Abraham Lincoln was able to overcome many personal hardships in his lifetime. Through Lincoln’s undying ambition, and his personal and endearing qualities, he was able to achieve notable success. Part of Lincoln’s political genius was in his ability to form friendships with his rivals who ultimately opposed him, and his exceptional personal qualities. Those things eventually lead Lincoln to one of the most famous and successful presidencies. By looking at the lives of his friends and colleagues, we are able to attain a better understanding of Lincoln and his political genius.
A monument was dedicated to Abraham Lincoln in Washington D.C., honoring his name. It was assembled by African Americans. A former slave, named Fredrick Douglass was the man who dedicated this monument in Lincoln’s name. Fredrick Douglass states that “The whole field of fact and fancy has been gleaned and garnered. Any man can say things that are true of Abraham Lincoln, but no man can say anything new of Abraham Lincoln” (pg. 56). Douglass’s point is that there is so much information out there that the “field” of facts is not about gathering facts, but rephrasing and refining them to establish the sense of new knowledge. Anybody could write a book about Lincoln and say things that are true of him. But, because there are countless biographies written about Lincoln we would not be able to write any more additional facts of him or to say anything new of him. Many historians have uncovered new details that provide a better understanding of Lincoln.
Edward Bates, Salmon P. Chase, and William H. Seward were Abraham Lincoln’s main rivals in the republican presidential nomination. These men, along with Lincoln, all followed the same thoroughfare in their lives. All of these men were lawyers, outstanding public speakers, involved in politics, and against slavery. Many people during this time were looking for a new opportunity and experiences.