Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 34

Once Mary Todd's relatives learned of her engagement to Lincoln they pressured the couple to call the wedding off. The reason, clearly, was Lincoln’s lack of family respectability - he had an illiterate father and a mother of dubious origins. So he asked Mary to release him, which she did. She understood, but was obviously hurt. Although they eventually did marry later, at this time Lincoln was arguably more depressed than at any time in his life. 'I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth.'

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 33

I never went to school more than six months in my life, but I remember how, when a mere child, I used to get irritated when anybody talked to me in a way I could not understand... 

'I can remember going to my little bedroom, after hearing the neighbors talk of an evening with my father, trying to make out what was the exact meaning of their, to me, dark sayings. I could not sleep, although I tried to, when I got on such a hunt for an idea until I had caught it; and when I thought I had got it, I was not satisfied until I had put it in language plain enough, as I thought, for any boy I knew to comprehend.

'This was a kind of passion with me, and it has stuck by me; for I am never easy now, when I am handling a thought, till I have bounded it north and bounded it south, and bounded it east and bounded it west.'
- Abraham Lincoln

Friday, July 26, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 32

For Lincoln ambition for a high station in life, as his law partner of nearly 20 years William Herndon put it, was 'a little engine that knew no rest.'

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 31

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

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 46

One day Lincoln was visiting the sick and wounded. He entered a tent in which lay Confederate wounded. A correspondent quoted him as saying they were 'enemies through uncontrollable circumstances.'

After a silence, Confederates came forward and without words shook the hand of the President. Some were too sore and broken to walk or to sit up. The President went among these, took some by the hand, wished them good cheer, and said they should have the best of care.

The correspondent wrote, 'Beholders wept at the interview. Most of the Confederates, even, were moved to tears.'

Monday, July 22, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 30

'...and then, there will be some black men who can remember that, with silent tongue, and clenched teeth, and steady eye, and well-poised bayonet, they have helped mankind on to this great consummation.'
- Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 29

'I have stepped out upon this platform that I may see you and that you may see me, and in the arrangement I have the best of the bargain.'
- Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 28

Those around Lincoln strove from beginning to end to erect barriers to defend him against constant interruption, but the President himself was always the first to break them down. He disliked anything that kept people from him who wanted to see him. 'You will wear yourself out,' they pleaded with him. Lincoln of course agreed, but, he contended, they wanted so little - how could he refuse to see them?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 27

During his one and only term in the House of Representatives delegates remembered Lincoln’s answering a colleague's objection to federal improvement of the Illinois River because it ran through only one state, by asking through how many states the federally improved Hudson River ran.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 26

‘When the Pennsylvania miners broke out in open rebellion against the operation of the draft law – detested but necessary - in their section, worried Harrisburg officials inquired whether Lincoln would send troops to insure compliance with the law.

'Entrusting nothing to paper, Lincoln sent a confidential messenger to A. K. McClure, the aide of the Pennsylvania governor: “say to McClure that I am very desirous to have the laws fully executed, but it might be well, in an extreme emergency, to be content with the appearance of executing the laws; I think McClure will understand.”

'McClure did understand, and he made no more than a feeble effort to subdue the miners’ revolt, but let the agitation die out of its own accord. Thus, the Lincoln administration won the credit both for preserving the peace and for enforcing the draft.’
- David Donald

Friday, July 12, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 25

'...that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.'
- Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 24

'I believe each individual is naturally entitled to do as he pleases with himself and the fruits of his labor, insofar as it in no wise interferes with any other man's rights.'
- Abraham Lincoln


Monday, July 8, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 23

'With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.'
- Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 22

One day the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Charles Sumner strolled in to find the President polishing his own boots. 'Why, Mr. President, do you polish your own boots?' The President replied, 'Whose boots do you think I polished?'

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 21

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

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 20

'No matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens.'
Abraham Lincoln