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Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940) Poster

Quotes

Sarah Bush Lincoln: Wherever you go, whatever you do, you remember what the Good Book Says: "The world passeth, but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever."

Abraham Lincoln: I'll remember, maw.

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Mentor Graham: Well, Abe, there are always two occupations open to those who have failed at everything else: school teaching and politics.

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Abraham Lincoln: [discussing why he can't face Mary Todd before his marriage to her] I'd have to tell her that I have hatred for her infernal ambition. That I don't want to be ridden and driven onward and upward through life with her whip bashing me and her spurs digging in me. If her poor little soul craves importance in life let her marry Stephen Douglas. He's ambitious too. I want only to be left alone.

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Abraham Lincoln: [after a particularly hysterical outburst by Mary, he comes up to her; her back is to him] Why do you take every opportunity you can to make a public fool out of me and yourself? It's bad enough when you act like that in the privacy of our own home, but here in front of people! You're not to do that again, do you hear? You're never to do that again!

Mary Todd Lincoln: [she turns to face him amazed, then] You never spoke to me like that before. You lost your temper, Abe... you've never done that before.

Abraham Lincoln: I'm sorry.

[He turns and walks away from her]

Abraham Lincoln: I still think youn should go home rather than stay here and endure the strain of this Death Watch.

Mary Todd Lincoln: [slowly goes to the door, opens it, pauses, then turns back to him] This is the night I dreamed about when I was a child... when I was an excited young girl and all the gay young gentlemen of Springfield were courting me... and I fell in love with the least likely of them. This is the night I'm waiting to hear that my husband is become President of the United States... and even if he does, it's ruined for me.

[He turns to stare at her]

Mary Todd Lincoln: It's too late.

[She slowly leaves]

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Mary Todd Lincoln: [Contemptuously as she hears crowd noises from outside] Stephen Douglas has arrived. Listen to them cheering for him!

Abraham Lincoln: [Laconically] They ought to cheer. He paid 'em enough for it.

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Abraham Lincoln: A house divided against itself cannot stand. The government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.

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Aide to Stephen Douglas: You don't mean to say you're afraid of Abe Lincoln. Why, the country doesn't know him!

Stephen Douglas: Maybe the country doesn't... but I do.

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Mr. Crimmin: Gentlemen, I may not know as much as you about economics and theology, but I do know politics and what is the essential quality that we demand in our candidate. It is simply this: that he be able to get himself elected.

Politician: Well, there's something in what you say.

Politician: And do you think he can do it?

Mr. Crimmin: I tell you, gentlemen, in that uncouth rail splitter you may observe one of the slickest, smoothest politicians that ever hoodwinked a yokel mob.

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Ninian Edwards: [after he withdraws from politics] What'll yuh do, Abe?

Abraham Lincoln: Judge Stuart's offered me a chance to work in his law office in Springfield. Course I don't know much about the law, but there's one thing I've learned here in politics... that ignorance is no obstacle to advancement. In fact, in some cases it's quite an advantage.

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Mentor Graham: Abe carried New Salem by 205 votes to 3.

Jack Armstrong: My boys are out tryin' to find the 3 skunks who voted wrong.

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Lincoln's Cook: President of the United States! If they get him back there into Washington, he won't ever come out alive.

[a shocked Mary drops a pot]

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Jack Armstrong: [to the crowd] I tell you, you all ought to listen to the judge. He got a round belly but a level head. No one can do nothin' with me without lickin' me first!

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Abraham Lincoln: [to Billy Herndon] Careful. Billy, you've got great fires in yuh, but you're puttin' 'em out fast.

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Mrs. Cairns: Abe, next to my old man, I think you're the homeliest critter I ever saw.

Abraham Lincoln: There's a reason, Mrs. Cairns. When I was two months old I was the handsomest child in Kentucky. My nurse swapped me off for another one that was kinda'... "plain looking."

[Mrs. Cairns breaks into giggly laughter]

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Abraham Lincoln: You know, when you're distressed about somethin' it's a comfort sometimes even to have a pair of ears to pour your troubles into and my ears are big enough to hold a lot.

Ann Rutledge: You're a Christian gentleman, Abe Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln: No, I ain't, I'm a plain common sucker with a shirttail so short I can't set on it.

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Billy Herndon: I saw Ninian Edwards, sir. He invited you to his party this evening.

Abraham Lincoln: Gettin' quite a habit with him. What's the occasion this time?

Billy Herndon: He wants you to meet his sister-in-law, Miss Mary Todd, who's just arrived from Kentucky.

Abraham Lincoln: You don't say so? Well, I *am* becoming a social success.

Billy Herndon: Yes, Mr. Lincoln, you are. And I'm afraid you enjoy it!

Abraham Lincoln: Well, the Todd family are mighty high-class people. Spell their name with two "d"s, which is pretty impressive when you consider one was enough for God.

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Ninian Edwards: Mary, my dear, may I present our most eloquent citizen, Mr. Stephen Douglas.

Mary Todd Lincoln: Mr. Douglas, I am honored.

Stephen Douglas: Miss Todd, your brother-in-law has just now described me as eloquent. But alas, I must now prove him wrong. Standing as I am in the presence of such penetrating intelligence, such devastating charm, I am rendered speechless.

Mary Todd Lincoln: [demurely] I can hardly believe it.

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Abraham Lincoln: [spoken during his debate with Stephen Douglas] In his final words tonight, the judge said that we can be the terror of the world. I don't think we want to be that. I think we would prefer to be the encouragement of the world. The proof at last that man is worthy to be free.

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Mr. Crimmin: Mark my words, Mr. Lincoln. This election is wrapped up tightly in a neat bundle ready to deliver on your doorstep tonight. We've fought the good fight and we've won.

Abraham Lincoln: Yes, we've fought the good fight - in the dirtiest campaign in the history of corrupt politics. And *if* I win, I must fill all the dishonest pledges made in my name.

[turns and slowly walks out of the room]

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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