Lincoln's Inaugurals, Addresses and Letters (Selections) - Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln's Inaugurals, Addresses and Letters (Selections)

By Abraham Lincoln

  • Release Date: 1865-04-15
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature


The facts of Lincoln's early life are best stated in his own words, communicated in 1859[see Appendix] to Mr. J. W. Fell, of Bloomington, Illinois. Unlike many men who have risen from humble surroundings, Lincoln never boasted of his wonderful struggle with poverty. His nature had no room for the false pride of a Mr. Bounderby, even though the facts warranted the claim. Indeed, he seldom mentioned his early life at all. On one occasion he referred to it as "the short and simple annals of the poor". Lincoln himself did not in any way base his claims to public recognition upon the fact that he was born in a log cabin and that he had split rails in his youth, although, on the other hand, he was not ashamed of the facts. More, perhaps, than any other man of his time he believed and by his actions realized the truth of Burns' saying, "The man's the goud, for a' that". The real lesson to be drawn from Lincoln's life is that under any conditions real success is to be won by intelligent, unwavering effort, the degree of success being determined by the ability and character of the individual. Still less profitable is the attempt to contrast the success of Lincoln with that of Washington, or Jefferson or of any other American whose early circumstances were more favorable than Lincoln's.