Abraham Lincoln’s Greatest Quotes
Here are some of Lincoln’s most quotable quotes. Each of these Lincoln quotations comes from a reliable source. Most of the Lincoln quotations listed here can be found in Gene Griessman’s THE WORDS LINCOLN LIVED BY.
(For additional Lincoln quotations, go to our sister websites: Chicagospeakersbureau.org and presidentlincoln.com.)
* “If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what’s said against me won’t amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”
* “I don’t like to hear cut-and-dried sermons. No–when I hear a man preach, I like to see him act as if he were fighting bees.”
* “If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches his heart, which … when once gained, you will find but little trouble in convincing his judgment of the justice of your cause.”
* “I have found that when one is embarrassed, usually the shortest way to get through with it is to quit talking about it or thinking about it, and go at something else.”
* “No man [who has] resolved to make the most of himself can spare time for personal contention.”
* “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 pear at length falls into his lap!”
* “The true rule, in determining to embrace or reject any thing, is not whether it has any evil in it; but whether it has more of evil than of good. There are few things wholly evil or wholly good. Almost every thing … is an inseparable compound of the two; so that our best judgment of the preponderance between them is continually demanded.”
* “Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we shall find the way.”
* “You must not wait to be brought forward by the older men….Do you suppose that I should ever have got into notice if I had waited to be hunted up and pushed forward by older men?”
* “The way for a young man to rise is to improve himself every way he can, never suspecting that any body wishes to hinder him. Allow me to assure you that suspicion and jealousy never did help any man in any situation. There may sometimes be ungenerous attempts to keep a young man down; and they will succeed too, if he allows his mind to be diverted from its true channel to brood over the attempted injury. Cast about and see if this feeling has not injured every person you have ever known to fall into it.”–Letter To William Herndon, July 10, 1848
* “Half finished work generally proves to be labor lost….”
* “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing.”
* “The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”–Lincoln’s Annual Message to Congress, December 1, 1862
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