Monday, December 30, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 111

'...and that government of the people by the people for the people shall not perish from the earth.'
- Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 110

'I am a patient man - always willing to forgive on the Christian terms of repentance; and also to give ample time for repentance. Still I must save this government if possible.'
- Abraham Lincoln

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 109

'When southern people tell us they are no more responsible for the origin of slavery than we, I acknowledge the fact. When it is said that the institution exists and that it is very difficult to get rid of it in any satisfactory way, I can understand and appreciate the saying. I surely will not blame them for not doing what I should not know how to do myself.'
- Abraham Lincoln

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 108

'I have been driven many times to 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.'
- Abraham Lincoln

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 107

'I am 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

Friday, December 20, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 106

Horace Greeley, the editor of the New York Tribune, had attacked the Lincoln administration for any number of reasons. But on Lincoln's death he wrote arguably the most prescient obituary of Abraham Lincoln ever penned, one that any of us might justifiably long for: 'He was not a born king of men but a child of the common people who made himself a great persuader, therefore a leader, by dint of firm resolve, patient effort, and dogged perseverance. He slowly won his way to eminence and fame by doing the work that lay next to him - doing it with all his growing might - doing it as well as he could, and learning by his failure, when failure was encountered, how to do it better. He was open to all impressions and influences and gladly profited by the teaching of events and circumstances, no matter how adverse or unwelcome. There was probably no year of his life when he was not a wiser, cooler, and better man than he had been the year proceeding.'

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 105

In January 1835 Lincoln’s business partner died 'on short notice' leaving him responsible for their joint obligations to a total of $1,100, an enormous sum for those days. Lincoln called it the National Debt, and rather than declare bankruptcy he took 10 years to clear that debt.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 104

'We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.'
- Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 103

When Lincoln ran for congress in 1846 his Democratic opponent was a fire-and-brimstone preacher named Peter Cartwright. The story goes that during the course of the campaign Lincoln went to one of Cartwright's services. At one point during the service Preacher Cartwright asked that all who desired to give their lives to God and go to heaven should stand. Of course everyone stood up. Except Lincoln. He then asked those who did not wish to go to hell to stand. At this point everyone stood up. Except Lincoln. Cartwright of course was sensitive to the fact that Lincoln was in the congregation. He then pointedly asked Lincoln if he didn't stand in answer to either question where exactly did he intend to go? Lincoln replied: ‘I came here as a respectful listener. I did not know that I was to be singled out by Brother Cartwright. I believe in treating religious matters with due solemnity. I admit that the questions propounded by Brother Cartwright are of great importance. I did not feel called upon to answer as the rest did. Brother Cartwright asks me directly where I am going. I desire to reply with equal directness. I am going to Congress.’

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 102

At the end of June, 1864 Salmon Chase offered Lincoln his resignation as Secretary of the Treasury for the fourth time. Lincoln had refused the first three times because the country needed Chase's dazzling financial wizardry, but - unknown to Chase - Lincoln had already settled on an adequate replacement and so accepted his resignation this time. Now Chase, who wanted very much to be president himself and who had worked to undermine Lincoln at every opportunity, was free from the constraints of being in Lincoln's official family and could campaign for the Republican nomination publicly - but he did not have enough time to work up the necessary head of steam to win the nomination for himself. Lincoln had, in effect, utilized to the maximum the man's boundless skills, then cut him loose too close to the Republican convention for his run for the presidency to pose a serious threat to Lincoln's own bid for re-nomination.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 101

'Honest old Abe, when the war first began,
Denied abolition was part of his plan;
Honest old Abe has since made a decree,
The war must go on till the slaves are all free.
As both can't be honest, will some one tell how
If honest Abe then, he is honest Abe now?'
- Civil War doggerel

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 100

'I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.'
- Abraham Lincoln

Friday, December 6, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 99

A friend once reported finding Lincoln sitting in his chair so collapsed and weary that he did not look up or speak when he addressed him. Lincoln put out his hand mechanically as if to shake hands when the friend told him he had come at Lincoln’s bidding. It was several minutes before he was roused enough to say that he 'had had a hard day.’

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 98

'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.'
- Abraham Lincoln

Monday, December 2, 2013

Lincoln’s Wit/Wisdom 97

'I entered the room with a moderate estimate of my own consequence and yet there I was to talk with - and even to advise - the head man of a great nation. I was never more quickly or more completely put at ease in the presence of a great man than in that of Abraham Lincoln.'
- Frederick Douglass