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Activity in politics also produces eager competition and sharp rivalry.
– John George Nicolay
It may be assumed as an axiom that Providence has never gifted any political party with all of political wisdom or blinded it with all of political folly.
Lincoln’s removal from New Salem to Springfield and his entrance into a law partnership with Major John T. Stuart begin a distinctively new period in his career.
While Lincoln thus became a lawyer, he did not cease to remain a politician.
Lincoln’s stature and strength, his intelligence and ambition – in short, all the elements which gave him popularity among men in New Salem, rendered him equally attractive to the fair sex of that village.
Very few men are fortunate enough to gain distinction during their first term in Congress.
In the early West, law and politics were parallel roads to usefulness as well as distinction.
The death of Mrs. Lincoln was a serious loss to her husband and children. Abraham’s sister Sarah was only eleven years old, and the tasks and cares of the little household were altogether too heavy for her years and experience.
Nobody understood better than Mr. Lincoln the obvious truth that in politics it does not suffice merely to nominate candidates. Something must also be done to elect them.
The function of the politician, therefore, is one of continuous watchfulness and activity, and he must have intimate knowledge of details if he would work out grand results.
It turned out in the long run that Lincoln’s credit and the popular confidence that supported it were as valuable both to his creditors and himself as if the sums which stood over his signature had been gold coin in a solvent bank.
The meetings of the legislature at Springfield then first brought together that splendid group of young men of genius whose phenomenal careers and distinguished services have given Illinois fame in the history of the nation.
It is therefore not to be wondered at that Lincoln’s single term in the House of Representatives at Washington added practically nothing to his reputation.