"don't swap horses while crossing the river"

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donna

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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"don't swap horses while crossing the river" A phrase that became popular during the war after President Abraham Lincoln used the idea when accepting his nomination in 1864. He told Republicans that the honor had not come because he was the best man but rather because they had concluded "it is not best to swap horses while crossing the river". Lincoln added that the Republicans had decided "I am not so poor a horse that they might not make a botch of it in trying to swap". The expression had been around earlier in the century, and it eventually evolved into today's "don't change horses in midstream".

From "The Language of the Civil War" pp. 92-93

Lincoln used some great sayings.
 
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