ABE’S TWEETS

His twitter name?
@ALincoln of course!

TWEETABLE QUOTES BY ABRAHAM LINCOLN

This is a page dedicated to actual 🎩 Abraham Lincoln quotes – in tweetable form (140 characters). They have NOT been altered, but they do have tweet shorthand (to=2).  Feel free to copy and paste on Twitter!

They are organized by # headings.

The source from which each quote came is also noted. They are from his speeches, letters, and courtroom reports that appeared in local newspapers. Some are even from scraps of paper with a thought jotted on them and tossed among his papers.

But get ready, because Lincoln’s far more profound than he’s often credited with being. Some quotes even seem homespun and simplistic, but the concepts they express are often complicated. Einstein said that “if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

Lincoln understood it…even in 140 characters.

[Please note: CWAL = Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln]

🎩 HIS TWEETABLE WISDOM:

#Addiction

  • …none seemed to think the injury arose from the use of a bad thing, but from the abuse of a very good thing.

-[Speaking about alcoholism & the misconception of early reformers] “Temperance Address – February 22, 1842.” CWAL. v.I:p. 275.

  • They teach hope to all—despair to none.

-[Regarding the use of former alcoholics as reformers] “Temperance Address – February 22, 1842.” CWAL. v.I:p. 277.

#Agribusiness

  • Every blade of grass is a study; and to produce two, where there was but one, is both a profit and a pleasure.

-“Address before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society – September 30, 1859” CWAL. v.III:p.481.

#Democracy

  • In giving freedom to the slave we assure freedom to the free–honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve.

-“Second Annual Message to Congress (December 1, 1862).” CWAL. v.V:p.521.

  • Advancement – improvement in condition-is the order of things in a society of equals.

-“Fragment of notes on Free Labor – September, 1859?” Kerner, F. (1965). A Treasury of Lincoln Quotations. New York, NY: Doubleday and Company Inc: p.103.

  • in this country, one can scarcely be so poor, but that, if he will, he can acquire sufficient education to get through the world respectably

-“Euology on Henry Clay” (February 27, 1860). CWAL. v.II:125.

#Diversity

  • Because of these diversities we waste much strength in struggles among ourselves. By mutual concession we should harmonize and act together.

-“Second Annual Message to Congress (December 1, 1862).” CWAL. vV:521.

#Government

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

-“Speech at Kalamazoo, Michigan at (August 27, 1856).” CWAL. vII:p.367.

  • Allow ALL the governed an equal voice in the government, and that, and that only is self government.

-“Speech at Peoria, Illinois, on October 16, 1854.” CWAL. v.II: p.266.

  • There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.

-“Speech to the Young Men’s Lyceum, Springfield, IL – January 27, 1838.” Kerner, F. (1965). A Treasury of Lincoln Quotations. New York, NY: Doubleday and Company Inc: p.180.

  • …government rightfully may, &, subject to the constitution, ought to, redress & prevent, all wrongs, which are wrongs to the nation itself.

    “Allow ALL the governed an equal voice in the government, and that, and that only is self government.”

-“Notes for Speeches at Columbus and Cincinnati, Ohio, September 16-17, 1859.” CWAL. v.III:pp. 426-436.

  • At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us.

-“Address Before the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois – January 27, 1838.” CWAL. v.I:p.110.

  • The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do

-“Fragment on Government – 1854(?).” CWAL. v.II:p.221.

  • if all men were just, there still would be some, though not so much, need of government.

-“Fragment on Government – 1854(?).” CWAL. v.II:p.222.

  • To the support of the Constitution & laws let every American pledge his life, his property, & his sacred honor.”

-Address before the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois – January 27,1837.” CWAL. v.I: p.113.

  • Reason cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason-must furnish all the materials for our future support and defense.

-“Address before the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois – January 27,1837.” CWAL. v.I: p.116.

  • Passion has helped us, but can do so no more. It will in future be our enemy

-“Address before the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois – January 27,1837.” CWAL. v.I: p. 116.

#Law

  • Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can.

-“Fragment: Notes on a Law Lecture.” CWAL. v.II: pp.82-83.

  • As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.

“Fragment: Notes on a Law Lecture.” CWAL. v.II: pp.82-83.

  • Before going farther, let a pin be stuck here, labelled `one lie proved and confessed.’

“Second Reply to James Adams – October 18, 1837.” CWAL. v.I: p.102.

  • If he is not a lawyer, he is a liar, for he proclaimed himself a lawyer, and got a man hanged by depending on him.

-“Second Reply to James Adams – October 18, 1837.” CWAL. v.I: p.103.

#Life

  • …we know nothing of what will happen in future, but by the analogy of experience…

-“Speech on the Sub-Treasury (in the Illinois Legislature) – December 26, 1839.” CWAL.  v.I:p.167.

  • The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just–a way which if followed the world will forever applaud and God must forever bless.”

-“Second Annual Message to Congress (December 1, 1862).” CWAL. v.V:p.521.

  • Broken by it, I, too, may be; bow to it I never will.

-[Regarding President Van Buren’s political force] “Speech on the Sub-Treasury – December [26?], 1839.” CWAL. v.I:p. 179.

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

-“Speech in the Illinois Legislature concerning the State Bank – January 11, 1837.” CWAL. v.I:p.67.

  • The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships…

-“To Joseph Gillespie – July 13. 1849.” CWAL. v.II:p. 58.

  • If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend. Therein is a drop of honey that catches his heart
“The better part of one’s life consists of his friendships…”

-“Temperance Address – February 22, 1842.” CWAL. v.I:p. 274.

  • …any subject, always has a `central idea,’ from which all its minor thoughts radiate.

-“Speech at a Republican Banquet at Chicago, Illinois – December 10, 1856.” CWAL. v.2: p. 386.

  • In any future great national trial, compared with the men of this, we shall have as weak, & as strong; as silly & as wise; as bad & good

-” Lincoln’s Response to a Serenade, November 10, 1864.” The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress.  Retrieved June 6, 2017 from: https://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/mal:@field(DOCID+@lit(d3811500))

  • It is an old maxim and a very sound one, that he that dances should always pay the fiddler.

-“Speech in the Illinois Legislature concerning the State Bank – January 11, 1837.” CWAL. v.I:p.65.

  • Human-nature will not change…

-” Lincoln’s Response to a Serenade, November 10, 1864.” The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. Retrieved June 6, 2017 from: https://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/mal:@field(DOCID+@lit(d3811500))

  • Great distance, in either time or space, has wonderful power to lull & render quiescent the human mind.

-“Speech to Washington Temperance Society, Springfield, IL Feb. 22, 1842.” Kerner, F. (1965). A Treasury of Lincoln Quotations. New York, NY: Doubleday and Company Inc: p.65.

#LincolnHumor

  • You dont know what you are talking about, my friend. I am quite willing 2 answer any gentleman in the crowd who asks an intelligent question

-“Speech at Chicago – July 10,1858.” CWAL. v.II:p.491.

  • The Saviour of the world chose twelve disciples, and even one of that small number, selected by superhuman wisdom, turned out a traitor..

-“Speech on the Sub-Treasury (in the Illinois Legislature) – December 26, 1839.” CWAL. v.I:p.168.

  • I am not master of language; I have not a fine education; I am not capable of entering into a disquisition upon dialectics…

-“Speech at Chicago – July 10,1858.” CWAL. v.II:p.492.

  • how exceedingly anxious he is at all times 2 seize upon anything and everything 2 persuade you that something he has done you did yourselves

-“Speech at Chicago – July 10,1858.” CWAL. v.II:p.498.

#LincolnMaxims

  • This is the sum, without giving particulars.

-“To Thaddeus Stevens – September 3, 1848.” CWAL. v.II:p.393.

  • I find quite as much material for a lecture in those points wherein I have failed, as in those wherein I have been moderately successful.

-“Fragment: Notes for a Law Lecture (July 1, 1850?).” CWAL. vII:81.

  • …we can not escape history.

-“Second Annual Message to Congress (December 1, 1862).” CWAL. vV:521.

  • I have endured a great deal of ridicule w/o much malice & have received a great deal of kindness-not quite free from ridicule-I am used to it

-“Letter to James H. Hackett – November 2, 1863.” CWAL. v.VI: p.560.

  • Stand with anybody that stands RIGHT. Stand with him while he is right and PART with him when he goes wrong.

-“Speech at Peoria, Illinois, on October 16, 1854” CWAL. v.II:274.

  • If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher.

-“Address Before the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois – January 27, 1838.” CWAL. v.I:p.110.

  • LET US HAVE FAITH THAT RIGHT MAKES MIGHT, AND IN THAT FAITH, LET US, TO THE END, DARE TO DO OUR DUTY AS WE UNDERSTAND IT.  [Lincoln’s capitalizations – probably for emphasis]

-“Address at Cooper Institute, New York City” (February 27, 1860). CWAL.  v.III:550.

  • If we have no friends, we have no pleasure;

-“Letter to Joshua Speed – February 25, 1842” CWAL. v.I:p.283.

  • A disbanded yeomanry cannot successfully meet an organized soldiery.

-“Communication to the Readers of The Old Soldier – February 28, 1840.” CWAL. v.I:p.206.

  • we could not secure the good we did secure if we grasped for more

-“Speech at Chicago – July 10,1858.” CWAL. v.IIp.502.

  • as you have made up your organization upon principle, stand by it;

-“Speech at Chicago – July 10,1858.” CWAL. v.II:p.499.

  • it is an established maxim in morals that he who makes an assertion without knowing whether it is true or false, is guilty of falsehood;

-“Letter to Allen N. Ford” (August 11, 1846).CWAL. v.I:384.

  • Where a thing is not, it cannot be pointed out.

-“Second Reply to James Adams – October 18, 1837.” CWAL. v.I: p.103.

  • In times like the present, men should utter nothing 4 which they would not willingly be responsible through time & eternity

-“Message to Congress – December 1, 1862.” CWAL. v.V: p.536.

#LincolnMeditations

  • the water, thus plunging, will foam, & roar, & send up a mist-continuously-in which last-during
    “…during sunshine-there will be perpetual rain-bows…”

    sunshine-there will be perpetual rain-bows

-“Fragment: Niagara Falls – c. September 25-30, 1848.” CWAL. v.II: p.11.

  • the contemplation of the vast power the sun is constantly exerting in quiet, noiseless operation oflifting water up to be rained down again

-“Fragment: Niagara Falls – c. September 25-30, 1848.” CWAL. v.II: p.11.

  • Niagara-In that long–long time, never still for a single moment. Never dried, never froze, never slept, never rested

-“Fragment: Niagara Falls – c. September 25-30, 1848.” CWAL. v.II: p.12.

  • The eyes of that species of extinct giants, whose bones fill the mounds of America, have gazed on Niagara

-“Fragment: Niagara Falls – c. September 25-30, 1848.” CWAL. v.II: p.12.

#LiteraryLincoln

  • Some of Shakspeare’s plays I have never read; while others I have gone over perhaps as frequently as any unprofessional reader

-“To James A. Hackett – August 17, 1863.” CWAL. v.VI:p.393.

The English engraver Martin Droeshout created this image for the First Folio (first edition) of Shakespeare’s published works.
  • others I’ve gone over perhaps as frequently as any unprofessional reader-Among the latter r Lear-Richard 3rd-Henry 8th-Hamlet & esp. Macbeth

-“To James A. Hackett – August 17, 1863.” CWAL. v.VI:p.393.

  • I think nothing equals Macbeth. It is wonderful.

-“To James A. Hackett – August 17, 1863.” CWAL.v.VI:p.393.

  • I think the soliloquy in Hamlet commencing “O, my offence is rank” surpasses that commencing “To be, or not to be.”

-“To James A. Hackett – August 17, 1863.” CWAL. v.VI:p.393.

#Metaphors

  • In the great journal of things happening under the sun-we-the American people, find our account running under date of the nineteenth century

-“Address before the Young Men’s Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois – January 27,1837.” CWAL. v.I: p.109.

  • the exceeding brightness of military glory-that attractive rainbow, that rises in showers of blood-that serpent’s eye, that charms 2 destroy

-“Speech in United States House of Representatives: The War with Mexico – January 12, 1848.” CWAL. v.I: p.440.

  • An evil tree cannot bring forth good fruit.

-“Letter to William Durley – October 03, 1845.” Kerner, F. (1965). A Treasury of Lincoln Quotations. New York, NY: Doubleday and Company Inc: p.105.

  • the great volcano at Washington, aroused & directed by the evil spirit that reigns there, is belching forth the lava of political corruption

“Speech on the Sub-Treasury (in the Illinois Legislature) – December 26, 1839.” CWAL. v.I:p.178.

  • The same old serpent that says you work and I eat, you toil and I will enjoy the fruits of it.

-“Speech at Chicago – July 10,1858.” CWAL. v.II:p. 501.

#PeerPressure

  • …what is the influence of fashion, but the influence that other people’s actions have on our own actions…

-“Temperance Address – February 22, 1842.” CWAL. v.I:p. 278.

#Politics

  • It is not the qualified voters, but the qualified voters who choose to vote, that constitute the political power of a state.

-Lincoln’s opinion of the admission of West Virginia into the Union Dec. 31, 1862.” Kerner, F. (1965). A Treasury of Lincoln Quotations. New York, NY: Doubleday and Company Inc: p.82.

  • If elected, I shall consider the whole people of Sangamon my constituents, as well those that oppose, as those that support me.

-“Letter to the editor of the Sangamo Journal, June 13, 1836.” CWAL. v.I:p.49.

  • What interest, let me ask, have the people in the settlement of this question?

-“Speech in the Illinois Legislature concerning the State Bank – January 11, 1837.” CWAL.  v.I:p.64.

#PoliticalActivism

  • Though I now sink out of view, and shall be forgotten, I believe I have made some marks which will tell for the cause of civil liberty

-“Letter to Anson G. Henry – November 19, 1858.” CWAL. v.III: p.340.

  • It is a quality of revolutions not to go by old lines, or old laws; but to break up both, and make new ones.

-“Speech in United States House of Representatives: The War with Mexico – January 12, 1848.” CWAL. v.I:p. 440.

#PublicOpinion

  • Our government rests in public opinion. Whoever can change public opinion, can change the government, practically just so much.

-“Speech at a Republican Banquet in Chicago, Illinois – December 10, 1856.” CWAL. v.II: p.386.

  • Public opinion in this country is everything.

-“Speech at Columbus, Ohio – September 16, 1859.” CWAL. v.III: p. 425.

  • Public opinion is formed relative to a property basis.

-“Speech at Hartford, Connecticut – March 5, 1860.” CWAL. v.4: p. 4.

  • Public opinion is founded-2a great extent-ona property basis-What lessens the valueof property is opposed-what enhances its value is favored

-“Speech at Hartford, Connecticut – March 5, 1860.” CWAL. v.4: p.10.

#Respect_Relationships

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

-“Letter to Mary S. Owens – August 16, 1837.” CWAL. v.I:p.95.

  • 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;

-“Letter to Mary S. Owens – May 7, 1837.” CWAL. v.I:p.79.

#Similes

  • …he feels the blood of this war, like the blood of Abel, is crying to Heaven against him.

-[Regarding then President Polk] “Speech in United States House of Representatives: The War with Mexico – January 12, 1848.” CWAL. v.I:p. 440.

  • …you shall no more be able to pierce him, than to penetrate the hard shell of a tortoise with a rye straw.

-“Temperance Address – February 22, 1842.” CWAL. v.I:p. 274.

#War

  • War will cease on the part of the government, whenever it shall have ceased on the part of those who began it.

-“Annual Message to Congress – December 6, 1864.” CWAL. v.VIII: p.153.

  • Engaged, as I am, in a great war, I fear it will be difficult for the world to understand how fully I appreciate the principles of peace

-“Letter to Samuel B. Tobey – March 19, 1862.” CWAL. v.V: p.166.

#Wealth

  • Lincoln defined wealth as “simply a superfluity of things we don’t need.”

-Gross, Anthony. (1912). Lincoln’s Own Stories. New York, NY: Harper & Brothers Publishing Co. p. 108.

#WomensSuffrage

  • I go for admitting all whites to the right of suffrage, who pay taxes or bear arms, (by no means excluding females.)

-“Letter to the editor of the Sangamo Journal, June 13, 1836.” CWAL. v.I:p.49.