Biography of Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln is recognized still to this day as one of america's best presidents, however, his life was not easy in the slightest. He encountered and overcame many obstacles in his life but one of the most challenging for him would most likely be his chronic depression.
Abraham Lincoln was born most famously, in a log cabin out in Hardin County Kentucky, on Feb 12, 1809. His mother died at the age of thirty-four when he was nine, his father married a Sarah Bush Johnston, a widow with three children. When his mother died, Abraham had a rough time with things but he bonded rather quickly with Sarah and felt less alienated because of it. Although his parents were most likely illiterate, they supported and encouraged his book worm tendency. It was when he was almost an adult when he started his formal education, his neighbors said they remembered seeing him walk miles to borrow books from others since books were scarce out in backwoods Kentucky.
In 1830, the family moved again. This time to Macon County in Illinois. They moved again to Cole county but this time, 22 year-old Abraham stayed behind and struck out on his own. being 6"4 and tall and lanky, he wasn't built for farming. He was however quite strong and known for his wood cutting skills. Abraham eventually made it to New Salem where he went from shopkeeper, to post master, to general store owner. While here he acquired his social and storytelling skills that made him popular with the populace. In 1834, he decided to go into law, joining the Whig Party and forming most of his political viewpoints here. Seven years later we see Abraham starting to crack under the pressure of depression so he goes to see a doctor about it. No one alive knows what treatment he got but we do know that afterward he sent a letter to a colleague stating that "I am now the most miserable man living... Whether I shall ever be better I cannot tell; I awfully forebode I shall not."
In 1840, Abraham became engaged to Mary Todd, whom, their friends often questioned why she was so attracted to him. Lincoln in his low self-esteem, often questioned it himself. But, on Nov. 4 1842, they were finally married and had four children, only one however, Robert, survived to adulthood. In 1847-1849 he served a single term in the House of Representatives where he was pretty much the only member there of the Whig Party who still showed party allegiance. Here he made many of his opinions clear and became a little unpopular back home and decided to just study law more instead of running again.
In 1856, Abraham joined the Republican party on their view on slavery and in 1857, he challenged U.S. Senator Stephan Douglas for his seat. Here he made one of his many inspirational quotes. While criticizing Douglas, the Supreme Court, and President Buchanan for promoting slavery, stating "a house divided cannot stand." Even though Lincoln failed that election, his career was skyrocketed into national politics. In 1860, political operatives in Illinois organized a campaign to support Abraham Lincoln for presidency. Abraham won, and the rest they say, is history. While in office Abraham never let his goal out of sight.
He once wrote to Quintin Campbell "Adhere to your purpose, and you will feel as well as you ever did." He made his goal to do something that he would be remembered for, abolishing slavery in the new world, and let that stubbornness of his get it done so he wouldn't have the time to worry about his depression. Lincoln also was always making jokes. He once said "If it were not for these stories-jokes, jests, I should die; they give vent-are the vents of my moods and gloom." One of my most favorite recorded jokes he made while in office was when he called a new congressman into his office saying, "Come in here and tell me what you know, it won't take long." I guess what I'm trying to do with this ending is show how troubled yet calm he was because really, it confuses me. He was chronically depressed and very often and out loud spoke of suicide and how the world was a hard and grim place yet he was a great political mediator, solving court cases with a level head while being something akin to a court jester. So while he may have been in a horrible state of mood, he was one of the best presidents the new, free world could of asked for.