Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Democracy, Leadership and Slavery


Find all the quotes by Abraham Lincoln in one place. Abraham Lincoln, born on 12th February 1809 near Hodgenville, Kentucky, U.S; served as the 16th president of the United States. He was an American statesman and lawyer who was responsible for preserving the Union during the American Civil War and was responsible for the emancipation of the slaves in the United States of America. Let’s see all the famous Abraham Lincoln quotes on democracy, leadership, and slavery now.

Quotes by Abraham Lincoln

The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.

I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think and feel.

Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.

No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.

All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.

Upon the subject of education, not presuming to dictate any plan or system respecting it, I can only say that I view it as the most important subject which we as a people can be engaged in.

You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.

Whatever you are, be a good one.

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.

Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.

That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.

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.

If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.

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.

I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon the earth and be an atheist, but I cannot conceive how a man could look up into the heavens and say there is no God.

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

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

Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.

My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.

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.

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.

I will prepare and some day my chance will come.

The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.

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.

The best way to predict your future is to create it.

A house divided against itself cannot stand.

My Best Friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read.

I am not concerned that you have fallen — I am concerned that you arise.

Life is hard but so very beautiful.

All I have learned, I learned from books.

Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.

The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships.

A man watches his pear tree day after day, impatient for the ripening of the fruit. Let him attempt to force the process, and he may spoil both fruit and tree. But let him patiently wait, and the ripe pear at length falls into his lap.

The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.

You can have anything you want if you want it badly enough.

Don’t worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.

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

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

I’m a slow walker, but I never walk back.

Those who look for the bad in people will surely find it.

Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.

Every person’s happiness is their own responsibility.

Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.

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

I never had a policy; I have just tried to do my very best each and every day.

Gold is good in its place; but loving, brave, patriotic men are better than gold.

Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.

Everybody likes a compliment.

You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.

I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.

The way for a young man to rise is to improve himself in every way he can, never suspecting that anybody wishes to hinder him.

The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land.

Stand with anybody that stands right, stand with him while he is right and part with him when he goes wrong.

All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flowerwherever the flower would grow in thought and mind.

You can have anything you want if you want it badly enough. You can be anything you want to be, do anything you set out to accomplish if you hold to that desire with singleness of purpose.

There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.

I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.

In this sad world of ours, sorrow comes to all; and to the young, it comes with bitterest agony because it takes them unawares. I have had experience enough to know what I say.

Women are the only people I am afraid of who I never thought would hurt me.

I know that the Lord is always on the side of the right; but it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation may be on the Lord’s side.

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.

Don’t swap horses in crossing a stream.

It often requires more courage to dare to do right than to fear to do wrong.

If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.

If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?

I would rather be a little nobody, then to be a evil somebody.

Important principles may, and must, be inflexible.

I care not much for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.

These men ask for just the same thing, fairness, and fairness only. This, so far as in my power, they, and all others, shall have.

When I am 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 about him and what he is going to say.

I laugh because I must not cry, that is all, that is all.

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.

When you have got an elephant by the hind legs and he is trying to run away, it’s best to let him run.

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.

The time comes upon every public man when it is best for him to keep his lips closed.

I believe it is universally understood and acknowledged that all men will ever act correctly, unless they have a motive to do otherwise.

Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.

In my view of the present aspect of affairs, there is no need of bloodshed and war. There is no necessity for it. I am not in favor of such a course, and I may say in advance, there will be no blood shed unless it be forced upon the government. The government will not use force unless force is used against it.

Man is not the only animal who labors; but he is the only one who improves his workmanship.

It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.

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.

He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.

If you think you can slander a woman into loving you, or a man into voting for you, try it till you are satisfied.

Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.

I have talked with great men, and I do not see how they differ from others.

A new book is like a friend that I have yet to meet.

No man is good enough to govern another man without the other’s consent.

About Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was the second child of Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln. He was born on the 12th of February, 1809 on Sprinkle Farm near Hodgenville, Kentucky. His grandfather Captain Lincoln was killed in 1786 in an Indian raid, which forced his children including Abe’s father to move. Eventually, they settled in Hardin County, Kentucky, in the early 1800s. They faced a lot of financial challenges over the years. However, Thomas finally obtained clear title to a piece of 80 acres of land which came to be known as the Little Pigeon Creek Community.

Lincoln’s Education and early life

Due to financial woes, Abe Lincoln was mostly self-educated, and his formal schooling never lasted more than twelve months as they were always traveling. However, he developed a fondness for reading and was an avid reader and had an innate zeal for learning. His family members mentioned that he read and reread various books including King James Bible, Aesop’s Fables, John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, etc.

Lincoln was reasonably tall for his age and became an expert at using the axe and somewhat accepted the tradition of handing over earnings to one’s father till the age of 21. He was popularly known for his strength after he won wrestling matches.

Move to Illinois

The fear of milk sickness had spread, which had killed Abraham’s mother as well; so, in 1830 many members of his family moved to Illinois and settled in Macon County, 16 KM west of Decatur.
Soon after the move, Abraham and his father became very distant, partially because of his father’s lack of education. Again, Thomas and other family members decided to move, which is when Abraham decided to leave home. He stayed in New Salem for six years, where he worked on odd jobs. Abraham and some of his other friends used to travel and send off goods by flatboat to New Orleans, where he saw slavery firsthand, and it deeply moved him.

Family life and Personal Life

Lincoln’s first romantic relationship was with Ann Rutledge, whom he met with when he had first made a move to New Salem. Around 1840, Abraham Lincoln got engaged to Mary Todd, daughter of Robert Smith Todd, who was a wealthy slave-owner. They became engaged; however, the engagement was canceled; they eventually reconciled and got married on the 4th of Nov, 1842. He was an extremely his witty man known for his funny remarks; he once quoted “After 40 every man gets the face he deserves”.

Law Career

Due to his interest in reading and his will to bring about a change, he studied law, which he studied on his own; he was a self-taught lawyer. In 1836, he was admitted to the bar, which allowed him to practice law in the state of Illinois. Eventually, in 1837, he moved to Springfield where he joined T.Sturat as a junior partner.

He was a diligent and smart lawyer, and his focus and determination lead the way for his presidency. He had developed a reputation of a tough adversary during cross-examinations and delivered case winning closing arguments. He then partnered with Stephen T. Logan from 1841 until 1844, and finally, he began his practice with William Herndon.

He became interested in politics and became a Republican leader from 1854 to 1860. He called up through the ranks and became the 16th President of the United States; it was through his sheer hard work and determination that a self-taught lawyer, then came to govern a country which was in great distress at the time.

Lincoln and the Civil War

During the time of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, the country was divided into two half’s – northern and southern regions, the northern states retained and became the United States and the south seceded from the Union, declaring themselves the Confederate States of America.

The civil war was incredibly tricky, with tremendous bloodshed, under Lincoln leadership the country and ultimately defeated the Confederacy, which was followed by the Emancipation Proclamation that created a pathway for the abolishment of slavery.

Abraham Lincoln stringy felt that for the growth of his country and to bring about equality, it was essential to end slavery. However, he did realize that the seceded states also need proper leadership and could not stay this way forever, and eventually, it should be settled and combine the Union and the Confederacy back into the United States.

Lincoln’s Achievements:

Emancipation Proclamation

A misconception prevailed that Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves as soon as it was issued; however, that was not the case. The war was still prevalent; however, once issued, it gave the black community equal right to participate in the Army and the Navy. This would probably be one of the most significant achievements of Lincoln.

The black community was pleased and were ready to fight for their country. More than 200,000 people from the black community joined the armed forces to help fight for a nation that would become one of the top nations in the world.

The Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery overnight. It took years of practice; the states that did apply the Emancipation Proclamation were slave free, as they were all members of the Union. Once the war ended, Abraham Lincoln supported the legislation that will eradicate slavery; through his political career, he was one of the biggest supporters of the 13th Amendment.

One of the most famous opening quotes from his speech “Four score and seven years ago…” this was an impactful speech that was delivered on 19th November 1863 at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; four months after the Union army defeated the Confederate army at the Battle of Gettysburg. During this speech, he spoke about:

How freedom would be for all states and citizensHow they would work towards the unity of the peopleHow they would pay tribute and honor to the burial grounds of the soldiersWhat the country would be founded onHow he would work tirelessly to achieve these goals

Abraham Lincoln was a brilliant lawyer and even better President, he spent almost his entire life to make the United States a better place for the people of the country.

The most famous quote on democracy given by Lincoln was: “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.”

Please use the comment form below if you want to add more Abraham Lincoln quotes to our list.

Share and Enjoy

+ There are no comments

Add yours