A Wonderful Description of Abraham Lincoln



As many of you know, I have been a member of the online Lincoln Discussion Symposium since 2012. It is a wonderful Forum that serves to address all things Lincoln (and related matters).  It can be found at: http://rogerjnorton.com/LincolnDiscussionSymposium/index.php  Roger Norton started the site and is well known in the “Lincoln world.” All are welcome to take a look and participate!  A short time ago, a member  of the symposium (known simply as “LincolnToddFan”) made a posting on the site that so aptly and brilliantly described Abraham Lincoln that I asked permission from the author and Roger Norton if I could copy it to this site. They both said “yes.” The question that served as the title of the thread that contained the posting was: “Why Was Lincoln Great?” Here is the answer from LincolnToddFan:

He had the hide of a rhino…he must have, to have been able to withstand the almost constant vicious attacks on his character. He was under almost an inhuman amount of pressure from the time he took the oath of office as President, until he sat down in that rocker at Ford’s Theater on the night of April 14th, 1865. Yet he never became self-pitying like Lyndon Johnson. He never resorted to a vindictive, paranoid “enemies list” a la Richard Nixon. During the fierce storm he remained what he had been all his life…generous, tough, dreamy, pragmatic, visionary.

Deep inside, he must have realized that he was the intellectual superior of everyone around him, yet he was never arrogant or condescending to “lesser” men. He took and accepted everyone as he found them.

His iron will is part of his legend, but so is his tender heartedness. The same man who could order hundreds of thousands of young men to their deaths in battle could also weep and grieve for them, and be haunted by their ghosts in his dreams. He would contrive to issue pardons to deserters who had been condemned to the firing squad.

How many “tyrants” cuddle kittens on their lap, and fret about them being hungry and lonely in the midst of orchestrating an army to victory during a bloody, divisive civil war?

Humility, dazzling intellect, political brilliance, toughness, magnanimity, pathos, humor, almost freakish physical strength combined with the gentleness of a child, flawed and overwhelmingly human…who else can we think of in American political life who embodied all those qualities in one person?

If AL isn’t great, I don’t know who is.


Thank you LincolnToddFan. nothing more need be said…

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2 Responses to “A Wonderful Description of Abraham Lincoln”

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    A Wonderful Description of Abraham Lincoln

  2. Roger Norton says:

    I agree 100%, Bill. The best Abraham Lincoln authors never said it any better than this!

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