Here I Have Lived: A History of Lincoln's Springfield, 1821-1865

Here I Have Lived: A History of Lincoln's Springfield, 1821-1865

Here I Have Lived: A History of Lincoln's Springfield, 1821-1865

Here I Have Lived: A History of Lincoln's Springfield, 1821-1865

Excerpt

In the spring of 1830 a young man named Abraham Lincoln, with father, mother and other relatives, came from southern Indiana to settle on the Sangamon River in Macon County, Illinois. A year later the young man, now alone, established himself in the village of New Salem in Sangamon County. Six years later he removed to Springfield, the new capital of the state. There he remained until February 11, 1861, when he left for Washington to become the sixteenth President of the United States.

That there are certain relationships between a man's environment and what he ultimately becomes is obvious. If a community refuses to support a portrait painter, and the portrait painter refuses to find another home, he either chooses a different occupation or he starves. And so, in this most fundamental of all human endeavors, Lincoln owed a debt to Springfield and the area which centers in it, for it afforded him a living in the profession of his choice.

Moreover, the community responded only less generously to his other ambition--political advancement. He made only one unsuccessful attempt at office-holding, and then his neighbors gave him four terms in the state legislature and, after a short interval, two years in Congress. Not until the slavery question shattered all loyalties did old friends turn away from him, and even then the city of his home remained faithful, though by the narrowest of margins.

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