Sunday, August 16, 2020

Unfounded Quotes Attributed to Abraham Lincoln.

"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses."
There is no evidence that Abraham Lincoln wrote or spoke this quotation. Lincoln did mention roses and thorns when in 1850 he delivered a eulogy for Zachary Taylor who was the twelfth President of the United States. Here is an excerpt: "The Presidency, even to the most experienced politicians, is no bed of roses; and Gen. Taylor like others, found thorns within it."

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." These words were said about Lincoln. 

"God must love the common man, he made so many of them."

"Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled or hanged."

"If I knew that I had eight hours to chop a tree down, I would spend the first six sharpening my ax."

"The best way to predict your future is to create it."

"The philosophy taught in the classroom in this generation will become the philosophy of the government in the next generation."

“When I have nowhere else to go, I fall upon my knees.”

"I am a slow walker but I never walk back."

"When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion."

"Those who look for the bad in people will surely find it."

"Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them friends?" Or, "I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends."

"I don't know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be."

"In the end, it is not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years."

"I will prepare and some day my chance will come."

"A friend is someone who has the same enemies you have."

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

"I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being."

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

"I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it."

"I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him."

"It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."

"If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee."

"If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?"

"Whatever you are, be a good one."

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

"A nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure."

"A lawyer's time and advice are his stock in trade."

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

"The strength of a nation lies in the homes of its people."

"No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child."

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

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

"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 up to what light I have."

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

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

"All that loves labor serves the nation. All that harms labor is treason to America."

"Prohibition will work great injury to the cause of temperance. It is a species of intemperance within itself, for it goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation, and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."

"You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time." Lincoln is often credited with this saying. Lincoln allegedly said it in a speech in Clinton, Illinois, on September 2, 1858. In 1905 two newspapers, the Chicago Tribune and the Brooklyn Eagle gathered testimony to see if Lincoln really said it. The evidence was conflicting and dubious in some particulars. No contemporary accounts of this quote from the Clinton Illinois speech contain this utterance. However, tradition still attributes it to Lincoln, and it has remained a favorite in popular usage.

  1. "You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift."
  2. "You cannot help small men by tearing down big men."
  3. "You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong."
  4. "You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer."
  5. "You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich."
  6. "You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income."
  7. "You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred."
  8. "You cannot establish security on borrowed money."
  9. "You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence."
  10. "You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."

Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D. 

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