Robert G. Ingersoll Walking Tour Site Header
Robert G. Ingersoll quotation from “On Abraham Lincoln” (1894)
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Nearby Sites of Interest

Arlington National Cemetery, Ingersoll grave site.
Georgetown University Library, Ingersoll Collections in the Manuscript section.
Library of Congress, Madison Building, manuscript Division, Room LM101, and the photo Division. Ingersoll’s papers are available on microfilm. Ingersoll’s voice is on a phonograph record that may be heard in the Library of Congress Music Division by appointment.


Ingersoll at Arlington National Cemetery
Ingersoll Birthplace Museum
Ingersoll in Washington, D.C., Blog
Ingersoll Chronology Project
Ingersoll Images/Photos
Ingersoll Memorial Committee
Ingersoll as described by Madalyn Murray O’Hair, founder of American Atheists
Ingersoll Quotations, More Quotations
Ingersoll on Wikipedia
Ingersoll’s Writings

Printable PDF Files

Self-Guided Walking Tour Map and Text, Photo Appendix
Map and Directions to Ingersoll’s Grave, Photo Appendix
Ingersoll Quotations

Selected Ingersoll Quotations (printable version)

1. The man who does not do his own thinking is a slave, and is a traitor to himself and to his fellow-men.   The Liberty of Man, Woman and Child (1877)
2. The liberty of man is not safe in the hands of any church. Wherever the Bible and sword are in partnership, man is a slave.   Some Mistakes of Moses (1879)
3. Our civilization is not Christian. It does not come from the skies. It is not a result of “inspiration.” It is the child of invention, of discovery, of applied knowledge — that is to say, of science.   “Reply to the Indianapolis Clergy” in The Iconoclast, Indianapolis, Indiana (1882)
4. The hands that help are better far than the lips that pray.   Title page of The Dresden Edition, Vol. 4
5. In all ages hypocrites, called priests, have put crowns on the heads of thieves, called kings.   From 1884
6. But honest men do not pretend to know; they are candid and sincere; they love the truth; they admit their ignorance, and they say, “We do not know.”   Superstition (1898)
7. The truth is, our government is not founded upon the rights of gods, but upon the rights of men .... It is the only nation with which the gods have had nothing to do.
  Individuality (1873)
8. Happiness is the only good.
The time to be happy is now.
The place to be happy is here.
The way to be happy is to help make others so.
  Ingersoll’s creed from the title page of The Dresden Edition, Vol. 12
9. If Nobody has too much, everybody will have enough.   A lay sermon
10. Logic is the necessary product of Intelligence and sincerity.   On Abraham Lincoln (1894)
11. Reason is a better guide than fear.   The Liberty of Man, Woman and Child (1877)
12. Reason is the highest attribute of man.   Some Mistakes of Moses (1879)

In Nature there are neither rewards nor punishments — there are consequences.

  Some Reasons Why (1881)
14. The destroyer of weeds, thistles and thorns is a benefactor, whether he soweth grain or not.   Title page of The Dresden Edition, Vol. 1
15. There can be but little liberty on Earth while men worship a tyrant in heaven.   Title page of The Dresden Edition, Vol. 5
16. Argument cannot be answered with insults. Kindness is strength; anger blows out the lamp of the mind.   Title page of The Dresden Edition, Vol. 6
17. Every brain is the field where nature sows the seeds of thought, and the crop depends upon the soil.   Title page of The Dresden Edition, Vol. 7
18. Happiness is the only good, reason the only torch, justice the only worship, humanity the only religion, and love the only priest.   Title page of The Dresden Edition, Vol. 8
19. He loves his country best who strives to make it best.   Title page of The Dresden Edition, Vol. 9

Justice should remove the bandage from her eyes long enough to distinguish between the vicious and the unfortunate.

  Title page of The Dresden Edition, Vol. 10
21. The clergy know, that I know, that they know, that they do not know.   Title page of The Dresden Edition, Vol. 2
22. Nothing is greater than to break the chains from the bodies of men — nothing nobler than to destroy the phantoms of the soul.   Robert G. Ingersoll’s gravestone in Arlington National Cemetery
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