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Abraham Lincoln

(12 February 1809 – 15 April 1865 / Sinking Spring Farm, Kentucky)

Quotations

  • ''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.
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  • ''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).
  • ''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).
  • ''I must, in candor, say I do not think myself fit for the Presidency.''
    Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), U.S. president. letter to Thomas J. Pickett, Apr. 16, 1859. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 3, p. 377, Rutgers University Press (1953, 1990).
  • ''We cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract.''
    Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), U.S. president. speech, Nov. 19, 1863. Gettysburg Address, repr. In Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 7, ed. Roy P. Basler (1953). Lincoln's dedication of the national cemetery at Gettysburg, where fighting from July 1-3, 1863, claimed nearly 50,000 killed or wounded.
  • ''The loss of enemies does not compensate for the loss of friends.''
    Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), U.S. president. Letter to William H. Seward, June 30, 1862. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 5, p. 295, Rutgers University Press (1953, 1990).
  • ''The world will little note nor long remember what we say here.''
    Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), U.S. president. speech, Nov. 19, 1863. Gettysburg Address, Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 7, ed. Roy P. Basler (1953). Lincoln's Gettysburg Address—taking him only about three minutes to deliver—is perhaps the most quoted speech of all time.
  • ''Our government rests in public opinion. Whoever can change public opinion, can change the government, practically just so much.''
    Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), U.S. president. speech at a Republican banquet, Chicago, Illinois, Dec. 10, 1856. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 2, p. 385, Rutgers University Press (1953, 1990).
  • ''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. There are few things wholly evil, or wholly good.''
    Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), U.S. president. Speech in the U.S. House of Representatives on internal improvements, June 20, 1848. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 1, p. 484, Rutgers University Press (1953, 1990).
  • ''But, slavery is good for some people! ! ! As a good thing, slavery is strikingly peculiar, in this, that it is the only good thing which no man ever seeks the good of, for himself.''
    Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), U.S. president. fragment on pro-slavery theology, Oct. 1, 1858? Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 3, p. 205, Rutgers University Press (1953, 1990).

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To Rosa

You are young, and I am older;
You are hopeful, I am not -
Enjoy life, ere it grow colder -
Pluck the roses ere they rot.

Teach your beau to heed the lay -
That sunshine soon is lost in shade -
That now's as good as any day -
To take thee, Rosa, ere she fade.

[Hata Bildir]