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Who said these words of Abraham Lincoln?
08-10-2022, 10:21 AM
Post: #1
Who said these words of Abraham Lincoln?
"He had a wonderful faculty in that way. He might be writing an important document, be interrupted in the midst of a sentence, turn his attention to other matters entirely foreign to the subject on which he was engaged, and take up his pen and begin where he left off without reading the previous part of the sentence."

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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08-10-2022, 11:27 AM
Post: #2
RE: Who said these words of Abraham Lincoln?
Joshua Speed

"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there"
---- Leslie Poles Hartley
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08-10-2022, 11:49 AM
Post: #3
RE: Who said these words of Abraham Lincoln?
(08-10-2022 11:27 AM)Dave Bruce Wrote:  Joshua Speed

That's the correct answer. Now, what was the occasion that caused the remark?

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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08-10-2022, 01:53 PM
Post: #4
RE: Who said these words of Abraham Lincoln?
Lincoln was speaking as a representative of the Whig Party which opposed the Democrats in 1840.
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08-10-2022, 02:27 PM
Post: #5
RE: Who said these words of Abraham Lincoln?
Thanks for saving me. I'm only an amateur and was fortunate enough to have remembered something I read lately concerning that remark by Speed.

"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there"
---- Leslie Poles Hartley
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08-10-2022, 05:01 PM (This post was last modified: 08-12-2022 09:07 AM by David Lockmiller.)
Post: #6
RE: Who said these words of Abraham Lincoln?
(08-10-2022 02:27 PM)Dave Bruce Wrote:  Thanks for saving me. I'm only an amateur and was fortunate enough to have remembered something I read lately concerning that remark by Speed.

Dave, I am also an amateur. I had recalled from long ago, in my distorted memory, that I had read somewhere that Lincoln had once said something to the effect: "Be it my proudest plume, not that I was the last to give up, but that I never gave up at all."

The quote was recalled to mind from thinking about President Lincoln's "blind memorandum" of August 23, 1864 when he foresaw at the time only one opportunity remaining to save democracy for the United States if he should lose the presidential election. I did a Google books search on the quote above and added "Lincoln" to the search. That led me to the specifics of the speech containing the similar quote to which Roger makes his correct response: "Lincoln was speaking as a representative of the Whig Party which opposed the Democrats in 1840."

As an amateur Lincoln historian, I find following a string of thought to be an enjoyable exercise at times. On almost any Lincoln subject matter, Professor Michael Burlingame in his two-volume work Abraham Lincoln: A Life provides well-written and comprehensive material.

Confirming Roger's answer, Professor Burlingame writes: "The day after Christmas [1839], Lincoln gave such a powerful address that it became the Illinois Whig Party's textbook for 1840." (Abraham Lincoln: A Life, Vol. One, page 150.)

Abraham Lincoln stated in this sparsely-attended speech that day (Abraham Lincoln: A Life, Vol. One, page 151.):

"Many free countries have lost their liberty; and ours may lose hers; but if she shall, be it my proudest plume, not that I was the last to desert, but that I never deserted her. . . . The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of cause we believe to be just; it shall not deter me."

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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08-10-2022, 05:46 PM
Post: #7
RE: Who said these words of Abraham Lincoln?
There's almost no end to material concerning Lincoln.

"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there"
---- Leslie Poles Hartley
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08-11-2022, 11:28 AM
Post: #8
RE: Who said these words of Abraham Lincoln?
Just to complete the connection to Joshua Speed's quote, there is the following information from Professor Burlingame's writing: Joshua Speed, recalling that Lincoln gave this address "without manuscript or notes," marveled at his powers of concentration: "He had a wonderful faculty . . . . (page 152)

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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