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

Lincoln’s Posthumous Fame

Was Lincoln as remarkable a person and a president as we are led to believe?

Beyond a doubt. Lincoln had the greatest range of talents of any person ever to occupy the White House. He had depth of feeling, strength of character, enormous perseverance, and, as one person of his time expressed it, “the intellect of a giant.”

How Lincoln gained all this capability is somewhat mysterious. He did not have any higher education, and he had no brilliant tutors that we know of: he was, and remains, the most truly “self-taught” of all American presidents. But before attempting to dissect his path to the top, let us look—just for a moment—at what he accomplished. There were times, in 1863 and 1864, when he acted as chief executive, commander-in-chief, friend to the men who ran the War Department telegraph, father to Tad and Robert, and consoler to his wife over the loss of their beloved son Willie, all at the same time. American history records no similar set of demands on one person.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Civil War Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App