33 Abraham Lincoln Quotes That Remain Relevant Now More Than Ever

Published March 15, 2018

These powerful Abraham Lincoln quotes about freedom, adversity, and more show why he's often called the greatest president in American history.

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

Source
Wikimedia Commons

Abraham Lincoln Quotes About Power
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

Source
Wikimedia Commons

Seated Lincoln
"Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it."

Source
Wikimedia Commons

Pencil Drawing Of Lincoln
"Adhere to your purpose and you will soon feel as well as you ever did.”

Source
Wikimedia Commons

Lincoln Inside Tent
“Perhaps a man's character was like a tree, and his reputation like its shadow; the shadow is what we think of it, the tree is the real thing."

Source
Wikimedia Commons

Lincoln Without Beard
"Do good to those who hate you and turn their ill will to friendship.”

Source
Wikimedia Commons

Lincoln With Arms Crossed
“If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?”

Source
Wikimedia Commons

Lincoln Standing Up
“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.”

Source
ooocha/Flickr

Inspirational Abraham Lincoln Quotes
“My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”

Source
Wikimedia Commons

Young Lincoln
"Any nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure.”

Source
Wikimedia Commons

Lincoln Rendering
"We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing.”

Source
Library of Congress

1908 Portrait
"If the great American people will only keep their temper, on both sides of the line, the troubles will come to an end..."

Source
Wikimedia Commons

Abraham Lincoln Quotes From Gettysburg Address
"Fourscore and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

Source
Wikimedia Commons

Lincoln On The Battlefield
“I walk slowly, but I never walk backward.”

Source
Wikimedia Commons

A House Divided Quote
"A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free."

Source
Wikimedia Commons

The People Will Save Their Government
“The people will save their government, if the government itself will allow them.”

Source
Wikimedia Commons

Lincoln Quote About Perseverance
"The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just; it shall not deter me."

Source
Library of Congress

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

Source
Wikimedia Commons

Lincoln Holding Glasses
"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."

Source
Pixabay

Lincoln With Short Hair
"The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion.”

Source
Wikimedia Commons

Lincoln Memorial
“The past is the cause of the present, and the present will be the cause of the future. All these are links in the endless chain stretching from the finite to the infinite."

Source
gageskidmore/Flickr

Photo Of Lincoln
"Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today."

Source
Library of Congress

Lincoln Waving
"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."

Source
Library of Congress

Lincoln Riding Horseback
"It is not best to swap horses while crossing the river."

Source
Wikimedia Commons

Beardless Abraham Lincoln
"We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection."

Source
Wikimedia Commons

Lincoln In Profile
"Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them."

Source
Wikimedia Commons

Lincoln Standing Tall
"If all do not join now to save the good old ship of the Union this voyage nobody will have a chance to pilot her on another voyage."

Source
Library of Congress

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

Source
usnationalarchives/Flickr

Lincoln With Wild Hair
"Stand with anybody that stands RIGHT. Stand with him while he is right and PART with him when he goes wrong."

Source
Library of Congress

Abraham Lincoln Quotes On Public Sentiment
"Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed."

Source
Wikimedia Commons

Lincoln With Wrinkled Brow
"The legitimate object of government is 'to do for the people what needs to be done, but which they can not, by individual effort, do at all, or do so well, for themselves'."

Source
Library of Congress

Lincoln Sitting At Table
"The better part of one's life consists of his friendships."

Source
Wikimedia Commons

Sepia Portrait Of Lincoln
"I cannot bring myself to believe that any human being lives who would do me any harm.”

Source
Wikimedia Commons

Abraham Lincoln could easily be the most often misquoted figure in American history. Within just the last decade, we've seen headline-grabbing incidents in which U.S. presidents on both sides of the political divide have deployed fake Abraham Lincoln quotes.

But setting aside the fake Abraham Lincoln quotes that still sound so very good, the man left behind a wealth of verifiable wisdom that sounds even better.

The self-taught lawyer who ascended the political ladder to become America's 16th president in 1861 picked up a lot of wisdom (and a fair amount of odd humor) along the way.

Most of us may know him as the enactor of the Emancipation Proclamation who preserved the Union and had an affinity for tall hats, but Lincoln had a lot to say about humanity, adversity, the role of government, and more. See for yourself in the gallery of Abraham Lincoln quotes above.


After this look at the most powerful Abraham Lincoln quotes, read the most interesting quotes from history's greatest minds. Then, have a look at astounding facts about Abraham Lincoln that most people have never heard.

Erin Kelly
An All That’s Interesting writer since 2013, Erin Kelly focuses on historic places, natural wonders, environmental issues, and the world of science. Her work has also been featured in Smithsonian and she’s designed several book covers in her career as a graphic artist.