​Abraham Lincoln’s illustrative humor – Part II

Before enlightenment you fetch water and cut wood; after enlightenment you cut wood and fetch water.

When Lincoln (USA President, 1861) and Douglas were having their famous debates, Douglas remarked that his father was a cooper by trade. They all knew that Douglas drank a great deal with the crowds. When Lincoln’s time came to reply he said, “I have been aware that the father of Douglas was a cooper and one of the very best.” Then pointing at Douglas, he finished, “He has made one of the finest whisky kegs I have ever seen.”

Soon in their debates they had another clash about whiskey. Douglas stated that when he first met the honorable Mr. Lincoln he was a grocery clerk. That he sold dry-goods, tobacco and whiskey. Said Douglas, “Lincoln was a very good bar tender.”

Then Lincoln replied, “All that Mr. Douglas said is true. I did keep a grocery selling dry-goods, tobacco and whiskey and Mr. Douglas was one of my best customers. But I have long since left my side of the bar while Mr. Douglas still stays by his.”


Some of Lincoln’s friends were discussing the shortness of some people.

“How long should a man’s leg be?” someone asked Lincoln.

“Well,” he said, “It should be at least long enough to reach the floor.”


A delegation was petitioning Lincoln to appoint a man commissioner of the Sandwich Islands. Among the many reasons for giving him this job they also said he was in poor health.

“Sorry,” said Lincoln,  “I have eight other applicants that are all sicker than your man.”

A foreign diplomat saw Lincoln shining his own shoes.

“Well, Mr. President, do you shine your own shoes?”

“Yes,” replied Lincoln. “Whose do you black?”

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