Quotations From ABRAHAM LINCOLN

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  • 61.
    The power confided in me will be used to hold, occupy and possess the property and places belonging to the government, and to collect the duties and imposts.
    Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), U.S. president. First inaugural address, March 4, 1861.

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  • 62.
    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.
    Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), U.S. president. speech, Dec. 3, 1861. First Annual Message to Congress, Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 5, ed. Roy P. Basler (1953).
  • 63.
    I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think, and feel.
    Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), U.S. president. Letter to Albert G. Hodges, April 4, 1864. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 7, p. 281, Rutgers University Press (1953, 1990).

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  • 64.
    You are ambitious, which, within reasonable bounds, does good rather than harm.
    Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), U.S. president. letter to Joseph Hooker, Jan. 26, 1863. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 6, p. 78, Rutgers University Press (1953, 1990). Preliminary words to calling a general on the carpet.
  • 65.
    But let the past as nothing be. For the future my view is that the fight must go on.
    Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), U.S. president. letter to Norman B. Judd, Nov. 15, 1858. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 3, p. 336, Rutgers University Press (1953, 1990).

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  • 66.
    As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.
    Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), U.S. president. autograph fragment, c. Aug. 1, 1858. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 2, ed. Roy P. Basler (1953).
  • 67.
    I understand that it is a maxim of law, that a poor plea may be a good plea to a bad declaration.
    Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), U.S. president. third debate with Stephen A. Douglas at Jonesboro, Illinois, Sep. 15, 1858. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 3, p. 123, Rutgers University Press (1953, 1990).
  • 68.
    As Labor is the common burthen of our race, so the effort of some to shift their share of the burthen on to the shoulders of others, is the great, durable, curse of the race.
    Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), U.S. president. fragment on free labor, Sep. 17, 1859? Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 3, p. 462, Rutgers University Press (1953, 1990).
  • 69.
    The severest justice may not always be the best policy.
    Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), U.S. president. Address to the Senate and House of Representatives, July 17, 1862. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 5, p. 330, Rutgers University Press (1953, 1990).

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  • 70.
    Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them.
    Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), U.S. president. quoted in John Hay, Lincoln and the Civil War in the Diaries and Letters of John Hay, entry for Dec. 23, 1863;, ed. Tyler Dennett (1939). Said in a dream in reply to one who had called Lincoln "common looking." Lincoln's words on this occasion have also been given as "The Lord prefers common-looking people. That is the reason He makes so many of them." (Quoted in James Morgan, Our Presidents, ch. 6, 1928.).

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