During the Civil War Lincoln had occasion at an official reception to refer to the Southerners as erring human beings rather than as enemies to be exterminated. An elderly lady, a fiery patriot, rebuked him for speaking kindly of his enemies when he ought to be thinking of destroying them. “Why, madam,” said Lincoln, “do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”
“How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.”~Abraham Lincoln
In 1858 the Illinois legislature elected Stephen A. Douglas senator instead of Lincoln. A sympathetic friend asked Lincoln how he felt. “Like the boy who stubbed his toe; I am too big to cry and too badly hurt to laugh.”
Below are some photographs of Lincoln from the Library of Congress Civil War Collection.