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Tidbits of Wisdom From Abraham Lincoln-Fiction!
Summary of the eRumor: Alleged quotes from Abraham Lincoln about the
poor, the weak, prosperity, workers, class hatred, and character.
The Truth: These words are often attributed to Abraham
Lincoln, but according to the book They Never Said it: A Book of Fake
Quotes, Misquotes, & Misleading Attributions, they are not from
The quotes were published in 1942 by William J. H. Boetcker, a
Presbyterian minister. He released a pamphlet titled Lincoln On
Limitations, which did include a Lincoln quote, but also added 10
statements written by Boetcker himself.
1. You cannot bring
about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
2. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong
3. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
4. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class
5. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man's
initiative and independence.
6. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
7. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
8. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
9. You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
10 You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they will
not do for themselves.
got the pamphlet thought the 10 statements were written by Lincoln and
they have been distributed widely under Lincoln's name.
A real example of the eRumor as it has
appeared on the Internet:
Very Wise Words
During this political season lets be reminded of these
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them, what they could and
should do for themselves.
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