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

Lincoln Compared to Other Great Presidents

Was there any other person who could have filled Lincoln’s shoes and guided the nation through the Civil War?

Very likely. In every generation, persons of great, undiscovered talents exist, and it is quite likely that someone else could have done all that Lincoln did. But when we examine the character and the actions of the men who were close to him—Secretary of State Seward, Secretary of War Stanton, Secretary of the Treasury Salmon Chase—not one of them even comes close. All of them brought special skills and talents, but not one of them possessed Lincoln’s range of interests, humor, and everlasting tenacity. Therefore, if we look for “the” man, the person who could have done what Lincoln did, we have to look outside the narrow, accepted range of candidates.


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