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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1534
AUTHOR: Abraham Lincoln (1809–65)
QUOTATION: I walk slowly, but I never walk backward.
ATTRIBUTION: Attributed to ABRAHAM LINCOLN.—Representative Everett M. Dirksen, remarks in the House, September 18, 1941, Congressional Record, vol. 87, p. 7479. Unverified in The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, ed. Roy P. Basler (1953).

He may have been paraphrasing this: “I hope to ‘stand firm’ enough to not go backward, and yet not go forward fast enough to wreck the country’s cause.”—President Lincoln, letter to Zachariah Chandler, November 20, 1863.—Collected Works, vol. 7, p. 24.
SUBJECTS: Progress