Great Lincoln Quotes


Collected by Jonah Begone



"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. This is a most valuable and sacred right -- a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world."


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


"...nothing new here, except my marrying, which to me, is matter of profound wonder." – From a letter dated 11 November 1842


"Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally."


"You don't fight wars by blowing rose water through corn stalks."

To a critic: "If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?"

From a school copybook, written about age sixteen: “Abraham Lincoln/his hand and pen/he will be good but/god knows When”
As a boy, replying as to why he walked crookedly: "My nose, you see, is crooked, and I have to follow it!"
To an author seeking compliments about a book that Lincoln didn’t like: "For people who like that sort of thing, that is about the sort of a thing they would like."

To a woman who had sat on his hat: “Madam, I could have told you that my hat wouldn't fit you before you tried it on!"


Lincoln, to his son Tad: "Don't eat your fish with your knife, my boy. It's not polite."

Tad, to his father: "But, Father, is it polite to stare at folks when they're eating?"


A favorite riddle: "How many legs will a sheep have if you call the tail a leg?" Most people answered, “five.” Lincoln then replied that the answer was four, because calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg. His moral was that you can't solve a problem by simply changing a word or name.