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Abraham Lincoln: A Quote Not His
Abraham Lincoln: A Quote Not His

Abraham Lincoln: A Quote Not His

Attributed to Lincoln, but falsely:
“You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your earn. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.” -Abraham Lincoln, 1859
When we look for a citation instead of passing this around willy-nilly, we find TruthorFiction.com which says:
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 Lincoln.
And Cincinnati Skeptics: The Association for Rational Thought which says:
But alas! Lincoln did not say these things. They were written in 1916 by the Rev. William J. H. Boetcker, a Presbyterian clergyman and pamphlet writer. In 1942, a group called the Committee for Constitutional Government gave out a great many leaflets entitled “Lincoln on Limitations” that contained on one side a real Lincoln quote and on the other side the 10 Boetcker statements. Boetcker was credited with his statements on the leaflet, but their proximity in print to one real quote by Lincoln, plus the title of the leaflet, led people to think that Lincoln had said the ten listed statements. They were repeated in many printed sources, and are still regarded by many as authentic Lincoln quotes. Carl Sandburg, Lincoln’s most famous biographer, dismissed them as spurious.
The quote is correctly attributed at Liberty-Tree.ca (but which got its information from the Cincinnati Skeptics site). Now it’s just a matter of looking at those books. Or looking further on the Internet. The general idea: check your work! do your research!

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