spurious Lincoln quotes

Garson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Feb 15 14:52:57 UTC 2010

James A. Landau wrote
> Subject:      spurious Lincoln quotes
> from Netscape News
> http://channels.isp.netscape.com/whatsnew/package.jsp?name=fte/lincoln/lincoln&floc=NI-slot1a
> Exposed! Lincoln Never Said THIS
> So where did these quotes come from, if not from President Lincoln?
> "You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time."
> This was thought to be part of a speech Lincoln gave in September 1858 in Clinton, Illinois, but the line is not included in the text that was printed in the local newspaper. It was attributed to Lincoln in 1910 when two people remembered hearing him say it in 1856--54 years later.

The Yale Book of Quotations has an earlier, 1887, attribution to
Lincoln for this quote. The context can be examined via the freely
accessible portion of the New York Times archive. YBQ also has a great
citation to Denis Diderot in 1754.

Citation: 1887 August 27, New York Times, The Prohibition Convention.

The vital fact which this convention establishes is that the
Prohibitionists cannot be fooled. Chairman WHEELER explicitly set
forth that fact in his speech on Thursday, when he quoted most aptly
LINCOLN'S remark that "you can fool all of the people "you can fool
all of the people some of the time; and you can fool  some of the
people all of the time, but you can't fool all the people all of the



The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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