Lincoln’s Death, New Nation: April 1865 to 1877

Lincoln Compared to Other Great Presidents

A lot of the great persons involved in the war seem to have died rather young. Was that common?

Lincoln was assassinated at fifty-six. Lee died of heart disease at sixty-two. Grant died of throat cancer at sixty-three. Jefferson Davis reached seventy-one, but had all manner of physical infirmities well before then. William T. Sherman died one week after his seventy-first birthday. His old rival in the field, General Joseph Johnston, was in poor health, but he went to Sherman’s funeral and insisted on standing bareheaded in the rain. He died a month later, at the age of eighty-four.

To the majority of people at that time, to reach one’s mid-sixties was a real achievement. Anything beyond that point was seen as grace, or as icing on the cake.


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