American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. One that splits logs, as for fences.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One who splits logs into rails for making a rail fence. Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States from 1861 to 1865, who in his youth had occasionally split rails, was sometimes popularly called
the rail-splitter, and clubs of his partizans assumed the name Rail-splitters.
- n. a laborer who splits logs to build split-rail fences
“And while the old rail-splitter himself does not make it much into the annals of barbecue lore, an interesting episode involving the 1860 presidential campaign does.”
“Lincoln the rail-splitter wasn't just a thinker, a lawyer or a president.”
“Lincoln wasn't just a rail-splitter; in matters of religion he was a fence sitter.”
“For more than a century before Roosevelt, politicians had been content with symbolic expressions of solidarity with common folk Lincoln's supporters depicting him as a rail-splitter, or with attacks on selected groups of the rich.”
“The rail-splitter upon the sparsely settled lands of Kentucky was fired with a purpose and a recognition of his place among men.”
“They thought of him as coming from that stratum of clay that could be molded into a rail-splitter and, when the need arose, remodeled into the nation's leader.”
“Thunderous cheers for "the rail-splitter" resounded, for this slur on the statesman had recoiled on aspersers and was used as a title of honor.”
“Lincoln, the rail-splitter, and whose name was Abe.”
“Here is where Lincoln gained his great reputation as a rail-splitter.”
“I remember how I struggled against their arguments that Lincoln was an uneducated, uncultured rail-splitter.”
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