140 Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Success, Life & Leadership

Abraham Lincoln Quote

In this post we’ll read Abraham Lincoln quotes who was the 16th President of the United States.

Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865) is widely considered as one of the greatest presidents in American history and he played a key role in leading the United States through its Civil War and putting an end to slavery.

Abraham grew up in a poor family on the western frontier and received little formal education. He worked various jobs as a young man, including as a store clerk, rail-splitter, and surveyor.

After becoming a president, in 1863, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that all slaves in Confederate-held territory were to be set free. While it did not immediately free all slaves, it transformed the Civil War into a struggle for freedom its eventual abolition of slavery.

Let’s read some of the famous Abraham Lincoln quotes and sayings about slavery, war, education and more.

Best Abraham Lincoln Quotes

Best Abraham Lincoln Quote

1. “You can’t make a weak man strong by making a strong man weak.”

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

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

4. “When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”

5. “Bad promises are better broken than kept.”

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

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

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

9. “Important principles may, and must, be inflexible.”

10. “How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg? Four. Saying that a tail is a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”

11. “You can tell the greatness of a man by what makes him angry.”

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

Famous Abraham Lincoln Quotes

Famous Abraham Lincoln Quote

1. “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”

2. “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

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

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

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

6. “I am not concerned that you have fallen — I am concerned that you arise.”

7. “Truth is generally the best vindication against slander.”

8. “The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.”

9. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

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

11. “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Life

Abraham Lincoln Quote on Life

1. “And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

2. “I was born and have ever remained in the most humble walks of life.”

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

4. “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.”

5. “Every one desires to live long, but no one would be old.”

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

Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Success

Abraham Lincoln Quote on Success

1. “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.”

2. “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 by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.”

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

4. “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”

5. “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.”

6. “Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality.”

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

8. “I will prepare and some day my chance will come.”

9. “I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.”

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

11. “Determine that the thing can and shall be done and then… find the way.”

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

Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Leadership

Abraham Lincoln Quote on Leadership

1. “Be with a leader when he is right, stay with him when he is still right, but, leave him when he is wrong.”

2. “You cannot have the right to do what is wrong!”

3. “I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.”

4. “Force is all conquering, but it’s victories are short lived.”

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

6. “Nothing will divert me from my purpose.”

7. “Men should utter nothing for which they would not willingly be responsible through time and eternity.”

8. “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.”

Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Friendship

Abraham Lincoln Quote on Friendship

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

2. “It is an old and a true maxim, that a “drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.” So with men. If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.”

3. “I am willing to pledge myself in black and white to cut my own throat from ear to ear, if, when I meet you, you shall seriously say, that you believe me capable of betraying my friends for any price.”

4. “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.”

5. “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.”

6. “I am humble Abraham Lincoln. I have been solicited by my friends to become a candidate for the Legislature. My politics are short and sweet, like the old woman’s dance.”

7. “A friend is one who has the same enemies as you have.”

8. “If friendship is your weakest point then you are the strongest person in the world.”

Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Slavery

Abraham Lincoln Quote on Slavery

1. “I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. ”

2. “I have always hated slavery, I think, as much as any abolitionist.”

3. “I think that slavery is wrong, morally, socially and politically.”

4. “Why was the amendment, expressly declaring the right of the people to exclude slavery, voted down?”

5. “Slavery is founded in the selfishness of man’s nature – opposition to it is his love of justice”

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

7. “When the victory shall be complete … there shall be neither a slave nor a drunkard on the earth.”

8. “The man who could go to Africa and rob her of her children, and then sell them into interminable bondage, with no other motive than that which is furnished by dollars and cents, is so much worse than the most depraved murderer that he can never receive pardon at my hand.”

Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Democracy & Freedom

Abraham Lincoln Quote on Democracy

1. “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.”

2. “With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed.”

3. “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.”

4. “This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it.”

5. “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”

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

7. “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it.”

8. “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Voting

Abraham Lincoln Quote on Voting

1. “The ballot is stronger than the bullet.”

2. “To give victory to the right, not bloody bullets, but peaceful ballots only, are necessary.”

3. “Ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors to bullets.”

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

5. “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.”

6. “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.”

Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Love & Women

Abraham Lincoln Quote on Women

1. “A woman is the only thing I am afraid of that I know will not hurt me.”

2. “My wife is as handsome as when she was a girl, and I, a poor nobody then, fell in love with her; and what is more, I have never fallen out.”

3. “Whatever woman may cast her lot with mine, should any ever do so, it is my intention to do all in my power to make her happy and contented; and there is nothing I can imagine that would make me more unhappy than to fail in the effort.”

4. “Others have been made fools of by the girls; but this can never be with truth said of me. I most emphatically, in this instance, made a fool of myself.”

5. “I want in all cases to do right, and most particularly so, in all cases with women.”

Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Family

Abraham Lincoln Quote on Family

1. “Marriage is neither heaven nor hell, it is simply purgatory.”

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

3. “I have come to the conclusion never again to think of marrying, and for this reason, I can never be satisfied with anyone who would be blockhead enough to have me.”

4. “I can not but reproach myself, for even wishing to be happy while she is otherwise.”

5. “When you [Mary Lincoln] were here, I thought you hindered me some in attending to business; but now, having nothing but business – no variety – it has grown exceedingly tasteless to me.”

6. “Come on just as soon as you [Mary Lincoln] can. I want to see you, and our dear-dear boys very much.”

7. “I learned a great many years ago that in a fight between husband and wife, a third party should never get between the woman’s skillet and the man’s ax-helve.”

8. “No man is poor who has a Godly mother.”

Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Politics

Abraham Lincoln Quote on Politics

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

2. “The people will save their government, if the government itself will allow them.”

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

4. “Standing as I do, with my hand upon this staff, and under the folds of the American flag, I ask you to stand by me so long as I stand by it.”

5. “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.”

6. “I hope to stand firm enough to not go backward, and yet not go forward fast enough to wreck the country’s cause.”

7. “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”

8. “If once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow-citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem.”

9. “True patriotism is better than the wrong kind of piety.”

Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Religion

Abraham Lincoln Quote on Religion

1. “When I do good I feel good, when I do bad I feel bad, and that’s my religion.”

2. “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.”

3. “That I am not a member of any Christian church is true; but I have never denied the truth of the Scriptures, and I have never spoken with intentional disrespect of religion in general, or of any denomination of Christians in particular.”

4. “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.”

5. “The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma.”

Abraham Lincoln Quotes on War

Abraham Lincoln Quote on War

1. “Blood can not restore blood, and government should not act for revenge.”

2. “A private soldier has as much right to justice as a major-general.”

3. “Allow the president to invade a neighboring nation whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion,and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose – and you allow him to make war at pleasure.”

4. “War, at the best, is terrible, and ours, in its magnitude and in its duration, is one of the most terrible.”

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

Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Character

Abraham Lincoln Quote on Character

1. “You cannot build character and courage by taking away people’s initiative and independence.”

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

3. “Suspicion and jealousy never did help any man in any situation.”

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

5. “Whatever you are, be a good one.”

6. “Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.”

7. “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.”

8. “Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him work diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built.”

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

10. “Hypocrite: The man who murdered his parents, and then pleaded for mercy on the grounds that he was an orphan.”

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

Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Education

Abraham Lincoln Quote on Education

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

2. “Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new at all.”

3. “All I have learned, I learned from books.”

4. “Get books, sit yourself down anywhere, and go to reading them yourself.”

5. “My father taught me to work, but not to love it. I never did like to work, and I don’t deny it. I’d rather read, tell stories, crack jokes, talk, laugh — anything but work.”

Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Happiness

Abraham Lincoln Quote on Happiness

1. “Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”

2. “Every man’s happiness is his own responsibility.”

3. “In this troublesome world, we are never quite satisfied.”

4. “It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him.”

5. “Avoid popularity if you would have peace.”

Abraham Lincoln Quotes on Compassion

Abraham Lincoln Quote on Compassion

1. “Don’t criticize them; they are just what we would be under similar circumstances.”

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

3. “If there is anything that a man can do well, I say let him do it. Give him a chance.”

4. “The highest art is always the most religious, and the greatest artist is always a devout person.”

5. “You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.”

6. “Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them.”

7. “We should be too big to take offense and too noble to give it.

8. “He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.”

9. “To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.”

These Abraham Lincoln quotes greatly express his ideals of liberty, equality, and democracy as he was a staunch supporter of justice and freedom.

Unfortunately, on April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer, while attending a play in Washington, D.C. He died the next day on April 15, 1865.

His commitment to equality and his great leadership skills made him a beloved figure in American history.

Which of these Abraham Lincoln quotes left an impact on you?

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