We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory will swell when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
— that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.
I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.
With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan – to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.
The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.
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.
We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name – liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names – liberty and tyranny.
We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.
A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half-slave and half-free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved – I do not expect the house to fall – but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.
You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the 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 by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.
Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.
Republicans are for both the man and the dollar, but in case of conflict the man before the dollar.
America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.
In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.
As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.
Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.
Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
A friend is one who has the same enemies as you have.
I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.
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 that suits them better. This is a most valuable – a most sacred right – a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.
Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.
Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?
My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.
When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.
The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read.
You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.
No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.
To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.
The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.
Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.
My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth.
I do the very best I know how – the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.
How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.
Whatever you are, be a good one.
Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.
It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.
Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them.
If once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow-citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem.
Everybody likes a compliment.
I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.
I will prepare and some day my chance will come.
That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.