?

Worse than traitors in arms are the men who pretend loyalty to the flag, feast and fatten on the misfortunes of the Nation while patriotic blood is crimsoning the plains of the South and their countrymen moldering the dust.

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

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

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

All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.

In this and like communities, public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.

Avoid popularity if you would have peace.

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

I walk slowly, but I never walk backward.

Property is the fruit of labor; property is desirable; it is a positive good in the world.

Friends, I agree with you in Providence; but I believe in the Providence of the most men, the largest purse, and the longest cannon.

Any people anywhere being inclined and having the power have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government, and force a new one that suits them better.

Let the people know the truth and the country is safe.

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.

He who molds the public sentiment … makes statues and decisions possible or impossible to make.

Suspicions which may be unjust need not be stated.

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

If there is anything that a man can do well, I say let him do it. Give him a chance.

You can fool some of the people some of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

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

Beware of rashness, but with energy, and sleepless vigilance, go forward and give us victories.

Among free men there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet.

We must not promise what we ought not, lest we be called on to perform what we cannot.

If you call a tail a leg, how many legs has a dog? Five? No, calling a tail a leg don’t make it a leg.

I am a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down…

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

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 ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.

No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.

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.

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

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

For people who like that kind of a book that is the kind of book they will like

I am not concerned that you have fallen / I am concerned that you arise.