Top Lincoln Quotes

Browse top 248 famous quotes and sayings about Lincoln by most favorite authors.

Favorite Lincoln Quotes

1. "{When Abraham Lincoln was 26 years old in 1835, he wrote a defense of Thomas Paine's deism; a political associate, Samuel Hill, burned it to save Lincoln's political career. Historian Roy Basler, the editor of Lincoln's papers, said Paine had a strong influence on Lincoln's style:}No other writer of the eighteenth century, with the exception of Jefferson, parallels more closely the temper or gist of Lincoln's later thought. In style, Paine above all others affords the variety of eloquence which, chastened and adapted to Lincoln's own mood, is revealed in Lincoln's formal writings."
Author: Abraham Lincoln
2. "Whether you look for the good or look for the bad in a person, you'll find it." A. Lincoln"
Author: Abraham Lincoln
3. "I pictured the first time we saw the girl, breezing past us in that Lincoln, blond hair whirling around her, her glasses tipped down, her smile, the stroke of her fingers. The teasing.Simon tumbled the meteorite around in the sweat of his hand. I wondered what it would be like to look down at the earth, to fall, to burn brilliantly in the air like the image of the girl who passed by, kicking back dust like cosmic ash, and could she see that, now; was she up there above us?I wondered.We closed our eyes."
Author: Andrew Smith
4. "The issue here is not gonna be a list of accomplishments. As you said yourself, Steve, you know, I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president — with the possible exceptions of Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln."
Author: Barack Obama
5. "Lincolnshire is the Idaho of England. You were either going to drive a tractor for the rest of your life or head for the city to work in a factory."
Author: Bernie Taupin
6. "Why does Alexander the Great never tell us about the exact location of his tomb, Fermat about his Last Theorem, John Wilkes Booth about the Lincoln assassination conspiracy, Hermann Göring about the Reichstag fire? Why don't Sophocles, Democritus, and Aristarchus dictate their lost books?"
Author: Carl Sagan
7. "Shakespeare, Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln never saw a movie, heard a radio or looked at television. They had 'Loneliness' and knew what to do with it. They were not afraid of being lonely because they knew that was when the creative mood in them would work."
Author: Carl Sandburg
8. "There are no whys in a person's life, and very few hows. In the end, in search of useful wisdom, you could only come back to the most hackneyed concepts, like kindness, forbearance, infinite patience. Solomon and Lincoln: This too shall pass. Damn right it will. Or Chekhov: Nothing passes. Equally true."
Author: Chad Harbach
9. "One day I was telling him that I thought that cars had replaced guns as phallic symbols for American men, and I thought it was interesting that he had one that was so small and fast. The next day he gave me the Datsun and went out and bought a Lincoln."
Author: Christopher Moore
10. "Spring had come finally and after much hesitation, to Lincoln's Inn Fields and there were daffodils out upon the green grass and gilly-flowers blooming in the window-boxes of the ground floor sets. This being Lincoln's Inn, where an air of general severity prevails, they did so with an unconscionable meekness, as if they feared that some legal eminence- Mr Crabbe perhaps- would descend in wrath from his chambers and present them with a writ for unlicensed blossoming or occupying too great a proportion of space."
Author: D.J. Taylor
11. "The more I have studied Lincoln, the more I have followed his thought processes, the more I am convinced that he understood leadership better than any other American president."
Author: David Herbert Donald
12. "Tolstoy went on to observe,"This little incident proves how largely the name of Lincoln is worshipped throughout the world and how legendary his personality has become. Now, why was Lincoln so great that he overshadows all other national heroes? He really was not a great general like Napoleon or Washington; he was not such a skillful statesman as Gladstone or Frederick the Great; but his supremacy expresses itself altogether in his peculiar moral power and in the greatness of his character."Washington was a typical American. Naopoleon was a typical Frenchmen, but Lincoln was a humanitarian as broad as the world. He was bigger than his country--- bigger than all the Presidents t,ogether. We are still too near to his greatness, " Tolstoy concluded, "but after a few centuries more our posterity will find him considerably bigger than we do. His genius is still too strong and too powerful for the common understanding, just as the sun is too hot when it's light beams directly on us."
Author: Doris Kearns Goodwin
13. "Lincoln understood the importance, as one delegate put it, of integrating "all the elements of the Republican party—including the impracticable, the Pharisees, the better-than-thou declaimers, the long-haired men and the short-haired women."
Author: Doris Kearns Goodwin
14. "Lincoln was equidistant from the heresy which makes a person believed that he can do nothing, and the opposite heresy which makes them suppose that he is the master of his own fate."
Author: Elton Trueblood
15. "Upon being given a Bible, President Abraham Lincoln replied, "In regard to this Great book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man."
Author: Elton Trueblood
16. "The key to Lincoln's famous employment of humor is not that he failed to appreciate the tragic aspects of human existence, but rather that he felt these with such keeness that some relief was required."
Author: Elton Trueblood
17. "Look, Mrs. McGillicuddy, it's not my fault your son jumped out a dorm room window on Christmas eve. I've written over fifty books as a Columbia professor, all right? You don't do that by holding hands with every at-risk undergraduate who says he's homesick, or he's turning gay, or the dog ate his term paper. I write about Lincoln, and freedom, and great ideas. I don't always have time for students. It's like Dean Martin used to say: if you want to talk, go to a priest. Hey -- what's the gun for?"
Author: Eric Foner
18. "His own deism allowed for a God who, having made the world, having made the world, did not participate in the working out of its ends, whose management of human destiny only inherited in his allowing the patterns and values established by His will to work themselves out in human affairs. Lincoln's response to his own question is to change his tone and focus."
Author: Fred Kaplan
19. "How blind to believe the civil rights movement ever ended. The civil rights movement never ends, and it never will. It has been marching since the beginning of time. Where Martin Luther King started is where Gandhi left off, and where he started, Abe Lincoln left off, and before that Whitfield all the way back to Moses. God has not moved. We have. But it is never too late. We are not at the mercy of these events. We can alter the course of history. We can stand against the dangerous arc of this story. But we need people who are willing to speak truth."
Author: Glenn Beck
20. "I therefore shared fully the intense chagrin of the New York and other State delegations when, on the third ballot, Abraham Lincoln received a larger vote than Seward."
Author: Henry Villard
21. "Isaac Newton was born at Woolsthorpe, near Grantham, in Lincolnshire, 1642: a weakly and diminutive infant, of whom it is related that, at his birth, he might have found room in a quart mug. He died on March the 20th, 1727, after more than eighty-four years of more than average bodily health and vigour; it is a proper pendant to the story of the quart mug to state that he never lost more than one of his second teeth."
Author: Isaac Newton
22. "You don't get drown by falling into a river. You get drown by remaining there. Falling accidentally and rising immediately was what distinguished Thomas Edison and Abraham Lincoln from the rest."
Author: Israelmore Ayivor
23. "Who was the leader of the North?""Lincoln.""No, he was the president.""Yes, which means he was the fucking leader of everyone."Mrs. Anderson's face clouded with anger. Oops. "You won't use that language in my classroom.""Could've fooled me," he said, "because I thought I already did."
Author: J.M. Darhower
24. "On Lincoln: "A profound common sense is the best genius for statesmanship."
Author: James Russell Lowell
25. "I think also there's no question that Lincoln has been diluted down through history in some way, almost by becoming as iconic as he is, in a way he's become diluted."
Author: James Spader
26. "I thought orange was a more electable color, so I dyed my whole cat orange, and renamed him Abe Lincoln. I licked his fur clean in celebration of his victory."
Author: Jarod Kintz
27. "Lincoln said that the Patent Office adds the flame of interest to the light of creativity. And that is why we need to improve the effectiveness of our Patent Office."
Author: Jay Inslee
28. "Flying to Monterey I had a sharp apprehension of the many times before when I had, like Lincoln Steffens, "come back," flown west, followed the sun, each time experiencing a lightening of spirit as the land below opened up, the checkerboards of the midwestern plains giving way to the vast empty reach between the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada; then home, there, where I was from, me, California. It would be a while before I realized that "me" is what we think when our parents die, even at my age, who will look out for me now, who will remember me as I was, who will know what happens to me now, where will I be from."
Author: Joan Didion
29. "If he'd been negotiating Obamacare, Lincoln would have made the infamous 'Cornhusker Kickback' deal - $100 million in Medicaid funds for Nebraska to secure a Senator's vote - in a heartbeat, even if the press howled as it did when Barack Obama agreed to it, forcing its cancellation."
Author: Joe Klein
30. "Lincoln, steeped in the Bible and Shakespeare, set an impossibly high bar for presidential prose."
Author: Jonathan Raban
31. "Lincoln was raised in the thick of Old School Calvinism. In Kentucky and Indiana, his parents belonged to a fire-breathing sect called Separate Baptism, in which congregants heard—in the tradition of Jonathan Edward's famous sermon "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God"—that they were bound for eternal hellfire, and nothing they could do or say or think would change their fate. Preachers did allow that a chosen few were ordained for grace and would be saved, but these fortunate ones had been selected by God before time began. As one Baptist preacher in Lincoln's Kentucky explained it, "Long before the morning stars sang together . . . the Almighty looked down upon the ages yet unborn, as it were, in review before him, and selected one here and another there to enjoy eternal life and left the rest to the blackness of darkness forever." Such Baptist ministers were so intense that it has been said that they "out-Calvined Calvin."
Author: Joshua Wolf Shenk
32. "Let's be honest, Mr. Ravenwood. You have no place in this town. You are not part of it and clearly, neither is your niece. I don't think you are in any position to make demands.""Mrs. Lincoln, I appreciate your candor, and I will try to be as frank with you as you have been with me. It would be a grave error for you, for anyone in this town, really, to pursue this matter. You see, I have a great deal of means. I'm a bit of a spendthrift, if you will. If you try to prevent my niece from returning to Stonewall Jackson High School, I will be forced to spend some of that money. Who knows, perhaps I'll bring in a Wal-Mart."There was another gasp from the bleachers."Is that a threat?""Not at all."
Author: Kami Garcia
33. "The way she told it, she was such a criminal even the most God-fearing church ladies got bored of reporting on her; she did the marketing on Sunday, dropped by any church she liked or none at all, was a feminist (which Mrs. Asher sometimes confused with communist), a Democrat (which Mrs. Lincoln pointed out practically had "demon" in the word itself), and, worst of all, a vegetarian (which ruled out any dinner invitations from Mrs. Snow)."
Author: Kami Garcia
34. "Yet she lays out this family plan the way you'd say, "After yoga, I'll go to Lia's for the mani-special and then wax on about hairstyles and hemlines until dinner."If I were gifted at making long-term plans, which by now we all know I'm not, and if I was at all hopeful, which we all know that I can never be, although it crosses my mind that it's entirely possible these are all just huge, f*&king, temporary setbacks and nothing more, even though it's been going on for over three years now, since Holly died, and I met Lincoln Presley. Events that could be construed as somehow inevitably related. Yes, perhaps there's an expiration date on the said pursuit of unhappiness. Perhaps, things will eventually go my way after I actually discover what that way is supposed to be."
Author: Katherine Owen
35. "That there are such devices as firearms, as easy to operate as cigarette lighters and as cheap as toasters, capable at anybody's whim of killing Father or Fats or Abraham Lincoln or John Lennon or Martin Luther King, Jr., or a woman pushing a baby carriage, should be proof enough for anybody that being alive is a crock of shit."
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
36. "Outside his office my father had a framed copy of a letter written by Abraham Lincoln to his son's teacher, translated into Pashto. It is a very beautiful letter, full of good advice. "Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books…But also give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and the flowers on a green hillside," it says. "Teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat."
Author: Malala Yousafzai
37. "I read a funny story about how the Republicans freed the slaves. The Republicans are the ones who created slavery by law in the 1600's. Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves and he was not a Republican."
Author: Marion Berry
38. "Some folks think I painted Lincoln from life, but I haven't been around that long. Not quite."
Author: Norman Rockwell
39. "President Lincoln chose to fight a bloody and unpopular war because he believed the enemy had to be defeated. He was right."
Author: Pete Hegseth
40. "I was born on the day Lincoln was shot and the Titanic sank."
Author: Pete Rose
41. "I don't want you to go," Sam said. She was upset. "I don't want this to end like this.""You don't get to choose," Lincoln said. "It's just happening."
Author: Rainbow Rowell
42. "Beth's fingers trembled in his hair, and her forehead dropped against his. A heavy, wet tear fell onto Lincoln's lips, and he licked it. He pulled her close, as close as he could. Like he didn't care for the moment whether she could breathe. Like there were two of them and only one parachute."
Author: Rainbow Rowell
43. "In the fifties I had dreams about touching a naked woman and she would turn to bronze or the dream about hot dogs chasing donuts through the Lincoln Tunnel."
Author: Robert Klein
44. "The people who visit the [Lincoln] memorial always look like an advertisement for democracy, so bizarrely, suspiciously diverse that one time I actually saw a man in a cowboy hat standing there reading the Gettysburg Address next to a Hasidic Jew. I wouldn't have been surprised if they had linked arms with a woman in a burka and a Masai warrior, to belt out ‘It's a Small World After All,' flanked by a chorus line of nuns and field-tripping, rainbow-skinned schoolchildren"
Author: Sarah Vowell
45. "I seem to have no problem revealing my crush on the man who murdered Lincoln."
Author: Sarah Vowell
46. "Abraham Lincoln because he was a man filled with great compassion who believed that all men are created free and equal, and was not afraid to stand on that platform. The way Lincoln lived his life has served me well in mine."
Author: Sidney Sheldon
47. "The indispensability of reason does not imply that individual people are always rational or are unswayed by passion and illusion. It only means that people are capable of reason, and that a community of people who choose to perfect this faculty and to exercise it openly and fairly can collectively reason their way to sounder conclusions in the long run. As Lincoln observed, you can fool all of the people some of the time, and you can fool some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."
Author: Steven Pinker
48. "For example, a man who might not have enormous charisma, who could be president 40 years ago, and who was a deserving president, I don't know that George Washington would be a president today, I don't know that Abe Lincoln would, I don't know that Roosevelt would."
Author: Sydney Pollack
49. "My personal assessment is that Dr. King is the greatest American we have ever produced. I can argue for Lincoln, I can argue for FDR, but for my money, King is the greatest American we have ever produced. His only weapon was love. He transforms a nation, transforms the world with one weapon and that of course being again the weapon of love. So that for me, King is the quintessential example of everything that I could ever want to be in my lifetime."
Author: Tavis Smiley
50. "To fail to experience gratitude when walking through the corridors of the Metropolitan Museum, when listening to the music of Bach or Beethoven, when exercising our freedom to speak, or ... to give, or withhold, our assent, is to fail to recognize how much we have received from the great wellsprings of human talent and concern that gave us Shakespeare, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, our parents, our friends. We need a rebirth of gratitude for those who have cared for us, living and, mostly, dead. The high moments of our way of life are their gifts to us. We must remember them in our thoughts and in our prayers; and in our deeds."
Author: William F. Buckley Jr.

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