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

Lincoln Compared to Other Great Presidents

Are you saying that Lincoln had no faults?

He had few. His primary fault was that of ambition. It was not by accident that he rose from log-cabin boy to president, or that he persisted in politics after some early setbacks. Lincoln was extraordinarily ambitious, but his greatness of soul is revealed by the fact that power did not corrupt him; he retained the traits of compassion and mercy right to the end. On a personal level, we suspect that he was not always a kind husband to Mary Todd: he may even have enjoyed seeing her, on occasion, make a fool of herself. As a father, Lincoln was too permissive, but this is one of the lesser faults that one can level at a parent.


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