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February 20th -- Presidents' Day

Feb 20, 2017 04:50PM ● Published by Gene Kirschbaum

Here's Beaverham Lincoln, celebrating Presidents' Day.  And here are a few words from this very quotable character . . .
  • Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
  • Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
  • And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.
  • John Brown's effort was peculiar. It was not a slave insurrection. It was an attempt by white men to get up a revolt among slaves, in which the slaves refused to participate.
  • Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.
  • We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.
  • Let us then turn this government back into the channel in which the framers of the Constitution originally placed it.
  • The old general rule was that educated people did not perform manual labor. They managed to eat their bread, leaving the toil of producing it to the uneducated. This was not an insupportable evil to the working bees, so long as the class of drones remained very small. But now, especially in these free States, nearly all are educated--quite too nearly all, to leave the labor of the uneducated, in any wise adequate to the support of the whole. It follows from this that henceforth educated people must labor. Otherwise, education itself would become a positive and intolerable evil. No country can sustain, in idleness, more than a small percentage of its numbers. The great majority must labor at something productive.
  • The leading rule for the lawyer, as for the man of every other calling, is diligence. Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.
  • As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.
  • Never stir up litigation. A worse man can scarcely be found than one who does this.
  • The ballot is stronger than the bullet.
  • It is best not to swap horses while crossing the river.
  • I know that the great volcano at Washington, aroused and directed by the evil spirit that reigns there, is belching forth the lava of political corruption in a current broad and deep, which is sweeping with frightful velocity over the whole length and breadth of the land, bidding fair to leave unscathed no green spot or living thing; while on its bosom are riding, like demons on the wave of hell, the imps of that evil spirit, and fiendishly taunting all those who dare to resist its destroying course with the hopelessness of their efforts; and, knowing this, I cannot deny that all may be swept away. Broken by it, I, too, may be; bow to it, I never will.
  • Wanting to work is so rare a merit, that it should be encouraged.
  • Our progress in degeneracy appears to me to be pretty rapid.
  • I believe I shall never be old enough to speak without embarrassment when I have nothing to talk about.
  • My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.
  • We expect some new disaster with each newspaper we read.
  • If we take habitual drunkards as a class, their heads and their hearts will bear an advantageous comparison with those of any other class. There seems ever to have been a proneness in the brilliant and warm-blooded to fall in to this vice. The demon of intemperance ever seems to have delighted in sucking the blood of genius and generosity. 
  • The provision of the Constitution giving the war making power to Congress was dictated, as I understand it, by the following reasons. Kings had always been involving and impoverishing their people in wars, pretending generally, if not always, that the good of the people was the object. This, our Convention understood to be the most oppressive of all Kingly oppressions; and they resolved to so frame the Constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us.
  • It is best for all to leave each man free to acquire property as fast as he can. Some will get wealthy. I don't believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good. So while we do not propose any war upon capital, we do wish to allow the humblest man an equal chance to get rich with everybody else. When one starts poor, as most do in the race of life, free society is such that he knows he can better his condition; he knows that there is no fixed condition of labor, for his whole life. I am not ashamed to confess that twenty-five years ago I was a hired laborer, mauling rails, at work on a flat-boat, just what might happen to any poor man's son! I want every man to have the chance, and I believe a black man is entitled to it, in which he can better his condition. When he may look forward and hope to be a hired laborer this year and the next, work for himself afterward, and finally to hire men to work for him! That is the true system.
  • Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?
  • My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth.
  • No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.
  • Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
  • Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
  • Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.
  • When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion.
  • If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.
  • My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.
  • You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.
  • If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?
  • Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.
  • I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.
  • I desire so to conduct the affairs of this administration that if at the end... I have lost every other friend on earth, I shall at least have one friend left, and that friend shall be down inside of me.
  • A woman is the only thing I am afraid of that I know will not hurt me.
  • Nothing new here, except my marrying, which to me is a matter of profound wonder.
  • I have never studied the art of paying compliments to women. But I must say, that if all that has been said by orators and poets since the creation of the world in praise of women were applied to the women of America, it would not do them justice.
  • I go for all sharing the privileges of the government, who assist in bearing its burdens. Consequently, I go for admitting all whites to the right of suffrage, who pay taxes or bear arms (by no means excluding females). 
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