A Man Who Never Gave Up
Abraham Lincoln was an amazing man, remembered for his forward-thinking political beliefs, his steady hand during the American Civil War and his many outstanding speeches. He led the northern States through the American Civil War and its accompanying moral, constitutional, and political crises. The result was to preserve the Union, abolish slavery, strengthen the federal government, and modernise the economy.
“We forget the huge personal and political struggles Lincoln had to cope with throughout his lifetime.”
We look at these achievements today and marvel at his progressive beliefs and policies, and yet we forget the huge personal and political struggles Lincoln had to cope with throughout his lifetime.
Born in a Kentucky log cabin in 1809, his mother died when he was nine and later, his sister when he was a teenager. Although fond of his stepmother, he later became distant from his father, perhaps because of the extent of his ‘self-education’ compared to his father’s constant uprooting of his family while searching for better prospects.
“He had several failed early relationships”
He had several failed early relationships, and later, after marrying Mary Todd from a wealthy slave-owning family in Kentucky, lost three sons to illness. Only one, Robert, survived to adulthood. Both parents suffered depression and in 1875, Robert committed his mother temporarily to an asylum.
In 1832, at the age of 23, Lincoln began his political career, with his first campaign for the Illinois General Assembly. Successful with his second run for office, he served four successive terms. In 1846, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served one unremarkable two-year term.
He spoke out against the Mexican-American war, but later declined a post that would have ended his political career, and returned to his law practice. His clients referred to him as ‘Honest Abe’ because of his reputation.
His political zeal was re-awakened when in 1854, Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act. This allowed individual states and territories to decide for themselves whether to allow slavery. There was violent opposition to it in Kansas and Illinois, which eventually gave rise to the Republican Party which Lincoln joined in 1856.
“In 1860, Lincoln was nominated for President”
In 1860, Lincoln was nominated for President. The following year, seven Southern states seceded from the Union and inevitably, war began. After four years of a war that tore the nation apart, General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Army of Virginia, surrendered his forces to Union General Ulysses S. Grant. A few days later, Lincoln and his wife Mary went to the theatre. During the performance, an actor and staunch Confederate sympathiser named John Wilkes Booth slipped into the presidential box and shot Lincoln in the head.
So what did Abraham Lincoln achieve? His primary focus as president was always to restore the United States as a single nation under the Constitution; ending slavery was secondary to that goal, and achieved by the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment. He also proclaimed the national day of thanks, now the Thanksgiving holiday. A skilled statesman and orator, Abraham Lincoln gave many memorable speeches, including his most famous, the Gettysburg Address. This is now regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history.
Abraham Lincoln showed tenacity and bravery in circumstances that would floor most people. From his early upbringing by a father with whom he had little or no emotional connection, to his early failed relationships with women, and the loss of all but one of his sons. It is estimated that Lincoln had no more than 18 months of formal education, yet he became a lawyer, a politician, and a military leader. He suffered from depression for many years, as did his wife, and yet he managed to rise above it all to become one of the most notable politicians of all time.
Truly, he was a man who never gave up.
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Doug Wright, is a transformed survivor of a head-on near death vehicle collision.
Passionate about helping people overcome their inner most fears, especially when recovering from trauma, Doug has survived to share his courageous story … his motto is “never give up”.
Away from his everyday activities, Doug invests his spare time playing his electric guitar, knocking out an eclectic mix of Eagles hits and fishing for coral trout in Airlee Beach, Northern Queensland.