In many ways, the story of Abraham Lincoln embodies the American Dream. Lincoln began his career as a humble and honest lawyer, yet ultimately rose to the position of the presidency. When he was elected the 16th President of the United States, Lincoln was handed the nation’s greatest challenge to overcome. Ultimately, he rose to the occasion by preserving the union and emancipating the slaves who had been held for far too long in captivity within the borders of the nation.
He was a well-spoken, eloquent man, and therefore left behind many powerful and influential quotes for the generations that followed to consider. These are just a few of his most influential quotes:
“Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or not, I can say for one that I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow men, by rendering myself worthy of their esteem. How far I shall succeed in gratifying this ambition, is yet to be developed.”
Lincoln spoke these words in March of 1832, during what was called his First Political Announcement. Through these words, he declares that his intentions as a politician are not just to fulfill personal ambition, but rather to provide a public service to the nation that he calls home. The words are humble, indicating that he does not yet know what impact he could or would have on the country, but also showing that he is dedicated to trying hard as well as doing his best work. As history would show, his work ethic would pay off, leaving the children of the nation with a better place to call their own.
“May our children and our children’s children to a thousand generations, continue to enjoy the benefits conferred upon us by a united country, and have cause yet to rejoice under those glorious institutions bequeathed us by Washington and his compeers.”
This quote was extracted from a speech that Lincoln gave in October of 1862 in Frederick, Maryland. These words provide hope that a unified nation would last for an endless amount of time, benefiting the children of many nations to come. While they were spoke during an uncertain time in the country’s history, it proves that Lincoln had the resolve and the foresight to know what results would produce the greatest benefits for the people of the United States in the long-term.
“And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.”
Perhaps this is the most powerful verse in the Emancipation Proclamation, which was given by Lincoln on January 1, 1863. In a few short words, Lincoln provided swift and lasting freedom to the people who had long been oppressed and abused by the institution of slavery throughout the country.
“Let us at all times remember that all American citizens are brothers of a common country, and should dwell together in the bonds of fraternal feeling.”
These poignant words were spoken by Lincoln in November of 1860 in his hometown of Springfield, Illinois. They may have been mentioned in passing remarks, but they have stood the test of time. These words serve as a reminder that all Americans should unite under the common cause of liberty and equality, and should always remember that they are part of the same nation.
He may not have been one of the Founding Fathers of the country, but Abraham Lincoln certainly solidified the bonds of a united people throughout the nation. These words are a lasting tribute to his dedication and effort to preserve the country, and to encourage all Americans to work toward the common good.