Abraham Lincoln Quotes About People


I have always thought that all men should be free; but if any should be slaves it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others. Whenever [I] hear anyone, arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.
~Abraham Lincoln

Although volume upon volume is written to prove slavery a very good thing, we never hear of the man who wishes to take the good of it, by being a slave himself.
~Abraham Lincoln

And then, the negro being doomed, and damned, and forgotten, to everlasting bondage, is the white man quite certain that the tyrant demon will not turn upon him too?
~Abraham Lincoln

As Labor is the common burthen of our race, so the effort of some to shift their share of the burthen on to the shoulders of others, is the great, durable, curse of the race.
~Abraham Lincoln

As to the whiskers, having never worn any, do you not think people would call it a piece of silly affectation if I were to begin it now?
~Abraham Lincoln


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

Common looking people are the best in the world.
~Abraham Lincoln

Every head should be cultivated.
~Abraham Lincoln

Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or not, I can say for one that I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow men....
~Abraham Lincoln

Human-nature will not change.
~Abraham Lincoln

I ... ran for Legislature [in 1832] ... and was beaten—the only time I have been beaten by the people.
~Abraham Lincoln

I am in no boastful mood. I shall not do more than I can, and I shall do all I can to save the government, which is my sworn duty as well as my personal inclination. I shall do nothing in malice. What I deal with is too vast for malicious dealing.
~Abraham Lincoln


I do not deny the possibility that the people may err in an election; but if they do, the true [cure] is in the next election, and not in the treachery of the person elected.
~Abraham Lincoln

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

I have just read your dispatch about sore tongued and fatiegued [sic] horses. Will you pardon me for asking what the horses of your army have done since the battle of Antietem that fatigue anything?
~Abraham Lincoln

I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. There is a physical difference between the two, which, in my judgement, will probably for ever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality; and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I ... am in favour of the race to which I belong having the superior position.
~Abraham Lincoln

I never did ask more, nor ever was willing to accept less, than for all the States, and the people thereof, to take and hold their places, and their rights, in the Union, under the Constitution of the United States. For this alone have I felt authorized to struggle; and I seek neither more nor less now.
~Abraham Lincoln

I never have been, am not now, and probably never shall be, in a mood of harassing the people, either North or South.
~Abraham Lincoln

I never knew a man who wished to be himself a slave. Consider if you know any good thing, that no man desires for himself.
~Abraham Lincoln

If the good people in their wisdom shall see fit to keep me in the background, I have been too familiar with disappointments to be very much chagrined.
~Abraham Lincoln


If the union of these States, and the liberties of this people, shall be lost, it is but little to any one man of fifty-two years of age, but a great deal to the thirty millions of people who inhabit these United States, and to their posterity in all coming time.
~Abraham Lincoln

If there is ANY THING which it is the duty of the WHOLE PEOPLE to never entrust to any hands but their own, that thing is the preservation and perpetuity, of their own liberties, and institutions.
~Abraham Lincoln

If you can hold your present position, we shall "hive" the enemy yet.
~Abraham Lincoln

In leaving the people's business in their hands, we can not be wrong.
~Abraham Lincoln

It has long been a grave question whether any government, not too strong for the liberties of its people, can be strong enough to maintain its own existence, in great emergencies.
~Abraham Lincoln

It may be affirmed, without extravagance, that the free institutions we enjoy, have developed the powers, and improved the condition, of our whole people, beyond any example in the world.
~Abraham Lincoln

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

Legislation and adjudication must follow, and conform to, the progress of society.
~Abraham Lincoln

Never stir up litigation. A worse man can scarcely be found than one who does this.
~Abraham Lincoln

Our down East friends, did, indeed, treat me with great kindness, demonstrating what I before believed, that all good, intelligent people are very much alike.
~Abraham Lincoln

So long as I have been here I have not willingly planted a thorn in any man's bosom.
~Abraham Lincoln


Stand with anybody that stands RIGHT. Stand with him while he is right and PART with him when he goes wrong.
~Abraham Lincoln

That some should be rich, shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise.
~Abraham Lincoln

The ant, who has toiled and dragged a crumb to his nest, will furiously defend the fruit of his labor, against whatever robber assails him. So plain, that the most dumb and stupid slave that ever toiled for a master, does constantly know that he is wronged.
~Abraham Lincoln

The issue is a mighty one for all people and all time; and whoever aids the right, will be appreciated and remembered.
~Abraham Lincoln

The man who stands by and says nothing, when the peril of his government is discussed, can not be misunderstood. If not hindered, he is sure to help the enemy.
~Abraham Lincoln

The people themselves, and not their servants, can safely reverse their own deliberate decisions.
~Abraham Lincoln

The people will save their government, if the government itself will allow them.
~Abraham Lincoln

The political horizon looks dark and lowering; but the people, under Providence, will set all right.
~Abraham Lincoln

The strongest bond of human sympathy, outside of the family relation, should be one uniting all working people, of all nations, and tongues, and kindreds.
~Abraham Lincoln

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.
~Abraham Lincoln

We want, and must have, a national policy, as to slavery, which deals with it as being wrong.
~Abraham Lincoln


What is conservatism? Is it not adherence to the old and tried, against the new and untried?
~Abraham Lincoln

When the white man governs himself that is self-government; but when he governs himself, and also governs another man, that is more than self-government—that is despotism.
~Abraham Lincoln

Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better, or equal hope, in the world?
~Abraham Lincoln

You have confidence in yourself, which is valuable, if not an indispensable quality.
~Abraham Lincoln

You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can't fool all of the people all the time.
~Abraham Lincoln

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