Archives For Abraham Lincoln

The old general rule was that educated people did not perform manual labor….. But now, especially in these free states, nearly all are educated—quite to nearly all, to leave the labor of the uneducated, in any wise adequate to the support of the whole. It follows from this that henceforth educated people must labor.

~ Abraham Lincoln address at the Wisconsin State Fair; September 30, 1859. Edited by Meg Distinti, Leadership Lessons of Abraham Lincoln

 

All creation is a mine, and every man, a miner. The whole earth, and all within it, upon it, and round about it, including himself, in his physical, moral, and intellectual nature, and his susceptibilities, are the infinity various “leads” from which, man, from the first, was to dig out his destiny.

~ Abraham Lincoln Lecture to W.H. Herndon; June 22, 1848. Edited by Meg Distinti, Leadership Lessons of Abraham Lincoln

You are lazy, and still you are an idler. I doubt whether, since I saw you, you have done a good whole day’s work in any one day. You do not very much dislike to work, and still you do not very much, merely because it does not seem to you that you could get much for it. This habit of uselessly wasting time is the whole difficulty; it is vastly important to you, and still more so to your children, that you should break the habit. It is more important to them, because they have longer to live, and can keep out of an idle habit before they are in it, easier than they can get out after they are in.

~ Abraham Lincoln letter to J.D. Johnston; January 2, 1851. Edited by Meg Distinti, Leadership Lessons of Abraham Lincoln

Ten Qualities That Made Abraham Lincoln a Great Leader.

 

Capacity to Listen to Different Points of View

Lincoln had the capacity to listen to different points of view. He created a climate where Cabinet members were free to disagree without fear of retaliation. At the same time, he knew when to stop the discussion and after listening to the various opinions, make a final decision.

Ability to Learn on the Job

Lincoln was able to acknowledge errors, learn from them, and then move. In this way, he established a culture of learning in his administration.

Ready Willingness to Share Credit for Success

When there was success, Lincoln shared the credit with all of those involved.

Ready Willingness to Share Blame for Failure

Lincoln stood up for members of his Cabinet when they made mistakes and when contracts related to the war effort raised serious questions about a member of his administration, Lincoln spoke up and indicated that he and his entire Cabinet were to blame.

Awareness of Own Weaknesses

Kearns Goodwin noted that one of the weaknesses acknowledged by Lincoln was his tendency to give people too many chances and because he was aware, he was able to compensate for that weakness.

Ability to Control Emotions

Lincoln did get angry and frustrated, but he found a way to channel those emotions. He would sit down and write what he referred to as a “hot letter” to the individual he was angry with and then he would set the letter aside and not send it. He treated those he worked with well and If he did lose his temper, he would follow up with a kind gesture or letter to let the individual know he was not holding a grudge.

Know How to Relax and Replenish

Lincoln understood the importance of relaxation and humor to shake of the stress of the day and to replenish himself for the challenges of the next day. He had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to tell funny stories. He encouraged a healthy atmosphere of laughter and fun in his administration. He also enjoyed going to the theater and spending time with friends.

Go Out into the Field and Manage Directly

Lincoln established lasting connections with the troops by visiting the battlefields and hospitals. He also spent time talking with members of the public, he held public receptions and made a point of shaking everyone’s hand and speaking to each individual.

Strength to Adhere to Fundamental Goals

In the summer of 1864 the war was not going well for the North. Lincoln’s political party came to him and said that there was no way to win the war and he might need to compromise on slavery. He held firm on the issue of slavery and turned away from this advice.

Ability to Communicate Goals and Vision

Lincoln had a remarkable ability to communicate his goals to his countrymen. He made concepts simple and communicated with an understanding of the concerns of the citizens.

~ Kearns Goodwin, Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

Andrew Johnson was born in a log cabin in Raleigh, North Carolina, on December 29, 1808, he would become the 17th president of the United States in 1865 after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. His father, Jacob Johnson was a porter at an inn and a bank janitor, he died while trying to save two of his wealthy employers, Andrew was only three. His mother, Mary “Polly” McDonough Johnson, worked as a seamstress to make ends meet.

When she remarried Andrew and his brother William where apprenticed to a local tailor. Andrew and his brother ran away from their obligation and after being on the run for two years he returned to Raleigh in 1826 to reunite with his mother and stepfather. At seventeen years old Andrew moved to Greeneville, Tennessee and set up shop as a tailor.

Andrew’s tailoring business became successful but he never mastered the basics of English grammar, reading, or math until he married sixteen year old Eliza McCardle in 1827. She also taught him to invest his money wisely in town real estate and farmlands. Over time, Andrew became prosperous enough to buy property and acquire several African-American slaves, who worked in his home. The couple had five children, Martha (1828), Charles (1830), Mary (1832), Robert (1834), and Andrew Jr. (1852). Eliza suffered from tuberculosis, but remained a constant supporter of Andrew through their 50-year marriage.

Andrew took a strong interest in politics and was elected alderman in 1829, five years later he was elected mayor of Greeneville. In 1835, he was elected to the Tennessee state legislature. He advocated for the poor, was opposed to non-essential government spending, he was a strong anti-abolitionist and a promoter of states’ rights. But he did support the Union, which was starting to be torn apart due to the north and south states disagreement on slavery.

In 1843, Andrew became the first Democrat from Tennessee to be elected to the United States Congress and declared that slavery was essential to the preservation of the Union. Southern states started to discuss separating from the Union if slavery was abolished. During his fifth and final term in Congress Andrew saw that his chances for a sixth term were slim due to the Whig party becoming more popular in Tennessee.

In 1853, Andrew was elected governor of Tennessee and served two terms, but found the experience frustrating due to his limited constitutional powers. He had no veto power and could only give suggestions to the legislature.

As the 1856 election neared, Andrew briefly considered a run for the presidency, but decided to run for the U.S. Senate instead. As senator, Andrew stayed independent, opposing abolition while making clear his dedication to the Union.

When Tennessee left the Union, Andrew was the only Southern Senator not to resign his seat in the U.S. Senate. He became one of the strongest supporters of President Lincoln, objecting to any compromise with the Confederacy as long as the rebels were in charge.

In the south, Andrew was vilified and called a traitor, his properties were confiscated, and his wife and daughters were essentially driven from the state with what they could carry in a wagon. In the north, he was an overnight hero, praised in the press as a true patriot who risked his life and fortune to side with the Union in the Civil War.

Once Union troops occupied Tennessee in 1862, Lincoln appointed Andrew military governor. He was never able to gain complete control of the state as Confederate insurgents raided cities and towns at will. Andrew originally opposed the Emancipation Proclamation, but accepted it after gaining an exemption for Tennessee.

In 1864 Lincoln selected Andrew, a Southerner, to run as his Vice President. Lincoln defeated his opponent General George McClellan by an electoral margin of 212-21, and received 55 percent of the popular vote. The President and new Vice President were sworn into office on March 4, 1865. Andrew, who was recovering from typhoid fever, drank some whiskey before the ceremony and gave a slurred, semi-incoherent inaugural address, leading to rumors that he was an alcoholic. Several other times during his presidency Andrew appeared to be in an inebriated state.

On the night of April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater, in Washington, D.C.. Andrew and U.S. Secretary of State William Seward were also targets that night, but the other assassin, George Azterodt, didn’t follow through with his plans. Three hours after Lincoln died, Andrew was sworn in as the 17th President of the United States. In a strange irony, the racist Southerner was charged with the reconstruction of the South and the extension of civil rights and suffrage to former black slaves.

Because his wife, Eliza, was suffering from tuberculosis she stayed in her room most of the time and Andrew’s two daughters lived in the White House and served as official hostesses.

Congress was in recess the first eight months of Andrew’s term, and he took full advantage of their absence by pushing through his own Reconstruction policies. He issued pardons and amnesty to any rebels who would take an oath of allegiance. This resulted in many former Confederates being elected to office in Southern states and instituting “black codes,” which essentially maintained slavery.

When Congress reconvened, members were outraged that the president issued pardon’s and his lack of protecting black civil rights. In 1866, Congress passed the Freedmen’s Bureau bill and the Civil Rights Act, Andrew vetoed both of these measures because he felt that Southern states were not represented in Congress and that suffrage policy was the responsibility of the states, not the federal government. Both vetoes were overridden by Congress. On March 2, 1867, the first Reconstruction Act was passed which allowed the free male slaves to vote. As usual, he vetoed it, nevertheless the bill was passed. His visible hostility towards the African-Americans drew a lot of criticisms and some even claimed that he was involved in Lincoln’s assassination.

Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act, which denied the president the power to remove federal officials without the Senate’s approval. Andrew challenged the Tenure of Office Act as a direct violation of his constitutional authority and in August 1867, he fired Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, with whom he’d had several confrontations. In February 1868, the House voted to impeach Andrew for violation of the Tenure of Office Act, but he was acquitted by one vote. He remained president, but both his credibility and effectiveness were destroyed.

Andrew sought nomination by the 1868 Democratic National Convention in New York and was popular among Southern whites, just before the convention he pardoned any Confederate not already indicted, meaning that only Jefferson Davis and a few others still might face trial. Former New York governor Horatio Seymour received the nomination and Andrew would complete his presidency in March 1869. Andrew issued a final amnesty before leaving office, this one covering everyone, including Jefferson Davis and Dr. Samuel Mudd, the doctor who splinted John Wilkes Booths leg after he assassinated Lincoln.

In the end, Andrew did more to extend the period of national strife than he did to heal the wounds of war. Andrew returned to Tennessee and ran for Congress in 1872 but lost. Two years later he ran for the Senate and won, he is the only former President to serve in the Senate. A few months later, on July 31, 1875, he suffered a stroke while visiting family in Carter County, Tennessee, he was 66 years old.

Andrew was buried with his body wrapped in an American flag and a copy of the Constitution placed under his head. The cemetery outside of Greeneville is now part of the Andrew Johnson National Historic Site, which includes his house and tailor shop.


Quotes
“Outside of the Constitution we have no legal authority more than private citizens, and within it we have only so much as that instrument gives us. This broad principle limits all our functions and applies to all subjects.”

“If blacks were given the right to vote, that would place every splay-footed, bandy-shanked, hump-backed, thick-lipped, flat-nosed, woolly-headed, ebon-colored in the country upon an equality with the poor white man.”

“I have lived among negroes, all my life, and I am for this Government with slavery under the Constitution as it is. I am for the Government of my fathers with negroes. I am for it without negroes. Before I would see this Government destroyed I would send every negro back to Africa, disintegrated and blotted out of space.”

“When I die, I desire no better winding sheet than the Stars and Stripes, and no softer pillow than the Constitution of my country.”

“It’s a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word.”

“Honest conviction is my courage; the Constitution is my guide.”

“The goal to strive for is a poor government but a rich people.”

“If you always support the correct principles then you will never get the wrong results!”

“The life of a republic lies certainly in the energy, virtue, and intelligence of its citizens.”

“Let us look forward to the time when we can take the flag of our country and nail it below the Cross, and there let it wave as it waved in the olden times, and let us gather around it and inscribed for our motto: ‘Liberty and Union, one and inseparable, now and forever,’ and exclaim, ‘Christ first, our country next!’”

“The sovereignty of the States is the language of the Confederacy and not the language of the Constitution. The latter contains the emphatic words. This Constitution and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof and all treaties made or which shall be made under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.”

“Legislation can neither be wise nor just which seeks the welfare of a single interest at the expense and to the injury of many and varied interests.”

“There are no good laws but such as repeal other laws.”

“I have been almost overwhelmed by the announcement of the sad event [Lincoln’s assassination] which has so recently occurred. I feel incompetent to perform duties so important and responsible as those which have been so unexpectedly thrown upon me.”

“I realized, there are people out there who can beat me, want to beat me. And unless I continue to innovate and evolve, I am going to learn a painful lesson from someone who has.”

“There are some who lack confidence in the integrity and capacity of the people to govern themselves. To all who entertain such fears I will most respectfully say that I entertain none . . . If man is not capable, and is not to be trusted with the government of himself, is he to be trusted with the government of others . . . Who, then, will govern? The answer must be, Man for we have no angels in the shape of men, as yet, who are willing to take charge of our political affairs.”

“It is our sacred duty to transmit unimpaired to our posterity the blessings of liberty which were bequeathed to us by the founders of the Republic.”

“If the rabble were lopped off at one end and the aristocrat at the other, all would be well with the country.”

“If I am shot at, I want no man to be in the way of the bullet.”

“If you could extend the elective franchise to all persons of color who can read the Constitution of the United States in English and write their names and to all persons of color who own real estate valued at not less than two hundred and fifty dollars and pay taxes thereon, and would completely disarm the adversary. This you can do with perfect safety. And as a consequence, the radicals, who are wild upon negro franchise, will be completely foiled in their attempts to keep the Southern States from renewing their relations to the Union.”

“Tyranny and despotism can be exercised by many, more rigorously, more vigorously, and more severely, than by one.”

“My right side is paralyzed. I need no doctor. I can overcome my own troubles.”

“I feel incompetent to perform duties…which have been so unexpectedly thrown upon me.”

“Let them impeach and be damned.”

“Washington, DC is 12 square miles bordered by reality.”


Links

Andrew Johnson

https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/presidents/andrewjohnson

http://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/andrew-johnson

http://millercenter.org/president/johnson

http://www.biography.com/people/andrew-johnson-9355722

http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/andrew-johnson-704.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Johnson

The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson

http://www.impeach-andrewjohnson.com/11BiographiesKeyIndividuals/AndrewJohnson.htm

http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/impeachments/johnson.htm

The Trial of Andrew Johnson, 1868

http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/john.htm

The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson

http://www.andrewjohnson.com/

10 Things to Know About Andrew Johnson

http://americanhistory.about.com/od/andrewjohnson/tp/10-Things-To-Know-About-Andrew-Johnson.htm

Fun Facts on Andrew Johnson

http://www.fun-facts.org.uk/american-presidents/andrew-johnson.htm

Andrew Johnson Timeline

https://www.nps.gov/anjo/learn/historyculture/timeline.htm


Books

Andrew Johnson: A Biography

http://amzn.to/2hiuMSH

Andrew Johnson: The American Presidents Series: The 17th President, 1865-1869

http://amzn.to/2gOuYbr

Andrew Johnson’s Civil War and Reconstruction

http://amzn.to/2hiDEui

Slavery, Impeachment and Legacy of President Andrew Johnson

http://amzn.to/2hcWUc5


Videos

President Andrew Johnson Biography

https://youtu.be/Lm-ywpX1PL0

#17 Andrew Johnson

https://youtu.be/lgT9qopK-VU

The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson

https://youtu.be/9esXEK4gIXs

Abraham Lincoln

February 12, 2016 — Leave a comment

Abraham Lincoln was born Feb. 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky to Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks. His mother passed away of milk poisoning when he was ten years old and his father remarried a few months later. His stepmother, Sarah, who he preferred to call Mother, was instrumental in Lincoln’s love to read and supported him in his desire to self-educate, he only had about 18 months of formal schooling.

The variety of jobs Lincoln held showed he had an interest in a number of things. He was a licensed bartender and was the last President to hold a patent. He was a Captain in the Black Hawk War in 1832 and was appointed as the postmaster of New Salem, Illinois from 1833 to 1836. The mail arrived once a week and if the mail wasn’t picked up by the person to whom it was addressed, he would deliver it, often placing it in his stovepipe hat.

In 1834 he won the election for state legislature and served until 1842. After his election to the state legislature he began to teach himself law by reading to become a lawyer and was admitted to the bar in 1837.

In 1842 he married Mary Todd and they lived in Springfield, Illinois and had four children: Robert, Edward, William and Thomas. Only one of them, Robert, lived to adulthood with the help of John Wilkes Booth’s brother who saved his life on a New Jersey train platform. Due to the deaths of three of their boys both Lincoln and his wife suffered from periods of depression, but it affected his wife the most.

In 1858 Lincoln ran against Stephen A. Douglas for Senator. He lost the election, but in debating with Douglas he gained a national reputation that won him the Republican nomination as the 16th President of the United States. In January 1861 Lincoln became the first president who was not born in one of the 13 original colonies. In his Inaugural Address Lincoln warned the South:

“In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you…. You have no oath registered in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect and defend it.”

As President, he built the Republican Party into a strong national organization. Further, he rallied most of the northern Democrats to the Union cause. On January 1, 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation that declared freedom for slaves within the Confederacy.

President Lincoln appointed to his Cabinet individuals who were the best and brightest but also some of his greatest political rivals. He demonstrated his leadership by pulling this group together into a unique team that represented the greatest minds of his time.

Kearns Goodwin author of Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln identified 10 qualities that made Lincoln a great leader.

Capacity to Listen to Different Points of View
Lincoln had the capacity to listen to different points of view. He created a climate where Cabinet members were free to disagree without fear of retaliation. At the same time, he knew when to stop the discussion and after listening to the various opinions, make a final decision.

Ability to Learn on the Job
Lincoln was able to acknowledge errors, learn from them, and then move. In this way, he established a culture of learning in his administration.

Ready Willingness to Share Credit for Success
When there was success, Lincoln shared the credit with all of those involved.

Ready Willingness to Share Blame for Failure
Lincoln stood up for members of his Cabinet when they made mistakes and when contracts related to the war effort raised serious questions about a member of his administration, Lincoln spoke up and indicated that he and his entire Cabinet were to blame.

Awareness of Own Weaknesses
Kearns Goodwin noted that one of the weaknesses acknowledged by Lincoln was his tendency to give people too many chances and because he was aware, he was able to compensate for that weakness.

Ability to Control Emotions
Lincoln did get angry and frustrated, but he found a way to channel those emotions. He would sit down and write what he referred to as a “hot letter” to the individual he was angry with and then he would set the letter aside and not send it. He treated those he worked with well and If he did lose his temper, he would follow-up with a kind gesture or letter to let the individual know he was not holding a grudge.

Know How to Relax and Replenish
Lincoln understood the importance of relaxation and humor to shake of the stress of the day and to replenish himself for the challenges of the next day. He had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to tell funny stories. He encouraged a healthy atmosphere of laughter and fun in his administration. He also enjoyed going to the theater and spending time with friends.

Go Out into the Field and Manage Directly
Lincoln established lasting connections with the troops by visiting the battlefields and hospitals. He also spent time talking with members of the public, he held public receptions and made a point of shaking everyone’s hand and speaking to each individual.

Strength to Adhere to Fundamental Goals
In the summer of 1864 the war was not going well for the North. Lincolns political party came to him and said that there was no way to win the war and he might need to compromise on slavery. He held firm on the issue of slavery and turned away from this advice.

Ability to Communicate Goals and Vision
Lincoln had a remarkable ability to communicate his goals to his countrymen. He made concepts simple and communicated with an understanding of the concerns of the citizens.

In 1864, Lincoln won re-election as the Union military celebrated the end to the war. In his planning for peace, the President was flexible and generous, encouraging Southerners to lay down their arms.

Lincoln never made the mistake of using words–either oral or written–merely for his own satisfaction. When he spoke or wrote, his objective was always to connect to the mind of somebody else.

In his second inaugural speech, which consisted of only 700 words, Lincoln did not focus on his achievements but on bringing the country together as expressed in the following excerpt.

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

In the 1920 article, “Lincoln as a Leader of Men”, Elihu Root outlined three qualities that Lincoln had as being;

1. Sympathy for all his fellow men. Secretary Stanton used to impatient with Lincoln because he would pardon men who should be shot; but no one can tell how much that quality in him drew the people of the country toward him and won their confidence and support. Lincoln was enabled to understand men and to appreciate how they felt, and why they acted as they did. He had faith that they could be set right when they were wrong.

2. Sense of proportion, or a sense of humor. He needed a sense of humor and one reason was because he continuously faced ridicule and name calling froLincoln Cartoonm his proponents. He was often depicted as an ape in cartoons due to a genetic disorder in which long-bones and nerve cells grow excessively. The Physical Lincoln shows that Lincoln had an extremely rare disease called MEN2B — multiple endocrine neoplasia, type 2B. Without treatment, people develop thyroid cancer and can also develop a tumor in the adrenal glands. About one person in a million has MEN2B. Very few doctors have ever seen a case.

3. Subordination of himself to his cause. During all these years he was not thinking about making Abraham Lincoln famous; he was thinking about putting an end to slavery and preserving the Union. It is interesting to observe that both Washington and Lincoln attained the highest pinnacles by thinking about their work and forgetting themselves.

On Good Friday, April 14, 1865, Lincoln was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre in Washington by John Wilkes Booth, an actor, who somehow thought he was helping the South. The opposite was the result, for with Lincoln’s death, the possibility of peace with magnanimity died.

 

Links;

Abraham Lincoln Biography

http://www.biography.com/people/abraham-lincoln-9382540#law-career

Abraham Lincoln

https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/presidents/abrahamlincoln

10 Qualities that Made Abraham Lincoln a Great Leader

http://hr.blr.com/whitepapers/Staffing-Training/Leadership/10-Qualities-that-Made-Abraham-Lincoln-a-Great-Lea

Lincoln as a Leader of Men

http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/lincoln-as-a-leader-of-men/

The Physical Lincoln

http://www.physical-lincoln.com/diagnosis.html

Abraham Lincoln Classroom

http://abrahamlincolnsclassroom.org/

Abraham Lincoln Facts: 27 Facts about Abraham Lincoln .

http://www.factslides.com/s-Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln Biography

http://www.biography.com/people/abraham-lincoln-9382540

50 interesting facts about Abraham Lincoln’s life

http://blog.constitutioncenter.org/2014/02/50-shades-of-abraham-lincoln-2/

Video

Abraham Lincoln – Mini Video Biography

https://youtu.be/L80_q2tPveo

Quotations by Abraham Lincoln

http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/quotes.htm

Books

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

http://amzn.to/1NS1vWd

Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times

http://amzn.to/1o1W9Cw

Lincoln

http://amzn.to/1oufInC

Lincoln: A Biography

http://amzn.to/1Wg3OZ4