Abraham Lincoln is a name that would be immediately recognizable to anyone who's had the opportunity to learn about American history. Showing unwavering leadership in times of adversity and genuine compassion for his people, the 16th president is still thought to be the epitome of what a great leader should be.

On Feb. 1, 1865, Lincoln approved a joint House and Senate resolution that later became the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Feb. 1 was later officially declared National Freedom Day, with President Harry Truman signing the holiday proclamation into law in 1948.

To celebrate National Freedom Day this Monday, here are 15 of the many quotes Lincoln has imparted about freedom, equality and love for one's people and neighbor.

  1. “Whenever [I] hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.” – Speech to 140th Indiana Regiment, 1865
  2. “We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing.” – Address at a Sanitary Fair, Baltimore, 1864
  3. “Fourscore 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.” – Gettysburg Address, 1863
  4. “Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it.” – Letter to H.L. Pierce, 1859
  5. “Adhere to your purpose and you will soon feel as well as you ever did.” – Letter to Quintin Campbell, 1862
  6. “I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.” – Remark to Joseph Gillespie, 1876
  7. “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” 
  8. “Stand with anybody that stands RIGHT. Stand with him while he is right and PART with him when he goes wrong.” – Speech in reply to Sen. Stephen Douglas, Peoria, Illinois, 1854
  9. “The better part of one's life consists of his friendships.” – Letter to Joseph Gillespie, 1849
  10. “I cannot bring myself to believe that any human being lives who would do me any harm.” – Remark on assassination threats
  11. “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.” – Manuscript (unsigned)
  12. “I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal.” – Speech at Chicago, Illinois, 1858
  13. “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.” – Letter to Albert Hodges, April 1864
  14. “Slavery is founded in the selfishness of man’s nature – opposite to it, in his love of justice.” – Speech in reply to Sen. Stephen Douglas, Peoria, Illinois, 1854
  15. “The ballot is stronger than the bullet.” – Speech at Republican State Convention of Illinois, 1856

Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln delivers his second inaugural address on the east portico of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., March 1865. Photo: Library of Congress/Handout via REUTERS