Some of Abraham Lincoln’s Great Words

“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.”
Letter to law partner William H. Herndon
July 10, 1848

“If the negro is a man, why then my ancient faith teaches me that ‘all men are created equal,' and that there can be no moral right in connection with one man's making a slave of another.”
Peoria Speech
October 16, 1854

“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, stretching from every battlefield, and patriot grave, to every heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
First Inaugural Address
March 4, 1861

“While the people retain their virtue and vigilance, no administration, by any extreme of wickedness or folly, can very seriously injure the government in the short space of four years.”
First Inaugural Address
March 4, 1861

“Having thus chosen our course, without guile, and with pure purpose, let us renew our trust in God, and go forward without fear, and with manly hearts.”
Address to Congress
July 4, 1861

“Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history… The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation…In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free- honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last, best hope of earth.” Annual Message to Congress
December 1, 1862

“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—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.”
Address at the dedication of a battlefield cemetery, Gettysburg, PA
November 19, 1863

“The Lord prefers common-looking people. That is why he made so many of them.”
Conversation with private secretary John Hay
December 23, 1863

“Truth is generally the best vindication against slander.”
Letter to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton
July 14, 1864

“I happen temporarily to occupy this big White House. I am a living witness that any one of your children may look to come here as my father's child has.”
Address to the 166th Ohio Regiment
August 22, 1864

“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.”
Second Inaugural Address
March 4, 1865

“When I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”
Statement to an Indiana Regiment passing through Washington
March 17, 1865