Abraham Lincoln is one of popular presidents in United States History. With his face on pennies, five-dollar bills, saving bonds, and his name placed on hotels, cars, toys and streets it’s almost impossible to grow up as a kid in America without hearing the name Lincoln. In the recent decades Lincoln enthusiast have been trying to discover the real Lincoln, trying to decipher myth from reality. Lincoln was considered to be, “the last great leader before industrial change, (because) Lincoln stood for all that was right, honest, and self evident.”(Phillips). As a poor kid growing up he looked up to the founding fathers, and became fascinated with America and the idea of individual rights. After several failed attempts to get into the White House, it almost seemed as if Abraham Lincoln wasn’t meant to become President of the United States. Abraham Lincoln did not originally appear to be a leader that would successfully lead a country during a time of great need. However in office, Lincoln proved to be a masterful commander and chief during the Civil War, which propelled him to the status of an American Legend.
The American people always had a sense of what criteria a President must have in order to step into office. They wanted a well-educated war hero who was handsome and had great whit. Compared to these qualifications, Lincoln didn’t measure up, especially in his education. Growing up on the frontier meant that good schooling was hard to find. There wasn’t an exact school year that Lincoln and the other kids in his area could attend. School being in session depended on whether or not an available teacher. Teachers were valued so highly in the frontier, that the poor family’s would give as much as their food as they could to the teachers without starving their family’s. Lincoln attended school at the ages of 6, 7, 11, 13, and 15, however his total days spent in school don’t even add up to a full year (Burns). Lincoln was a fast learner, but his education didn’t come from the school that he attended. Lincoln’s education was built entirely off books and self-teaching.
Lincoln began to have a fascination with books. Books were hard to come by in the frontier, and Lincoln treated every book he did receive tenderly. Lincoln could not seem to put the books down; he would read them over and over memorizing everything he could. It is also said that Lincoln walked twenty miles in order to receive a book about the United States, and that he loved reading so much he even read a spelling book for fun (Burns). In his single term in the House of Representatives, Lincoln’s colleagues found it humorous that he would spend all of his free time in the Library of Congress, expanding his knowledge (Miller). Although he was self taught, Lincoln became a critical thinker that could express and communicate his thoughts and arguments in a powerful way that would help him later when he became President.
Another factor that made people question if he could fit...