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Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln 1809-1865
American Lawyer and Statesman, 16th President of the United States, Abolished Slavery
 Great Truths       

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

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

Important principles may, and must, be inflexible.

A house divided against itself cannot stand.

You can’t escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.

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

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.

Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

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

The people will save their government, if the government itself will allow them.

Let us have faith that right makes right and in that faith let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.

Marriage is neither heaven nor Hell, it is simply purgatory.

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

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

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.

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

Knavery and flattery are blood relations.

Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.

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.

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

The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.

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.

My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth.

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. Plainly, the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of liberty.

The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.

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.

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 courts of justice.

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.

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, can be engaged in.

It has so happened in all ages of the world that some have labored, and others have, without labor, enjoyed a large portion of the fruits.

I do not think I could myself be brought to support a man for Office whom I knew to be an open enemy of and scoffer at religion.

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.

The strongest bond of human sympathy, outside of the family relation, should be one uniting all working people, of all nations, and tongues, and kindreds. Nor should this lead us to a war upon property, or the owners of property. Property is the fruit of labor; property is desirable; 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.

Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbor to compromise whenever you can. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.

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 fruit at length falls into his lap.

When I’m getting ready to reason with a man, I spend 1/3 of my time thinking about myself and what I am going to say: and 2/3 thinking about him and what he is going to say.

The prudent, penniless beginner in the world laborers for wages for a while, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land for himself another while, and at length hires another new beginner to help him. This is the just, and generous and prosperous system which opens the way to all, gives hope to all, and consequently energy, and progress, and improvement of conditions to all.

If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his true friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches his heart, which, say what he will, is the greatest highroad to his reason, and which when once gained, you were find but little trouble in convincing his judgment of the justice of your cause, if, indeed, that cause be really a just one. On the contrary, assume to dictate to his judgment, or to command his action, or to make him as one to be shunned or despised, and he will retreat within himself, close all the avenues to his head and heart; and though your cause be naked truth itself, transformed to the heaviest lance, harder than steel and sharper than steel can be made, and though you throw it with more than Herculean force and precision, you shall be no more able to pierce him then to penetrate the hard shell of a tortoise with a rye straw.

If ever this free people, if this government itself is ever utterly demoralized, it will come from this incessant human wriggle and struggle for office, which is but a way to live without work.