Love of Politics
Abe ran for the Illinois legislature in 1832 as a Whig advocating a banking system, infrastructure improvements, and progressive ideals. In 1834, as a newly elected Assemblyman he first met Stephen A. Douglas who would be his political opponent and later through debates would gain Lincoln national attention. By this time, Abraham was convinced that lawyers were important in politics and he commenced self-study in law by reading law books. Over the course of his young life, Abe had suffered from the deaths of many family and friends including his first love, Ann Rutledge. Lincoln developed a continuing struggle with depression which lasted the rest of his life. Life and death, political election and defeat, and military wins and losses would cement Abe into ebbing and flowing cycles of depression. Political drive and “moral passion” (p.50) saved Abraham from sliding into the deepest abyss of depression. (Gienapp, 2002)
By 1837, Lincoln was offered a partnership in law in Springfield, Illinois where he applied and received a license to practice. Abe would remain in Springfield until leaving for the Presidency. Abraham began to build a political reputation as a Whig leader and circuit lawyer. He eventually married to Mary Todd and began having children. His reputation in law, considerable political skills, and marriage to a belle earned him increasing approval in Springfield society. Through debates with Douglas, campaign stumping, and speeches in the east, Abraham joined the new free soil, anti-slavery Republican Party and won nomination, and subsequent election, to the Presidency. (Keneally, 2003)
© Neal Huffman 2014 all rights reserved
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