spurious Lincoln quotes

victor steinbok aardvark66 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Feb 15 15:53:49 UTC 2010

GB lists 575 raw hits up to 1910. Among the first dozen there is
another 1884 citation.

It's in an essay On Democracy, but the book title is listed as The
Illiad of Homer. This makes me suspicious of the GB citation, but I
can't check it because I am on a phone line... more when I get home.
Reading the text, the style seems about right for the period, but that
just means that it could be from 1880-1900.

There are two earlier citations, but they are almost surely GB
screwups. But there are dozens from the 1890s and they can't all be
wrong. I wonder what newspaper searches from the early 1880s might

On 2/15/10, Garson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Garson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: spurious Lincoln quotes
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 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
> time."
> http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9F04E4DE1530E633A25754C2A96E9C94669FD7CF
> Garson
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