This is a book that looks at some of the most famous sayings and jokes of President Abraham Lincoln. From the preface: "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."
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Alexander Kelly McClure (January 9, 1828 – June 6, 1909) was a journalist, editor, writer, politician, and historian, active in Pennsylvania Republican Party politics, especially in the 1860s, and a prominent supporter, correspondent, and biographer of President Abraham Lincoln. He was the editor of the Franklin Repository, in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania and of the Philadelphia Times. The borough of McClure, Pennsylvania - located in Snyder County - is named in his honor.
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