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Lincoln's Yarns and Stories: a complete collection of the funny and witty anecdotes that made Lincoln famous as America's greatest story teller   By: (1828-1909)

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A Complete Collection of the Funny and Witty Anecdotes that made Abraham Lincoln Famous as America's Greatest Story Teller

With Introduction and Anecdotes

By Alexander K. McClure

Profusely Illustrated



ABRAHAM LINCOLN, the Great Story Telling President, whose Emancipation Proclamation freed more than four million slaves, was a keen politician, profound statesman, shrewd diplomatist, a thorough judge of men and possessed of an intuitive knowledge of affairs. He was the first Chief Executive to die at the hands of an assassin. Without school education he rose to power by sheer merit and will power. Born in a Kentucky log cabin in 1809, his surroundings being squalid, his chances for advancement were apparently hopeless. President Lincoln died April 15th, 1865, having been shot by J. Wilkes Booth the night before.


Dean Swift said that the man who makes two blades of grass grow where one grew before serves well of his kind. Considering how much grass there is in the world and comparatively how little fun, we think that a still more deserving person is the man who makes many laughs grow where none grew before.

Sometimes it happens that the biggest crop of laugh is produced by a man who ranks among the greatest and wisest. Such a man was Abraham Lincoln whose wholesome fun mixed with true philosophy made thousands laugh and think at the same time. He was a firm believer in the saying, "Laugh and the world laughs with you."

Whenever Abraham Lincoln wanted to make a strong point he usually began by saying, "Now, that reminds me of a story." And when he had told a story every one saw the point and was put into a good humor.

The ancients had Aesop and his fables. The moderns had Abraham Lincoln and his stories.

Aesop's Fables have been printed in book form in almost every language and millions have read them with pleasure and profit. Lincoln's stories were scattered in the recollections of thousands of people in various parts of the country. The historians who wrote histories of Lincoln's life remembered only a few of them, but the most of Lincoln's stories and the best of them remained unwritten. More than five years ago the author of this book conceived the idea of collecting all the yarns and stories, the droll sayings, and witty and humorous anecdotes of Abraham Lincoln into one large book, and this volume is the result of that idea.

Before Lincoln was ever heard of as a lawyer or politician, he was famous as a story teller. As a politician, he always had a story to fit the other side; as a lawyer, he won many cases by telling the jury a story which showed them the justice of his side better than any argument could have done.

While nearly all of Lincoln's stories have a humorous side, they also contain a moral, which every good story should have.

They contain lessons that could be taught so well in no other way. Every one of them is a sermon. Lincoln, like the Man of Galilee, spoke to the people in parables.

Nothing that can be written about Lincoln can show his character in such a true light as the yarns and stories he was so fond of telling, and at which he would laugh as heartily as anyone.

For a man whose life was so full of great responsibilities, Lincoln had many hours of laughter when the humorous, fun loving side of his great nature asserted itself.

Every person to keep healthy ought to have one good hearty laugh every day. Lincoln did, and the author hopes that the stories at which he laughed will continue to furnish laughter to all who appreciate good humor, with a moral point and spiced with that true philosophy bred in those who live close to nature and to the people around them.

In producing this new Lincoln book, the publishers have followed an entirely new and novel method of illustrating it. The old shop worn pictures that are to be seen in every "History of Lincoln," and in every other book written about him, such as "A Flatboat on the Sangamon River," "State Capitol at Springfield," "Old Log Cabin," etc... Continue reading book >>

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