The Personal Finances of Abraham Lincoln

The Personal Finances of Abraham Lincoln

The Personal Finances of Abraham Lincoln

The Personal Finances of Abraham Lincoln

Excerpt

Linkin? oh yes, I knowed him. Knowed his folks too. They were torn-down poor. He wasn't much up to the War; that was what made him. Tell ye what, they wouldn't let on so much 'bout him now, 'f he hadn't been killed. That helped him, powerful. People kind o' sympathized with him, ye know. It made him pop'lar. He saved suthin' while he was President, but I don't reckon he left much propity. Oh yes, I knowed Linkin. WM. O. STODDARD, "Lincoln's Vigil."

Nearly twenty years ago the Abraham Lincoln Association began a systematic investigation of all sources which seemed to promise new light on the lire of Lincoln. In the course of that investigation items contradicting the general impression of Lincoln's thriftlessness began to turn up-a mortgage in his favor here, a suit for fees there, a bank account showing substantial balances. Impressed by the implications of these discoveries, Mr. Logan Hay, the Association's President, suggested that the subject of Lincoln's finances be thoroughly examined. This book is the result of that suggestion and the research which followed it. The reader who seeks in these pages the answer to every possible question will be disappointed, but at least it can be said that much of the material presented here has not been available before. The author hopes that the study will contribute to a better understanding of a phase of Lincoln's life which until now has been lost in legend, and that that better understanding will further illuminate a character which is not yet fully revealed.

Lincoln did not begin life in abject poverty, and his childhood was spent in a home whose head was in better-than-average financial circumstances. The years of his boyhood were lean ones, and his start in life was marked by financial failures which burdened him with a debt of approximately $1,100. Soon, however, he began to earn money--by surveying, by odd jobs, and by service in the Illinois legislature--and the evidence . . .

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