In honor of President’s Day on February 18, and specifically of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday which was February 12, we thought we would run some words of truth. These are allegedly from Lincoln himself, but they were actually written 50 years after his death.
The Rev. William John Henry Boetcker was a Presbyterian minister who actually wrote these words somewhere around 1916. They were believed to be attributed to Lincoln after his own words and quotes from Lincoln were printed on opposite sides of a pamphlet.
Author Ralph Keyes, who is somewhat famous for establishing axioms of misquotations, put it best.
“If words we like can’t be credited to someone we’ve heard of, they might as well not have been said at all.”
Here are the words we would like to believe were said by Lincoln, but were actually said by Boetcker. They still hold very true today.
“The Industrial Decalogue,” a.k.a. “The 10 Don’t,” a.k.a. “The 10 Cannots,” a.k.a. “The American Charter”
1. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.2. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.3. You cannot establish security on borrowed money.4. You cannot bring about prosperity by destroying thrift.5. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage-payer.6. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.7. You cannot help small men by tearing down a big man.8. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.9. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.10. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
Now, here are some quotes that are actually from Lincoln.
--“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it.”-- “Don’t interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties.”
And from George Washington ...-- “The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference – they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.”-- “It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.”
And from Thomas Jefferson ...-- “I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.”-- “Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
Marcy Shortuse is the editor of the Boca Beacon
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