Lincoln (February 12, 1809 - April 15, 1865)
Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation,
whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion,
and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he
deems it necessary for such a purpose-and you allow him to
make war at pleasure.
Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed,
is more important than any other one thing.
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.
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.
Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then
we shall find the way.
Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to
compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the
nominal winner is often a real loser— in fees,
expenses, and waste of time.
Even though much provoked, let us do nothing through
passion and ill temper.
Human action can be modified to some extent, but human
nature cannot be changed.
I am rather inclined to silence, and whether that be wise
or not, it is at least more unusual nowadays to find a man
who can hold his tongue than to find one who cannot.
I believe it is an established maxim in morals that he
who makes an assertion without knowing whether it is true or
false, is guilty of falsehood; and the accidental truth of
the assertion, does not justify or excuse him.
I do not like that man. I must get to know him
I must stand with anybody that stands right, stand with
him while he is right, and part with him when he goes
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.
It has been my experience that folks who have no vices
have very few virtues.
Let us discard all this quibbling about this man and the
other man, this race and that race and the other race being
inferior and therefore they must be placed in an inferior
position. Let us discard all these things, and unite as one
people throughout this land, until we shall once more stand
up declaring that all men are created equal.
Men are not flattered by being shown that there has been
a difference of purpose between the Almighty and them.
No man is good enough to govern another man without that
Our government rests in public opinion. Whoever can
change public opinion, can change the government,
practically just so much.
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.
The better part of one's life consists of his
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.
The man who stands by and says nothing, when the peril of
his government is discussed, can not be misunderstood. If
not hindered, he is sure to help the enemy.
The people of these United States are the rightful
masters of both Congresses and courts, not to overthrow the
Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the
The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought
not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be
The severest justice may not always be the best
The true rule, in determining to embrace, or reject any
thing, is not whether it have any evil in it; but whether it
have more of evil, than of good.
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.
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 their revolutionary right to
dismember or overthrow it.
Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for
themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain
Truth is generally the best vindication against
Understanding the spirit of our institutions to aim at
the elevation of men, I am opposed to whatever tends to
We all declare for liberty; but in using the same
word we do not all mean the same thing.
We live in the midst of alarms; anxiety beclouds the
future; we expect some new disaster with each newspaper we
When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad,
and that is my religion.
When you have an elephant by the hind legs and he is
trying to run away, it's best to let him run.
Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a
strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.
With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it
nothing can succeed. Consequently he who moulds public
sentiment, goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or
Yet in all our rejoicing let us neither express, nor
cherish, any harsh feeling towards any citizen who, by his
vote, has differed with us. Let us at all times remember
that all American citizens are brothers of a common country,
and should dwell together in the bonds of fraternal
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