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Lincolns Journey to Emancipation He comes to us in the mists of legend as a kind of homespun Socrates brimming with prarie wit and folk wisdom There is a counterlegend of Lincoln one shared ironically enough by many white Southerners and certain black Americans of our time Neither of these views of course reveals much about the man who really lived--legend and political interpretations seldom do As a man Lincoln was complex many-sided and richly human He was an intense brooding person he was plagued with chronic depression most of his life At the time he even doubted his ability to please or even care about his wife Lincoln remained a moody melancholy man given to long introspection about things like death and mortality Preoccupied with death he was also afraid to insanity Lincoln was a teetotaler because liquor left him flabby and undone blurring his mind and threatening his self-control One side of Lincoln was always Supremely logical and analytical he was intrigued by the clarity of mathematics As a self-made man Lincoln felt embarrassed about his log-cabin origins and never liked to talk about them By the 1850s Lincoln was one of the most sought after attorney in Illinois with a reputation as a lawyers lawyer Though a man of status and influence Lincoln was as honest in real life as in legend Politically Lincoln was always a nationalist in outlook an outlook that began when he was an Indiana farm boy tilling his farther mundane wheat field Lincoln always maintained that he had always hated human bondage as much as any abolitionist He realized how wrong it was that slavery should exist at all in a self-proclaimed free Republic He opposed slavery too because he had witnessed some of its evils firsthand What could be done So went Lincolns argument before 1854 To solve the ensuing problem of racial adjustment Lincoln insisted that the federal government should colonize
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