Only to better express myself…
A few days ago some of us acknowledged the birth (February 12, 1809) of President Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Lincoln may be the most written about figure in the brief history of the United States and I have read quite a few of the volumes. Lincoln is an intriguing figure, but one thing I find most interesting is how he used anecdotes to get his point across. This was highlighted in a book Lincoln On Leadership and illustrated in the recent Lincoln movie starring Daniel Day Lewis. Here are some of my favorite Lincoln quote to honor the man.
“When Abraham Lincoln came to power in 1861, he found himself in a similar dilemma. The first Republican president elected by a minority of the popular vote, Lincoln was viewed by many as a gawky, second-rate country lawyer ill equipped to handle the chief executive office – his own cabinet considered him nothing more than a figurehead. Ten days before he took the oath of office, the Confederate States of America seceded from the Union, taking all Federal agencies, forts, and arsenals within their territory. The country was so stricken that rumors of a military coup and assassination abounded at the inauguration.”
“No matter what your hobby is, Lincoln will likely pop up sooner or later. If you’re interested in politics, war, civil rights, literature, economics, the law, religion, romance, human psychology, celebrity, or the infinite application of the graphic arts, then your interest will likely bring you into contact with Lincoln the politician, the commander in chief, the emancipator, the writer, the rhetorician, the free marketer, the lawyer, the martyr, the husband of Mary, the manic depressive, and the most celebrated and most graphically depicted man in American history.”
The Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
These 28 words say so much, but are regarded so little these days. When you look back to what our fledgling country encountered as a colony of England you should be able to understand their trepidation towards the creation of a powerful United States (Federal) government.
I am a bit of a Civil War buff. It started with a trip to Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. The Civil War and Gettysburg are two of the most written about subjects in American writing. I have read numerous books on the glorious battles and the heroic efforts of the combatants. Their personal stories inspire and make you cry at the same time.
James M. McPherson is one of the premier writers about that period and as a Pulitzer Prize winner you would expect his work to be first-rate. I found Battle Cry of Freedom different than other books about that era. McPherson’s chronology of the period includes a great deal of “behind the scenes” information about the conflict; the politics, the media, the politicians.