Famous last words


Leanne Eckhart, writer

There holds a strong power in having the last word; the last of an argument, speech, or in life. Last words leave one in ponderous thought, hope, giggles, or even discouragement.

Here lie seven of the most famous, undiscovered, and unusual last words.

1.      Abraham Lincoln – the 16th president of the United States left the country with a powerful 272-word speech in the midst of the civil war that gave a new light to democracy still admired today. He ended his Gettysburg Address with the statement “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, and for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

2.      Karl Marx – a philosopher, social scientist, and historian in the late 1800s who gained most of his recognition after his death. When asked what he wanted his last words to be, he screamed, “Go away! Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.”

3.      Oscar Wilde – a novelist and poet, who had a certain distaste for the wallpaper in his house, prompted his wife to make a decision in the last days of his life saying, “This wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. Either it goes or I do.”

4.      Giles Corey – a man tried and hung in the Salem Witch trials along with his wife, Martha, for refusing to plea guilty or not guilty. His last cry, “more weight.”

5.      Patrick Henry – an American politician best known for his address to Peyton Randolf during the American Revolution, ending with the iconic phrase, “give me liberty, or give me death.”

6.      Margaret Mitchell – a famous novelist who inspired those in the United States at the conclusion of the Great Depression with her novel, Gone with the Wind. The book ends with the comforting thought that “After all, tomorrow is another day.”

7.      Jesus – the ultimate savior; because of His gift, we don’t have to worry about last words because we have eternal life to look forward to. As He rose toward heaven in order to prepare for us, He spoke, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all of Judea, and Samaria, and to all the ends of the Earth” (Acts 1:8).