Quotations About Abraham Lincoln

What did some of America's greatest writers and politicians had to say about President Lincoln?

Statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln MemorialIn this temple
As in the hearts of the people
For whom he saved the Union
The Memory of AbrahamLincoln
Is enshrined forever


Inscription on the Statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial. Words written by Royal Cortissoz, an art crtic for the New York Herald Tribune.
Carl SandburgIt is not often in the story of mankind does a man arrive on earth who is both steel and velvet, who is hard as rock and soft as drifting fog, who holds in his heart and mind the paradox of terrible storm and peace unspeakable and perfect.

Opening sentence in an address by Carl Sandburg to a joint session of Congress on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birthday, on February 12, 1959. Sandburg is widely considered to be the foremost biographer of Lincoln.
we proud men compete for nameless graves, while now and then some starveling of Fate forgets himself into immortalityNo man made great by death offers more hope to lowly pride than Abraham Lincoln; for while living he was himself so simple as often to be dubbed a fool. ... How prudently -- to echo Wndell Phillips -- we proud men compete for nameless graves, while now and then some starveling of Fate forgets himself into immortality.

Thomas Vernor Smith, in a memorial address to the Illinois State Senate on February 12, 1935
Edwin M. StantonThere lies the most perfect ruler of men the world has ever seen. Now he belongs to the ages.

Edwin M. Stanton, at Lincoln's death (15 April 1865)
Lincoln marked the half-way post on the road to the sewers (in presidents).

Satirist Henry Louis Mencken, in American Mercury (1927)
Frederick DouglassIn his company I was never in any way reminded of my humble origin, or of my unpopular color.

Frederick Douglass (1892), Life and Times of Frederick Douglass