The Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln
The works in this anthology were selected to highlight Lincoln's wisdom rather than his humor or personality. Examples include speeches to Congress arraigning President Polk, on internal improvements, on military heroes; letters to George E. Pickett, William Johnston, Horace Greeley, General Hooker, Andrew Johnson; and more.
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Page 126 - I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, and defend it." I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
Page 176 - Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said, "The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.
Page 175 - If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through his appointed time, he now wills to remove, and that he gives to both North and South this terrible war, as the woe due to those by whom the offense...
Page 151 - A nation may be said to consist of its territory, its people, and its laws. The territory is the only part which is of certain durability. "One generation passeth away and another generation cometh, but the earth abideth forever.
Page 124 - Plainly, the central idea of secession, is the essence of anarchy. A majority, held in restraint by constitutional checks, and limitations, and always changing easily, with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people.
Page 179 - Finding themselves safely at home, it would be utterly immaterial whether they had ever been abroad. Let us all join in doing the acts necessary to restoring the proper practical relations between these States and the Union, and each forever after innocently indulge his own opinion whether in doing the acts he brought the States from without into the Union, or only gave them proper assistance, they never having been out of it.
Page 74 - That is the real issue. That is the issue that will continue in this country when these poor tongues of Judge Douglas and myself shall be silent. It is the eternal struggle between these two principles — right and wrong — throughout the world.
Page 146 - What good would a proclamation of emancipation from me do, especially as we are now situated ? I do not want to issue a document that the whole world will see must necessarily be inoperative, like the Pope's bull against the comet.
Page 27 - The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do at all, or cannot so well do. for themselves, in their separate and individual capacities.