Most people know of Lincoln’s eloquence and his gift for the pithy saying, but mainly in his role as Civil War president and especially the champion he became of freeing the slaves.
But Lincoln had opinions on a lot of other things. There’s some wonderful stuff here, with many great quotes to choose from. Here are my offerings:
America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.
The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man’s initiative and independence.
Property is the fruit of labor…property is desirable…is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.
We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing. With some the word liberty may mean for each man to do as he pleases with himself, and the product of his labor; while with others, the same word may mean for some men to do as they please with other men, and the product of other men’s labor. Here are two, not only different, but incompatible things, called by the same name – liberty. And it follows that each of the things is, by the respective parties, called by two different and incompatible names – liberty and tyranny.
I don’t believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good. So while we do not propose any war upon capital, we do wish to allow the humblest man an equal chance to get rich with everybody else.
Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.
Any nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure.
Apropos of that latter thought, yesterday I was mulling over the fact that the attention we used to give to holidays for individual presidents Washington, and Lincoln himself (Feb. 22 and Feb. 12, respectively), has now morphed into the more generic Monday of Presidents’ Day.
[NOTE: The site also has quotes from Thatcher, but I’ll save those for another time.]