Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Volume 3.
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865.

Annotation

[1]   Bloomington Pantagraph, September 3, 1858. These speeches have been heretofore misdated September 8, 1858 (NH, III, 349-56). Tradition has come to attribute to the Clinton speeches one of Lincoln's most famous utterances---``You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.'' In 1905 testimony was gathered by the Chicago Tribune and Brooklyn Eagle to prove that Lincoln used the epigram at Clinton. The testimony was conflicting and dubious in some particulars, but the epigram has remained a favorite in popular usage. Neither the report in the Pantagraph which provides the text of the Clinton speeches, nor any other contemporary Lincoln reference located by the present editors, makes any reference to the epigram.

[2]   This brief speech was made to a crowd which gathered at a ``mound a short distance northwest of the court house'' as the parade moved toward the grove ``west of Clinton'' where the speaker's stand had been erected. Lincoln responded to a welcoming speech by Lawrence Weldon, prominent DeWitt County Republican. Upon arriving at the grove, Lincoln delivered his prepared speech, of which only a short excerpt appears in the Pantagraph.

[3]   August 2, 1858.

[4]   Brackets are in the source.