Monday, March 31, 2008

Abraham Lincoln – From Ape to Honored President

Abraham Lincoln’s life exemplified his words, “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” Abraham Lincoln was determined to succeed and persisted through many failures. At age 21, he had a business fail. At age 22, he lost a legislative race. At age 24, he again failed in business. At age 27, he spent 6 months in bed with a nervous breakdown. He lost congressional races at age 34 and 36 and lost a senatorial race at age 45. Following his lost in the senate race, Lincoln said, “I recovered and said to myself, ‘It’s a slip and not a fall.’”

Lincoln continued to persist and at age 46, Abraham Lincoln was hired to be a part of the legal team for a large patent infringement case. Lincoln traveled to Cincinnati for the trail. When he arrived, the lead attorney, Edwin M. Stanton, said of Lincoln, “Why did you bring that . . . long armed Ape here . . .; he does not know any thing and can do you no good.” (David Herbert Donald, Lincoln (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995) p. 185-187) Lincoln went home feeling insulted and roughly handled by Stanton but he continued on.

At age 47, Lincoln sought and failed to receive the Vice-President nomination receiving less than 100 votes. At age 49, Lincoln lost another senate race. At age 52, Lincoln ran for president of the United States, and on November 6, 1860, Lincoln was elected the 16th President of the United States. In 1862, Edwin M. Stanton came to work for Lincoln as a part of the president’s cabinet as the Secretary of War. Stanton came to deeply admire Lincoln and in the final hours of Lincoln’s life on April 15, 1865, Stanton stood by the bed of the dying president and paid tribute to the man he had once called “an ape” saying, “Now, he belongs to the ages.” (David Herbert Donald, Lincoln (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1995) p. 599)

As a result of his determination, persistence and willingness to get up each time he was knocked down, Lincoln was instrumental in ending slavery and saving the Union during the Civil War, and is today honored as one of the United States’ greatest presidents.

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