“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my mother.” -Abraham Lincoln There are few figures in American history as revered as Abraham Lincoln. The 16th president faced some of the greatest challenges that any leader has ever faced, and he did so with wisdom, courage, and integrity. Lincoln left a rich legacy, not only in the form of his accomplishments, but also in his words. Here are 130 of the most inspiring Abraham Lincoln quotes:

“Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms.” — Abraham Lincoln

“If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Let no young man choosing the law for a calling for a moment yield to the popular belief — resolve to be honest at all events.”— Abraham Lincoln

“It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.”— Abraham Lincoln

“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.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on Him who has never yet forsaken this favored land are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulty.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Men are not flattered by being shown that there has been a difference of purpose between the Almighty and them. To deny it, however, in this case, is to deny that there is a God governing the world.”— Abraham Lincoln

“The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.”— Abraham Lincoln

“I mean simply to say that the war will cease on the part of the government, whenever it shall have ceased on the part of those who began it.”— Abraham Lincoln

“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.”— Abraham Lincoln

“The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Thoughtful men must feel that the fate of civilization upon this continent is involved in the issue of our contest.”— Abraham Lincoln

“While we must, by all available means, prevent the overthrow of the government, we should avoid planting and cultivating too many thorns in the bosom of society.”— Abraham Lincoln

“But if destruction of the Union by one or by a part only of the States be lawfully possible, the Union is less perfect than before the Constitution, having lost the vital element of perpetuity.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.”— Abraham Lincoln

“What is the frame of government under which we live? The answer must be: ‘The Constitution of the United States.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Our government rests in public opinion. Whoever can change public opinion, can change the government, practically just so much.”— Abraham Lincoln

“I believe it is an established maxim in morals that he who makes an assertion without knowing whether it is true or false, is guilty of falsehood.”— Abraham Lincoln

“I have not permitted myself, gentlemen, to conclude that I am the best man in the country.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can.”— Abraham Lincoln

” I can say for one that I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow men, by rendering myself worthy of their esteem.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Perhaps a man’s character is like a tree and his reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”— Abraham Lincoln

“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.”— Abraham Lincoln

“My countrymen, one and all, think calmly and well upon this whole subject. Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time.”— Abraham Lincoln

“I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States.”— Abraham Lincoln

“I freely acknowledge myself the servant of the people, according to the bond of service.”— Abraham Lincoln

“I take the official oath to-day (sic) with no mental reservations and with no purpose to construe the Constitution or laws by any hypercritical rules.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere.”— Abraham Lincoln

“I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”— Abraham Lincoln

“In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free—honourable alike in what we give and what we preserve.”— Abraham Lincoln

“The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just; it shall not deter me.”— Abraham Lincoln

“I am rather inclined to silence, and whether that be wise or not, it is at least more unusual nowadays to find a man who can hold his tongue than to find one who cannot.”— Abraham Lincoln

“When I’m getting ready to reason with a man I spend one third of my time thinking about myself and what I am going to say — and two thirds thinking about him and what he is going to say.”— Abraham Lincoln

“I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Quarrel not at all. No man resolved to make the most of himself can spare time for personal contention. Better give your path to a dog than be bitten by him.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”— Abraham Lincoln

He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help.”— Abraham Lincoln

“To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.”— Abraham Lincoln

“It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.”— Abraham Lincoln

“If you would win a man to your cause first convince him that you are his sincere friend.”— Abraham Lincoln

“What kills a skunk is the publicity it gives itself.”— Abraham Lincoln

“When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.”— Abraham Lincoln

“It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.”— Abraham Lincoln

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”— Abraham Lincoln

“It’s not me who can’t keep a secret. It’s the people I tell that can’t.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Character is like a tree and reputation its shadow. The shadow is what we think it is and the tree is the real thing.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”— Abraham Lincoln

“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to success is more important than any other thing.”— Abraham Lincoln

“If you would win a man to your cause first convince him that you are his sincere friend.”— Abraham Lincoln

“The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just; it shall not deter me.”— Abraham Lincoln

“I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.”— Abraham Lincoln

“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 up to what light I have.”— Abraham Lincoln

“You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”— Abraham Lincoln

“I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.”— Abraham Lincoln

“My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”— Abraham Lincoln

“A capacity, and taste, for reading, gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others.”— Abraham Lincoln

“My mind is like a piece of steel, very hard to scratch anything on it and almost impossible after you get it there to rub it out.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Education does not mean teaching people what they do not know. It means teaching them to behave as they do not behave.”— Abraham Lincoln

“You cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and independence.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves.”— Abraham Lincoln

“I happen temporarily to occupy this big White House. I am living witness that any one of your children may look to come here as my father’s child has.”— Abraham Lincoln

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.”— Abraham Lincoln

“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.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.”— Abraham Lincoln

“You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Be with a leader when he is right, stay with him when he is still right, but leave him when he is wrong.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Let us remember that all American citizens are brothers of a common country, and should dwell together in the bonds of fraternal feeling.”— Abraham Lincoln

“The one victory we can ever call complete will be that one which proclaims that there is not one slave or one drunkard on the face of God’s green earth.”— Abraham Lincoln

“As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.”— Abraham Lincoln

“No man is good enough to govern another man, without that other’s consent. I say this is the leading principle–the sheet anchor of American republicanism.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.”— Abraham Lincoln

“I have never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence.” — Abraham Lincoln

. “In law it is a good policy to never plead what you need not, lest you oblige yourself to prove what you can not.” — Abraham Lincoln

“In very truth he was, the noblest work of God—an honest man.” — Abraham Lincoln

 “Peace does not appear so distant as it did. I hope it will come soon, and come to stay; and so come as to be worth the keeping in all future time.”— Abraham Lincoln

“The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.” — Abraham Lincoln

“If you are resolutely determined to make a lawyer of yourself, the thing is more than half done already.” — Abraham Lincoln

 “Towering genius distains a beaten path. It seeks regions hitherto unexplored.”— Abraham Lincoln

 “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” — Abraham Lincoln

“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.”— Abraham Lincoln

“I do the very best I know how–the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.”— Abraham Lincoln

 “I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.” — Abraham Lincoln

“I distrust the wisdom if not the sincerity of friends who would hold my hands while my enemies stab me.” — Abraham Lincoln

“If we have no friends, we have no pleasure; and if we have them, we are sure to lose them, and be doubly pained by the loss.”— Abraham Lincoln

“My father taught me to work, but not to love it. I never did like to work, and I don’t deny it. I’d rather read, tell stories, crack jokes, talk, laugh—anything but work.”— Abraham Lincoln

 “I can make a General in five minutes but a good horse is hard to replace.”— Abraham Lincoln

“When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.”— Abraham Lincoln

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

“I cannot make it better known than it already is that I strongly favor colonization.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.”— Abraham Lincoln

 “Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.”— Abraham Lincoln

 “I care not for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.”— Abraham Lincoln

“In regard to this Great Book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book.”— Abraham Lincoln

“Surely God would not have created such a being as man, with an ability to grasp the infinite, to exist only for a day! No, no, man was made for immortality.” — Abraham Lincoln

“No man is good enough to govern another man, without that other’s consent. I say this is the leading principle–the sheet anchor of American republicanism.” — Abraham Lincoln

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