Skip to comments.The Lincoln Myths
Posted on 02/12/2009 8:37:08 AM PST by curth
Every time a newspaper or magazine announces that it is taking a survey to determine who Americans regard as their greatest president, it is almost a foregone conclusion that Abraham Lincoln will wind up at the top, perhaps sharing space with George Washington. Oddly, Lincoln was probably one of the least-well-prepared presidents we have ever elected: he had no administrative or managerial experience whatsoever.
He had served one term as a Representative in Congress in 1848, but he had never been a cabinet officer or a governor or even mayor of Springfield. And to the dismay of those who tried to figure out how a man of such modest credentials achieved such extraordinary success as president, he was notorious for his reluctance to talk about himself. It is a great piece of folly to attempt to make anything out of my early life, Lincoln said in 1860, It can all be condensed into a single sentence The short and simple annals of the poor. Thats my life, and thats all you or anyone else can make of it.
The gap between what Lincoln accomplished, and what was actually known about the man, was so great that ever since Lincolns death in 1865, people have been manufacturing myths about Lincoln to fill in the spaces. What is remarkable about the Lincoln myths, however, is how often they turn out to have something of a truth in them. They are not so much myths, as true lies.
Lincoln was a Christian, wasnt he? He was certainly raised in a strict religious environment. But Lincoln himself pulled shy of any religious commitments of his own. He never joined a church. And when he moved to Springfield, Ill., his Springfield friends described him as a skeptic or an infidel.
(Excerpt) Read more at thebulletin.us ...
Lincoln himself pulled shy of any religious commitments / he was a lawyer.
Of course, without being a heavy proponent of a specific denomination his whole life, the war produced a different man. No one can read the second inaugural address and not understand that Lincoln had become centered in religious thought. His rhetoric, his letters and his public concerns were much changed by the war and the effort to gain understanding through study of the heavenly plan and the Divine mysteries.
A great President indeed.
Thank you. You’ve summed it up nicely. Almost all of Lincoln’s writings reflect the deep spirituality of a man grappling with the imperfections of Man, including his own.
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