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The better angels of our nature

Posted by Bruce Kahl on December 12, 2001

In Reply to: the better angels of our nature posted by R. Berg on December 12, 2001 at

: : This phrase is part of a famous quote by a famous person, but I can't recall who said it. It may have been Abraham Lincoln. My Bartlett's Quotations doesn't seem to have it. I'd like to find the entire statement containing the phrase, as well as to whom it should be attributed. Any takers? Thanks.

: I tried and got a secondhand reference to your phrase--an attribution to Lincoln but not the context.

Yes, Lincoln.
From his first inaugural speech:

"The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."

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