Lincoln: The Deepest Sadness

Presidential History Blog

Abraham Lincoln

“It is hard, hard to have him die.”

Man of Sadness

Most historians agree that Abraham Lincoln, when he wasn’t laughing and telling droll stories, was a generally sad man. He described his upbringing as the “annals of the poor.” His mother died when he was nine. His only sibling died in childbirth when Lincoln was still in his teens. 

While he made friends easily and engaged socially, he still remains elusive. Other than a long-standing close relationship with Joshua Speed, his friendships remain superficial or professional rather than deep bonding. He was, by and large, a solitary soul. His deepest feelings were “conceptual” rather than personal, in the sense that he was distraught over the enormous deaths of the Civil War: but they were people he did not know.

He was nearly thirty-three when he married, partly due to insufficient income, and partly due to his…

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