Saturday, June 6, 2015

Abraham Lincoln's Anecdotes

“My dear fellow,” said the President. “I do destroy my enemy when I make him into a friend.” 
Dr Abe V Rotor

16th President of the United States of America

Simple Abe

Abe Lincoln was a simple man with honest generous impulses. When he was a candidate for the legislature, it was the practice at that date in Illinois for two rival candidates to travel over the district together. The custom led to much good-natured raillery between them.

On one occasion he had driven out from Springfield in company with a political opponent to engage in joint debate. The carriage, it seems, belonged to his opponent. In addressing the gathering of farmers that met them, Lincoln was lavish in praise of the generosity of his friend.
“I am too poor to own a carriage,” he said, “but my friend has generously invited me to ride with him. I want you to vote for me if you will but if not then vote for my opponent, for he is a fine man.”


Abraham Lincoln was questioned by one of his advisers as follows: “Mr. President, I cannot understand you. You treat your enemies with such kindness. It would seem to me that you should want to destroy them.”

“My dear fellow,” said the President. “I do destroy my enemy when I make him into a friend.” (Anonymous)

Hurry Up

On his way to Gettysburg, where he delivered his immortal address, Lincoln was urged by General Fry to hurry in order not to hold the train. To this Lincoln replied.

“I feel about this as the convict is one of our Illinois towns felt when he was going to the gallows. As he passed along the road in custody of the sheriff, the people, eager to see the execution, kept crowding and pushing past him. At last he called out: ‘Boys, you needn’t be in such a hurry to get ahead. There won’t be any fun till I get there.”


  • Abraham Lincoln wouldn’t have had such a tough time getting an education if he’d lived in these times. His height would entitle him to a basketball scholarship.
  • Lincoln once walked nine miles to borrow a book.
  • Don’t snub a boy because his home is plain and humble. Abraham Lincoln, the great emancipator, first lived in a log cabin. Don’t snub anyone; not only because someday he may outstrip you in the race of life, but because it is neither kind nor right.
Give Hope to All

The prudent, penniless beginner in the world labors for wages for a while, saves a surplus with which to buy tools or land for himself, and at length hires another new beginner to help him. This is the just and generous and prosperous system which opens the way to all, gives hope to all, and consequently energy and progress and improvement of conditions.

Musical President

Throughout his life, music was a solace to Lincoln. “His musical tastes,” says a biographer, “were simple and uncultivated, his choice being old airs, songs and ballads.” On one of his walks through Washington during the war, Lincoln passed a schoolhouse where children were singing. He took off his beaver hat and heard the song through, his face brightening the   while. Then he straightened up and walked off with a more elastic step. (Sunday Magazine)

Using Words Carefully

If the story of the Creation can be told in 400 words, if the Ten Commandments contain 297 words, if Lincoln’s immortal Gettysburg Address was only 266 words, if an entire concept of freedom was set I n the Declaration of Independence in about 1,300 words – it is up to some of us to use fewer words, and thus save the time energy, vitality, and nerves of those who must read or listen (Jerome P Fleishman)

Lincoln was the most loved president of the US because of his simplicity, sincerity, and dedication. He fought to the end the abolition of slavery. He is truly a leader and man of the world. - AVR
Here's a popular anecdote about US President Abraham Lincoln after delivering his famous Gettysburg Address. As a background to the story, Edward Everett a popular elderly to his community was the first to deliver a very long speech before Lincoln delivered his very brief address.

This is how Quote Magazine describes the occasion in an anecdote.

Perhaps Edward Everett talked a bit too long at Gettysburg, but he was an old man then, by the standards of his day – within a few months of his seventieth birthday. And this was the culminating glory of a long career. But Everett was among those who perfected the classic qualities of the Lincoln address. In a note to the President the following day he said: “I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes.”

With his customary graciousness President Lincoln replied: "In our respective parts yesterday, you could not have been excused to make a short address, or I a long one.”

Story telling is an art. Strive for the state-of-the-art of story telling.

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