New Castle News

October 9, 2012

Letter’s Lincoln quote called misattributed

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

Going to a website or listening to talk radio is no substitute for a good education.

The quote (letter writer Russ Hall on Sept. 24) attributed to President Lincoln: “You cannot strengthen the weak ... “was written by an outspoken political conservative. Reverend Boetcker was the author of a pamphlet titled “The Ten Cannots” published in 1916, some 50 years after Lincoln’s assassination.

The mistake of crediting Lincoln for this quote has been repeated many times, notably by Ronald Reagan in his address to the 1992 Republican National Convention in Houston.

One should be skeptical of anything the letter writer purports to be true. Additionally, Hall never cites any sources and as he quotes John Adams in 1826, “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation ...”

It is highly unlikely this can be verified as true. This quote has never been found in Adams’ original writings. Adams died on July 4, 1826, at the age of 91. Let the letter writer cite from John Adams’ writing and/or letters the exact source of this quote.

During these very recent years, especially with the springing up of the Tea Party movement, history, facts, truths and civility are incidental. President Obama came into office with a terrible mess. Lest we not forget that as the previous president vacationed, 9/11 warnings went unheard. There were two unfunded wars, gross tax cuts for the rich, an unfunded prescription drugs benefit and a Republican Party whose number one goal was to make this first black president fail.

Lincoln, who freed the slaves, would disassociate himself from today’s Republican Party and the Tea Party movement.

And, oh, by the way, President Lincoln did say in his annual message to Congress in 1861, “Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”

Diane Jerich-Domin

Dollard Lane

New Castle