Abraham Lincoln: Famous Quotes and Speeches

There’s perhaps no better way to grasp Abraham Lincoln’s outsized American legacy than through his writing.

From his time as a twenty-something political hopeful to his tragic death, Lincoln was a voluminous writer, authoring hundreds of letters, speeches, debate arguments and more.

Despite very little formal schooling, the 16th president was an avid reader who from a young age understood the transformative power of words. “Words were Lincoln’s way up and out of the grinding poverty into which he had been born,” wrote historian and author Geoffrey Ward. “If the special genius of America was that it provided an environment in which ‘every man can make himself,’ as Lincoln believed, pen and ink were the tools with which he did his self-carpentering.”

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