By Godfrey Rathbone Benson Charnwood (Lord Charnwood)
This booklet is a facsimile reprint and should comprise imperfections resembling marks, notations, marginalia and fallacious pages.
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Extra resources for Abraham Lincoln
Americans are fond of discussing Americanism. Very often they select as a pattern of it Abraham Lincoln, the man who kept the North together but has been pronounced to have been a Southerner in his inherited character. Whether he was so typical or not, it is the central fact of this biography that no man ever pondered more deeply in his own way, or answered more firmly the question whether there was indeed an American nationality worth preserving. CHAPTER III. LINCOLN'S EARLY CAREER 1. Life at New Salem.
Further, there can be no doubt—and such a combination of tastes, though it seems to be uncommon, is quite intelligible—that the somewhat unholy business of party management was at first attractive to him. To the end he showed no intuitive comprehension of individual men. His sincere friendly intention, the unanswerable force of an argument, the convincing analogy veiled in an unseemly story, must take their chance of suiting the particular taste of Senator Sherman or General McClellan; but any question of managing men in the mass—will a given candidate's influence with this section of people count for more than his unpopularity with that section?
The interest never led him to take to accounts or to long-sighted financial provisions. In later days, when he received a payment for his fees, his partner's share would be paid then and there; and perhaps the rent would be paid, and the balance would be spent at once in groceries and other goods likely to be soon wanted, including at long intervals, when the need was very urgent, a new hat. These are amiable personal traits, but they mark the limitations of his capacity as a statesman. The chief questions which agitated the Illinois Legislature were economic, and so at first were the issues between Whigs and Democrats in Federal policy.