Lincoln, Master of Men: A Study in Character

Lincoln, Master of Men: A Study in Character

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Lincoln, Master of Men: A Study in Character

Lincoln, Master of Men: A Study in Character

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Excerpt

The spirit of mastery moved Abraham Lincoln at an early age -- how early, history and tradition are not agreed. Scantily supported stories of boyish control over his schoolmates, supplemented by more fully authenticated narratives of his youthful prowess, leave no doubt, however, that his power came to him before the period at which some of his biographers are pleased to take up the detailed account of his life. Trivial as the records of these callow triumphs may seem, they are essential to an understanding of the successive steps by which this man mounted from obscurity to the government of a great people.

If, as has been asserted by an eminent educator, the experiences and instructions of the first seven years of a person's life do more to mold and determine his character than all subsequent training, the history of Lincoln's development, like that of most great men, lacks an important chapter; for the scraps about this period of his childhood that have been preserved yield but a meagre story. A ne'er-do-well father, destined to drift from one badly tilled patch of land to another, a gentle mother, who is said to have known refinements foreign to the cheerless Kentucky cabin, a sparsely settled community of "poor whites," two brief snatches of A B C schooling under itinerant masters, stinted living, a few chores, still fewer pastimes, and all is said. Not quite all, for the . . .

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