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Abraham Lincoln Quotes About Friends and Friendships

"When I have friends who disagree with each other, I am very slow to take sides in their quarrel." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume IV, "Letter to Andrew G. Curtin" (February 4, 1861), p. 184.

"The better part of one's life consists of his friendships..." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume II, "Letter to Joseph Gillespie" (July 13, 1849), p. 57.

"...the loss of enemies does not compensate for the loss of friends." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume V, "Telegram to William H. Seward" (June 30, 1862), p. 295.

"I distrust the wisdom if not the sincerity of friends, who would hold my hands while my enemies stab me." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume V, "Letter to Reverdy Johnson" (July 26, 1862), p. 343.

"You distinguish between yourself and my original friends---a distinction which, by your leave, I propose to forget." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume IV, "Letter to Schuyler Colfax" (May 26, 1860), p. 54.

"It is an old and a true maxim, that a 'drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.' So with men. If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume I, "Temperance Address" (February 22, 1842), p. 273.

"How miserably things seem to be arranged in this world. If we have no friends, we have no pleasure; and if we have them, we are sure to lose them, and be doubly pained by the loss." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume I, "Letter to Joshua F. Speed" (February 25, 1842), p. 281.

"...for we much prefer standing with old friends, to being driven to form new ones." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume II, "Letter to Joseph Gillespie" (February 11, 1854), p. 211.

"It is a delicate matter to oppose the wishes of a friend..." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume II, "Letter to William B. Preston" (May 16, 1849), p. 42.

"We must never sell old friends to buy old enemies." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Supplement 1832-1865 edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume X, "Letter to Ozias M. Hatch" (March 24, 1858), p. 29.

"...I wish to assure you, as once a friend, and still, I hope, not an enemy..." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume IV, "Letter to Alexander H. Stephens" (December 22, 1860), p. 160.

"I have always been in the habit of acceding to almost any proposal that a friend would make..." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume I, "Letter to John J. Hardin" (January 19, 1846), p. 357.

"All our friends.---They are too numerous to be now named individually, while there is no one of them who is not too dear to be forgotten or neglected." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume I, "A Toast Volunteered at a Public Dinner at Springfield, Illinois" (July 25, 1837), p. 87. (The dinner was held at Spottswood's Rural Hotel in celebration of the removal to Springfield of the Illinois state capital.)

The friends I left that parting day,
How changed, as time has sped!
Young childhood grown, strong manhood gray,
And half of all are dead.
The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume I, "My Childhood-Home I See Again" (February 25, 1846?), p. 368.




NOTE: All page references to The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln refer to the 1953 edition published by the Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Several good single volume sources of authentic Lincoln quotes are: (1) Recollected Words of Abraham Lincoln compiled and edited by Don E. Fehrenbacher and Virginia Fehrenbacher. (2) A Treasury of Lincoln Quotations edited by Fred Kerner. (3) Of the People, By the People, For the People and other Quotations from Abraham Lincoln edited by Gabor S. Boritt. (4) Abe Lincoln Laughing: Humorous Anecdotes from Original Sources by and about Abraham Lincoln edited by P.M. Zall.


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