Essay About Abraham Lincoln
Memorial Address on the Life and Character of Abraham Lincoln was written by George Bancroft on February 12th, 1866. Statesman and American historian, George Bancroft, was born October 3, 1800, in Worcester, Massachusetts and died January 17, 1891, at the age of 90 in Washington, D.C. Before his passing, he was the founder of the United States Naval Academy. After his death, in 1910, Bancroft was awarded and honored in the Hall of Fame for Great Americans.
George Bancroft was chosen by the Congress to write an astonishingly overpowering eulogy for the President at the time, which was Abraham Lincoln. He was considered to be the “father of American History,” because of his comprehensive 10-volume study of the United States. He spent most of his life writing about politics. Both Houses and Bancroft spoke about the life and character of President Abraham Lincoln.
This book can be meant for readers who are interested in history to enlighten their knowledge on the 16th President Abraham Lincoln, chronologically. Lincoln was an American statesman as well as the author of this book, George Bancroft. The first edition of this book was published by the Government Printing Office in Washington, D.C. in 1866.
A West Kentucky man, born in the cabin of poor people. His father could not read nor write, his mother could read, but could not write. Abraham Lincoln learned to do both in his childhood. “… from day to day, he lived the life of American people, walked in its light, reasoned with reason, though with its power of thought, felt the beatings of its mighty heart, and so was in every way a child of nature, a child of the West, a child of America.” (page 17). When Lincoln was nine years old, his mother died of milk sickness.
Little to no money, Lincoln spent the start of his adult life working on a cattle farm and splitting rails for fences. He then earned the position of captain in the war of Black Hawk. At the age of thirty-three, Lincoln had spent eight years being elected to the Illinois legislature. Stephen A. Douglas won the election of the senator from Illinois against Lincoln. Douglas and Lincoln were rivals.
Lincoln had gotten married on November 4, 1842, to Mary Todd and started a family soon to be filled with four boys, Robert, Willie, Tad, and Edward. Unlike Lincoln, Mary grew up in a wealthy family. She lost her mother when she was six, but her father, Robert Todd, was a very successful politician and merchant. Her father did not approve of Abraham because he was nine years older than her.
Robert Todd Lincoln was the only child of Abraham and Mary to reach adulthood. Willie, Tad, and Edward died several years apart which caused clinical depression for both Mary and Abraham. Willie, the third son, died of thyroid fever at the age of eleven. Tad, the youngest son, died from an illness at the age of 18. Edward, “Eddie,” the second son, died from pulmonary tuberculosis.
“In 1861, with no experience whatever as an executive officer, while States were madly flying from their orbit, and wise men knew not where to find counsel, this descendant of Quakers, this pupil of Bunyan, this offspring of the great West, was elected President of America.” (page 18). Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd, became the First Lady of the United States.
After losing to Douglas, Abraham Lincoln gained a national reputation for over two years and was the first Republican to win the presidency in 1861. He achieved lots of things while he was in office such as, strengthening the government, abolishing slavery, and leading the nation through the American Civil War. “The nation had its new birth of freedom.” (page 41).
Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth on April 15, 1865, while watching a play at the Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. He died from his injuries a day later at the age of 56. Mary Todd Lincoln fell into bipolar depression.
Lincoln was loved by many. They wanted to build a memorial to honor him. “… the hand of Lincoln raised the flag; the American people was the hero of the war and, therefore, the result is the new era of republicanism.” (page 50). In 1914, the Monument of Lincoln Memorial was built to honor our 16th President Abraham Lincoln in Washington, D.C. The building has a Greek architectural style that contains a large sculpture of Abraham Lincoln sitting. There are thirty-six columns around the building, one for each state in Union at the time of Lincoln’s death. Seven million people have visited this monument just as of 2017.
At the end of this book, there is an Appendix. It contains extra information on Abraham Lincoln’s death and funeral, including the specific times. “He was assassinated at 10:30 p.m. on the 14th of April, 1865, and died at 7:20 a.m. the next day.” (page 55). His funeral was 5 days after his death. There were thirteen Senates and twenty-four House of Representatives listed.
George Bancroft was thanked by the Capitol of Washington, for the Memorial Address on the Life and Character of Abraham Lincoln delivered by him. On the 12th of February, he was requested to provide a copy for publication.
This book and its contribution to the study of history is important as it provides information about how Abraham Lincoln shaped the economy. Lincoln saw all people were equal. I value this the most about Abraham Lincoln because he ended slavery. Without him, slavery could still be going on today.
“Whatever you are, be a good one,” Abraham Lincoln. It is such an inspiration to see how Abraham Lincoln grew up from the poor and was struggling to survive, to become the 16th President of the United States. Growing up his father or mother could not teach him how to write or read, but he learned on his own and made himself a lawyer and American statesman.