FACT CHECK: Did Abraham Lincoln Say, ‘Things May Come To Those Who Wait, But Only The Things Left By Those Who Hustle’?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

A post on Facebook claims that former President Abraham Lincoln once stated, “Things may come to those who wait … but only the things left by those who hustle.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence that Lincoln said this. The Abraham Lincoln Association debunked it in 2003.

Fact Check:

“Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

Those words, with which Lincoln opened the Gettysburg Address, are just some of the many that can be found online attributed to the 16th American president. Yet, unlike others, there’s clear evidence that Lincoln actually said them.

However, the same cannot be said for the quote attributed to Lincoln in the Facebook post. The Daily Caller News Foundation searched Lincoln’s writings, as well as his recorded speeches, but found nothing matching the statement. (RELATED: Did Abraham Lincoln Say, ‘To Sin By Silence When They Should Protest, Makes Cowards Of Men’?)

“I can find no evidence that Lincoln having [sic] said or written this,” said Daniel Worthington, director of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln, in an email to the DCNF. “No doubt a mis-attribution.”

James Cornelius, an editor and secretary at the Abraham Lincoln Association, agreed that the quote wasn’t authentic, writing in an email to the DCNF, “This one is not Lincoln at all.”

The Abraham Lincoln Association debunked the quote in a 2003 newsletter. The article notes that, according to “A Dictionary of Americanisms,” the word “hustle” meant “to get up” or “obtain” during Lincoln’s lifetime, instead of being a colloquialism for hard work, as it can be used today.

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Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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