"Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm” is a quotation credited to Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) that has been printed on many GIFs. Lincoln was helping Rebecca R. Pomeroy (1817-1884), an army nurse at the White House in March 1862, off a carriage and on to the sidewalk, when he said:
“All through life be sure you put your feet in the right place, and then stand firm.”
The account was published in books from 1882 and 1884.
Wikiquote: Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln (12 February 1809 – 15 April 1865) was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. A Republican, Lincoln led the United States through its Civil War—its bloodiest war and its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis. In doing so, he preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the U.S. government, and modernized the economy.
All through life, be sure and put your feet in the right place, and then stand firm.
. As recalled by Rebecca R. Pomroy in Echoes from hospital and White House (1884), by Anna L. Boyden, p. 61
Mrs. Lincoln’s White House
Employees and Staff: Rebecca R. Pomroy (1817-1884)
Rebecca R. Pomroy was a widowed army nurse who served at the White House in February and March 1862 when Tad and Willie were sick and Mrs. Lincoln was overcome by grief at Willie’s death.
From Pioneer Home to the White House:
Life of Abraham Lincoln; Boyhood, Youth, Manhood, Assassination, Death
By William M. Thayer
New York, NY: Hurst & Company
Stripping up his pants to his knees, he hastily brought three stones large enough to stand upon, and placing them so that the ladies could step upon them, from one to the other, he speedily helped them to the side-walk, remarking in a vein of humor, “All through life be sure you put your feet in the right place, and then stand firm.”
Echoes from Hospital and White House:
A Record of Mrs. Rebecca R. Pomroy’s Experience in War-Times
By Anna L. Boyden
Boston, MA: D. Lothrop & Company
There had been a severe shower the night before, and on going up Fourteenth street the horses became unmanageable, while the carriage got fast in the mud. Mr. Lincoln told the driver to hold one horse, while the footman (Pg. 61—ed) held the other, till he could get out. He succeeded in finding three large stones, and, with his pantaloons stripped to his knees, and boots covered with mud, he laid the stones down and bore his weight upon them. On coming to the carriage he said, “Now, Mrs. Pomroy, if you will please put your feet just as I tell you, you can reach the sidewalk in safety.” Taking hold of her hand, he helped her to the sidewalk, then, looking up, he said, “All through life, be sure and put your feet in the right place, and then stand firm.” After the carriage was righted, the President looked at his muddy boots in a laughing way, saying, “I have always heard of Washington mud, and now I shall take home some as a sample.”
15 June 1909, The Farmer (Bridgeport, CT), pg. 3, col. 6:
Be sure to put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.—Lincoln.
New York City • Government/Law/Politics/Military • Wednesday, June 22, 2016 • Permalink