Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mea Culpa


Byter Albert has taken me to task for incorrectly attributing to Abraham Lincoln yesterday’s quote that commenced “You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.”  He is absolutely right, me bad as the kids say.  I usually check quotes against a number of sources for reliability, as on this occasion, but the sources I consulted all came up as Abraham Lincoln.  Albert has referred me to snopes.com, the authority on urban myths, emails, disputed quotes etc and I quote from that site,
as follows:

In 1916 Rev William John Henry Boetcker, a Presbyterian minister an d noted public speaker, produced a booklet of maxims from his lectures.  Through various crystallisations it evolved into the do’s and don’ts quoted yesterday.

In 1942 a pamphlet was published that contained Rev Boetcker’s maxims on one side and quotations by Lincoln on the other.  In some accounts the Rev Boetcker’s name was omitted.  Whatever the reason, in the public mind the maxims were the work of Abraham Lincoln and have mostly been so quoted ever since. 

In 1992 US Pres Ronald Reagan quoted four of the maxims in a speech and attributed them to his predecessor Pres Lincoln.

Ta, Albert.


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