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    Авраам Линкольн

    Эту статью мне рекомендовала прочитать моя знакомая, которая научилась решать http://razgovorcnik.ru/semejnye-konflikty.html при помощи советов специалистов, психологов, женских хитростей. Сегодня в ее семье все спокойно. Among all presidents, Americans rank Abraham Lincoln at or near the top; they have done so for a long time. Lincoln’s life intrigues people, perhaps because he rose from backwoods obscurity to lead the Union in the Civil War. In summer 1999 a writer for American Heritage magazine asked a number of prominent people what attracted them to Lincoln. They responded: Abraham Lincoln 129 "I suppose part of the fascination is that [he] started from the bottom, and I started from the bottom,” said Mario M. Cuomo, former governor of New York. "[Lincoln once] said that ‘if the Negro is a man, is it not to that extent a total destruction of self-government to say that he too shall not govern himself?’ That is the Lincoln . . . when I found him, I was happy to meet . . .,” said John Hope Franklin, an African-American historian. "When people in my business would complain to me about how tough things were, I’d say: ‘Wait a minute! You got it easy, kid! Try to grow up in a lean-to, like Lincoln. Try to grow up in the life of Lincoln!’” said David L. Wolper, movie producer. Lincoln the self-made man; Lincoln the democrat; Lincoln the determined. These qualities stand out. Being human, Abraham Lincoln never acted perfectly, nor did he lack flaws, but throughout his presidency he provided leadership that was strong, compassionate, and sure. k Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, not quite in the "lean-to” described by David Wolper, but in a one-room log cabin with a dirt floor on his family’s Sinking Spring Farm near Hogdenville, Kentucky. When Abe was two years old his father, Thomas Lincoln, moved him; his mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln; and his sister, Sarah, to another farm near Knob Creek, Kentucky. Five years later he moved the family to Pigeon Creek in southern Indiana where Abe helped him build a log house deep in the woods, a "wild region,” Lincoln later recalled, "with many bears and other wild animals. . . .” In 1818 Nancy Hanks died, leaving Abe motherless. The following year Thomas married Sarah Bush, a widow with three small children. She immediately won Abe’s affection by bringing the two families together with kindness, and as she and Abe developed a strong bond, he called her "mama.” Sarah later said about her stepson, "Abe never gave me a cross word or look and never refused in fact, or even in appearance, to do anything I requested him. I never gave him a cross word in all my life.” Sarah fed Abe’s already developing appetite for books. He read The Pilgrim’s Progress and later adopted John Bunyan’s cadences for his speeches. He also read Aesop’s Fables, from which he learned about the strength of union, a lesson he would remember as president: "Three bulls for a long time pastured together. A Lion lay in ambush in the hope of making them his prey, but was afraid to attack them while they kept together. Having at last by guileful speeches succeeded in separating them, he attacked them without fear as they fed alone, and feasted on them one by one at his own leisure.” Young Abe emerged as a leader in school, and the students liked his storytelling and his jokes. But his bookish ways caused problems with his father, an uneducated frontiersman who thought Abe lazy. Perhaps for this reason Lincoln seldom mentioned him in favorable terms and in his late teens wanted desperately to get away from home. Abe got his first taste of a larger world in 1828, soon after his sister’s death. As a 6’4” skinny adolescent—so thin he had a "spidery look”—he accompanied the son of a store owner on a trip to New Orleans. They sailed down the Mississippi River on a flatboat laden with cargo, and when they reached their destination Lincoln saw for the first time a large number of slaves. At the docks the blacks worked in bondage amid a thousand other flatboats, loading and unloading carts and wagons, while a few blocks away whites bought and sold more of them—mere property auctioned under conditions fit more for farm animals than human beings. The sight shocked the young man, and he remembered his father’s dislike of slavery. As a Separate Baptist, the elder Lincoln thought slavery was morally wrong. When Abe Lincoln returned home, he gave his father the $25 he had earned. In 1830 he helped his family move to central Illinois, where they started a farm 10 miles west of Decatur. 130 Abraham Lincoln The following year he set out on his own and, after a second trip to New Orleans, settled in New Salem, an Illinois frontier town founded just two years earlier. There he clerked in a store and showed his physical strength when he beat the champion of a nearby settlement in a wrestling match. His neighbors thought him principled and later praised him; one said, "He was attentive to his business—was kind and considerate to his customers and friends and always treated [them] with great tenderness . . . and honesty.” New Salemites often turned to Lincoln for legal advice, and he drafted deeds and other basic forms for them, even though he was not then a lawyer. His budding interest in law coincided with an interest in politics, but before he ran for office, he volunteered in 1832 to join the military and fight against the Indians in what was called the Black Hawk War. His fellow soldiers elected him militia captain—"A success which gave me more pleasure than any I have had since,” he wrote in 1859—but he saw no combat and few Indians. He did, however, stumble across five dead white men, each with "a round, red spot on top of his head,” he said, indicating the Indians had scalped them. About his war adventure he once joked: "I had a good many struggles with the musquetoes.” He was honorably discharged later in the year. Lincoln’s military experience helped him politically by putting him in contact with men from around the state. In fall 1832 he ran for the Illinois legislature but lost when he finished eighth out of 13 candidates—though he won nearly every vote in New Salem. Lincoln next entered into a partnership and bought a general store. Because so few customers came in, he spent much of his time reading and studying grammar. As New Salem stagnated and its economy suffered, Lincoln’s store began failing, and in 1833 it collapsed. He subsequently took to splitting rails to make money before he was appointed the town’s postmaster. In that job he often went out of his way to serve people, walking several miles, for instance, to take mail to those who would forget to pick it up. He delivered many newspapers and read most of them, thus broadening his knowledge. To help make ends meet, he became a county surveyor, a job that required hacking through bushes and trees. In 1834 Lincoln ran for the legislature a second time and won as a Whig. When a resolution was introduced to condemn abolitionist societies and confirm that the Constitution guaranteed slavery, Lincoln stood among the few who opposed it. Yet though he called slavery unjust, he said the abolitionists only made it worse by angering Southerners and causing them to defend it. While in the legislature he started studying law and also fell in love with Ann Rutledge. They would likely have married, but in 1836 she died, probably from typhoid. The loss devastated Lincoln. He shook off this blow by running for another legislative term later that year. During the campaign, he and 16 other candidates rode on horseback from town to town, enduring saddle sores and inclement weather to speak at meetings. Lincoln called for the state to fund internal improvements, especially railroads, and with that stand he won. Back in office, he led a successful effort to move the state capital from Vandalia to Springfield, a town of about 1,500 people in Sangamon County. Then, with New Salem continuing to decline, in April 1837 he settled in Springfield, law license in hand, and formed a partnership with John Todd Stuart, a successful attorney. The legislature met in the county courthouse, one of the town’s few brick buildings. Log cabins lined most of the streets, and unpaved roads turned to mud in the rain and dust most other times, but here Lincoln built his clientele and expanded his political horizons. An amusing incident earned him renown, though not necessarily the kind he wanted. Near the end of the 1840 legislative session, Democrats sought to destroy the state bank by ending the suspension of specie payments as soon as the legislature adjourned, a move that would drain money from the vaults. Lincoln and other Whigs attempted to stop them with Abraham Lincoln 131 their own tactic: They would prevent a quorum from voting for adjournment by leaving the floor of the legislature. When they tried to exit, however, they found the doors bolted. Not to be outsmarted, they jumped out a second-story window. Their ploy failed when the legislature voted to adjourn anyway. Later, newspapers ridiculed Lincoln, with one saying he had never really jumped; he merely stretched his long legs from the second floor to the ground below. In addition to long legs, Abraham Lincoln had cold feet. In 1840 he and Mary Todd, a stubborn and spirited woman from a large, slave-owning Kentucky family, considered becoming engaged. Lincoln felt at ease with Mary. Like him, she read poetry, and like him, she identified with the Whigs. But marriage frightened him, so he broke off their relationship. Forlorn, he sank into a deep depression, causing his friends to worry he might kill himself. A few weeks later, Mrs. Simeon Francis, the wife of a Lincoln friend, intervened and reunited the couple. After seeing the happiness enjoyed by a recently wed friend, Lincoln married Mary in November 1842. Over the years they had four children and many tempestuous days. Mary felt ignored when her husband wanted to read or relax after his work in court, and as a result they often quarreled. She also tried his patience with her extravagant taste for clothes. Yet she championed him, and they remained strongly devoted to each other, though historians debate whether Lincoln was, like his friend, ever truly happy in marriage. Abraham Lincoln moved from the state legislature to the U.S. Congress after he defeated Peter Cartwright, a Democrat and Methodist preacher, in 1846. He recorded the largest victory margin in the history of the Seventh District, which included Springfield. The Illinoisan stirred controversy in December 1847 when he replied to President James K. Polk’s annual message by criticizing the U.S.-Mexican War. Most of the fighting in the war had ended, but Lincoln still wanted to discredit Polk, a Democrat. With his Spot Resolutions he wanted the House to demand from Polk "all the facts which go to establish whether the particular spot of soil on which the blood of our citizens was so shed, was, or was not, our own soil.” He supported a Whig resolution claiming Polk had "unnecessarily and unconstitutionally begun” the war. Lincoln said the United States had wronged Mexico by engaging in combat around the Rio Grande, a region that had never submitted to American rule. He called Polk’s insistence that Mexico was to blame for the war "the half-insane mumbling of a fever-dream” and described the president as "bewildered, confounded, and miserably perplexed.” Lincoln’s proposals never passed Congress, but they raised controversy in Illinois. Some Whigs cheered him; other voters questioned his patriotism. Years later, when he ran for president in 1860, Lincoln found himself having to defend his war stand by saying that despite his criticism he had "voted for all the supply measures which came up, and for all the measures in any way favorable to the officers, soldiers, and their families. . . .” To avoid dividing the Whig Party, Lincoln refrained from debating the Wilmot Proviso, a bill to ban slavery in the lands acquired from Mexico, though he voted in favor of it. He firmly supported Free-Soil, meaning he opposed allowing slavery in the West, and believed if slavery were contained where it already existed, it would die. By prior agreement with his Whig colleagues in Illinois, Lincoln served only one term in Congress. Disappointed with fellow Whig Zachary Taylor’s presidency, Lincoln concentrated on his law practice and for the moment turned his back on politics. Few persons with a political conscience could avoid the growing crisis between North and South, least of all Abraham Lincoln. He expressed his views on several occasions. In 1854 he spoke out against the Kansas-Nebraska Act that repealed the Missouri Compromise and allowed the settlers in Kansas territory to follow popular sovereignty, which allowed them to 132 Abraham Lincoln vote on whether to permit slavery. The act violated Lincoln’s Free-Soil principles. He criticized Illinois senator Stephen Douglas for writing the bill and stressed an important difference between them: Where Douglas considered blacks to be less than human, Lincoln believed them to be entitled to the republican rights enjoyed by all Americans. He did agree, however, that blacks were intellectually inferior to whites. Lincoln said he hated the "covert zeal for the spread of slavery.” He added: "I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself.” Yet he worried that blacks and whites could never live peacefully together, and since the 1840s he had supported overseas colonization for blacks. He believed that Southerners would be more willing to free their slaves if they knew they could avoid having to live next to them and that Northerners would more strongly support ending slavery if they knew blacks would migrate to foreign lands rather than into the North in search of jobs. At the same time, colonization would help blacks by showing they could stand on their own. Rather than forcing their removal, Lincoln wanted voluntary emigration. In 1855, one year after the Kansas- Nebraska Act, Lincoln ran for the U.S. Senate but lost. The following year he helped organize Republicans in Illinois and supported John C. Fremont’s bid for the presidency, a move that solidified his allegiance to the new party. Lincoln disagreed sharply with the Supreme Court’s ruling in the 1857 Dred Scott case, in which the justices said that when a master takes his slave into free territory, the slave remains in bondage. The justices added that the Missouri Compromise was invalid because it deprived persons of their property without due process of the law. The ruling struck hard at the Republicans, for it made it impossible to enforce the Free-Soil policy they promoted. To Lincoln, slavery went against all that his party stood for: self-help, social mobility, and economic independence. The Illinoisan strongly disagreed with Chief Justice Roger Taney’s argument that neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution applied to blacks. Lincoln said it was true that when the founding fathers declared all men equal, they never meant all men were equal in intellectual and physical attributes, but they "did consider all men created equal—equal in ‘certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’” Soon he worried there might be "a new Dred Scott decision to bring slavery up into the very heart of the free North.” In May 1858 Lincoln showed his legal prowess when he won acquittal for a murder defendant by using the almanac to shatter the testimony of an important witness as to the height of the moon at the time of the victim’s death. He then set his sights on winning the U.S. Senate seat from Democrat Stephen Douglas. That June he accepted the Republican nomination for the office with his "House Divided” speech, which crystallized ideas he had held for at least two years: "A house divided against itself cannot stand.” I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. . . . Either the opponents of slavery, will . . . place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will put it forward, till it shall become alike lawful in all the States, old as well as new—North as well as South. Autumn 1858 brought the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates, seven of them in all. Lincoln appeared in his ill-fitting clothes, looking as if he had just slept in them. To a question posed by Lincoln, Senator Douglas announced his Freeport Doctrine. He claimed that people of a territory can prevent slavery from taking root by refusing to enact the laws necessary to protect it. Lincoln had known that Douglas would likely answer this way, which would anger many fellow Democrats by saying, in effect, that slavery could be prevented from expanding. Abraham Lincoln 133 When Douglas charged Lincoln with supporting racial equality and promoting intermarriage between whites and blacks, Lincoln answered by saying he had never favored such a thing. Further, he said, he was not in favor "of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people.” After Lincoln lost the election, he thought his political career over. But the debates had earned him national prominence, and some Illinois newspapers said he should run for president. To someone who suggested the same, Lincoln said: "I admit the force of much of what you say, and admit that I am ambitious, and would like to be President.” Yet to someone else he said, "I do not think myself fit for the Presidency.” Instead, he indicated he would run against Douglas again in 1864. As the election of 1860 approached, the White House reentered Lincoln’s mind. That February he traveled to the northeast, where he delivered an impressive speech at Cooper Institute in New York City. He offered no new ideas, but summarized his thoughts succinctly and passionately. He stated: If any man at this day sincerely believes that a proper division of local from federal authority . . . forbids the Federal Government to control as to slavery in the federal territories, he is right to say so. . . . But he has no right to mislead others, who have less access to history, and less leisure to study it, into the false belief that ‘our fathers, who framed the Government under which we live,’ were of the same opinion. . . . Addressing the South, he stated: You charge that [Republicans] stir up insurrections among your slaves. We deny it; and what is your proof? Harper’s Ferry! John Brown!! John Brown was no Republican; and you have failed to implicate a single Republican in his Harper’s Ferry enterprise. He asked what it was that Southerners wanted and provided his own answer: This, and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right, And this must be done thoroughly—done in acts as well as in words. He concluded: LET US HAVE FAITH THAT RIGHT MAKES MIGHT, AND IN THAT FAITH, LET US, TO THE END, DARE TO DO OUR DUTY AS WE UNDERSTAND IT. As a snowstorm swirled outside, the crowd of about 1,500 interrupted him several times with cheers. In the following days northern newspapers praised him. The speech boosted his presidential standing—as he intended—by showing him committed to principle while also reflective and reasonable. Lincoln wrote his wife in a pleased but tempered tone: "The speech at New-York, being within my calculation before I started, went off passably well, and gave me no trouble whatever.” Lincoln’s supporters burnished his image with America’s love for the frontier. They stressed his log-cabin roots—this despite Lincoln’s own desire to forget his impoverished past—and presented him as a rail-splitter. In campaign literature he stood alongside the common man, despite his work as a prosperous lawyer representing corporations. Lincoln entered the Republican National Convention at Chicago as an appealing candidate who could carry both the Northeast and the Midwest. He won on the third ballot. As befitting a deeply divided country, in the general election four candidates ran for president. Lincoln made only one campaign appearance, at a rally in Springfield, but his supporters staged marches throughout the North, carrying torches and rails (to represent the "rail splitter”). In the balloting Lincoln won slightly less than 40 percent of the popular count, with 180 votes in the electoral college, compared to 72 for John Breckenridge, 39 for John Bell, and 12 for Stephen A. Douglas. Denied a spot on the ballot in the South, he received no votes there. 134 Abraham Lincoln Southerners considered Lincoln’s victory abominable. Since as Free-Soilers the Republicans wanted to contain slavery in order to strangle it, the South called Lincoln an abolitionist. To have him serve as president would mean an end to slavery and to "southern civilization.” For his part the president-elect never thought the South would leave the Union; nationalist sentiment, he predicted, would keep the radicals contained. That view proved misguided when in late 1860, before he even set foot in the White House, several Deep South states, led by South Carolina, seceded. Lincoln condemned the Southern action and strongly defended the Union. While in principle he supported the people’s right to revolt, he insisted it must be for a morally just cause, and the South had no such cause. As some Americans looked to him for a compromise, Lincoln refused to waver on the issue of slavery in the territories. The central plank of the Republican platform, he said, could not be ripped away. He told several congressmen: "By no act or complicity of mine, shall the Republican party become a mere sucked egg, all shell and no principle in it.” In March 1861 Lincoln headed for Washington and his inauguration with assassination threats all around him. To foil any attempt he departed his hotel in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, at night, with a coat draped over his shoulders and his arms concealed to make him seem shorter than he actually was. To complete the camouflage he donned a soft felt hat rather than the stovepipe one he usually wore. Lincoln boarded a special train with a guard and rode in a berth reserved for an "invalid passenger,” though the only invalid was the Union, crippled by secession and President James Buchanan’s failure to do anything about it. At Baltimore, Lincoln transferred to another train and then continued to Washington. He arrived there without incident, only to find several newspapers questioning his courage. In his inaugural speech Lincoln shifted the responsibility for rebellion to the South. "In your hands, my dissatisfied countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war,” he said. "The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict, without being yourselves the aggressors. 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.” If there were to be a war, Lincoln wanted Southerners to fire the first shots. That happened on April 12, 1861, when he tried to provision federal troops at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, and Confederate troops opened fire. Lincoln thereupon called for 75,000 volunteers to defend the Union and ordered a blockade of the South. Consequently, Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee joined the seceded states. On July 21 Confederate forces defeated Union troops at Bull Run (Manassas), causing Lincoln to replace his field commander with General George B. McClellan. A few weeks later he promoted McClellan to general-in-chief in charge of all the Union forces. By mid-July 1862 Lincoln was leaning toward freeing the slaves as a way to boost Northern morale in a war that had gone badly and to strike a blow for the North on the side of freedom and liberty. Yet he wanted to withhold emancipation until the North scored a victory, otherwise the Union might look desperate. His opportunity came when, on September 17, McClellan’s army met Robert E. Lee’s Confederates at Antietam, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, and forced Lee to pull back to Virginia. Four days later Lincoln issued his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation (to take effect January 1, 1863). The proclamation was a limited measure, freeing slaves only in those states in rebellion and not in those still in the Union, and thus it immediately freed hardly anyone because the federal government had no authority in the Confederacy. Nevertheless, Lincoln saw it as an effective measure to help save the Union by disrupting the Southern economy. He knew slaves in the South would hear about it, and he believed this would encourage them Abraham Lincoln 135 to defy their masters and rally around the Union troops as they penetrated the Confederacy. "I can only trust in God I have made no mistake,” Lincoln said. "It is now for the country and the world to pass judgment on it. . . .” At the same time the president moved toward emancipation, he and other Northerners debated using African Americans in the army. Any decision to enlist them would be a big step, one that would indicate a willingness to accept blacks as responsible human beings, perhaps even brave and courageous ones. Speaking in 1862 Frederick Douglass, an abolitionist and former slave, derided Lincoln’s reluctance: "Colored men . . . were good enough to help win American Independence, but they are not good enough to help preserve that independence against treason and rebellion.” One contemporary African American recalled: "Most observing and thoughtful people concluded that centuries of servitude had rendered the Negro slave incapable of any civil or military service. . . . Some [army] officers talked of resigning if Negroes were to be called upon to fight the battles of a free republic.” Soon after Lincoln agreed to use African- American troops, the New York Times observed: "There has been no more striking manifestation of the marvelous times that are upon us than the scene in our streets at the departure of the first colored regiments.” By the end of the Civil War, approximately 190,000 African Americans had served in the United States military. Despite the victory at Antietam, Lincoln grew disgusted with McClellan, who consistently failed to take the offensive. When in late October 1862 McClellan again refused to pursue Lee because of insufficient supplies, the president said to his general, "Will you pardon me for asking what the horses of your army have done since the battle of Antietam that fatigue anything?” A few days later he replaced McClellan with Ambrose E. Burnside. The year 1862 also presented Lincoln with personal catastrophe when his 11-year-old son, Willie, died from a fever. The loss devastated Lincoln, and Mary went into mourning for almost two years. She held seances in the White House to make contact with her dead son and said to her half sister, "Willie . . . comes to me every night and stands at the foot of the bed with the same sweet adorable smile he always has had. . . .” Because the war went no better in the first half of 1863, Lincoln again changed military commanders. After Lee defeated the Union army at Fredericksburg, Maryland, the president replaced Burnside with General Joseph Hooker. When Hooker faltered, he was replaced by General George Meade. While making these changes, Lincoln expanded his practice of suspending the writ of habeas corpus, and the government jailed and held without trial several hundred persons suspected of being traitors. To critics who claimed he had exceeded his authority, he said the Constitution provided for extraordinary measures in time of rebellion. Good news finally came in July 1863 when General Ulysses S. Grant captured Vicksburg, Mississippi, and blocked Confederate traffic along the Mississippi River. This split the western from the eastern Confederacy. Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania the Union army defeated General Lee after three days of battle, from July 1 through July 3, at Gettysburg. Lee withdrew on July 4, only to find his retreat south blocked by the flooded Potomac River. Lincoln ordered General Meade to pursue the enemy, but Meade hesitated, and once the Potomac subsided Lee escaped. An angry Lincoln said, "Our army held the war in the hollow of their hand and they would not close it.” In November Lincoln traveled to Pennsylvania to present his Gettysburg Address. According to his law partner, William Herndon, the president "saw all things through a perfect mental lens. There was no diffraction or refraction there. He was not impulsive, fanciful, or imaginative; but cold, calm, and precise. In the search for words Mr. Lincoln was often at a loss . . . because there were, in the vast store of words, so few that contained the exact coloring, power, and shape of his ideas.” 136 Abraham Lincoln True to his nature, Lincoln crafted the Gettysburg Address to be concise and strong. More than limiting his words, he mastered the art of finding powerful ones, of mining those potent enough to say a great deal in a few syllables. In Lincoln at Gettysburg, Garry Wills says the president’s address revolutionized writing and "anticipated the shift to vernacular rhythms that Mark Twain would complete twenty years later.” Wills claims that Lincoln’s words reflected the quickened pace of a world influenced by the telegraph and that the president used carefully interlocked and balanced sentences. "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,” Lincoln began. He ended: "It is . . . for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us . . . that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” It became increasingly clear in 1864 that Lincoln intended no Union soldier should die in vain. Impressed with Ulysses S. Grant’s victories in the West, he made him general-in-chief of the armies. Lincoln liked Grant’s direct language, his Illinois background, his down-toearth character, and his willingness to press on against the Confederates at nearly all costs. The president believed Northern generals had relied too heavily on complicated strategy; he wanted an unremitting assault against the Confederates, and on this point Grant agreed. Heeding Lincoln’s demand, the new commander unleashed simultaneous attacks against Mobile in Alabama, Atlanta in Georgia, and Petersburg and Richmond in Virginia. As the war seemed unending, Abraham Lincoln entered the 1864 election convinced he would lose. Everywhere, his critics vented their fury. Some called him too lenient toward the South; others called him too harsh. In Congress, Republicans considered his reconstruction plan too forgiving. Tension between Lincoln and Capitol Hill grew worse when he pocket vetoed the Wade-Davis Bill, which would have set more stringent rules for the South to regain its normal standing in the government and would have put reconstruction largely in congressional rather than presidential hands. Throughout the North, protests expanded as war casualties mounted. Grant’s tactic of taking heavy losses to wear down the Confederates unnerved many, while Lincoln’s insistence that any settlement with the South include an end to slavery caused Democrats to ridicule him as fighting for blacks. Lincoln felt so sure he would be defeated that he wrote to a friend in August: "You think I don’t know I am going to be beaten, but I do and unless some great change takes place badly beaten.” He even faced a movement among radical Republicans to dump him as the party nominee. But the Democrats had their own problems. In August they nominated George McClellan, only to have him turn around and renounce the party platform as a surrender to the South. Then in September news spread throughout the North of the capture of Atlanta and, soon after that, of Mobile, the last major Confederate port along the Gulf Coast. Abraham Lincoln had turned from an apparent loser to a definite winner. His reelection disappointed the South, where newspapers called him a dictator and a "vulgar buffoon.” After the election Lincoln struck another blow against slavery when he used patronage to cajole Congress to pass the Thirteenth Amendment, which banned the peculiar institution. On April 3, 1865, the Confederate capital of Richmond fell to the North. Six days later General Lee surrendered to General Grant at Appomattox Court House. Lincoln then prepared to turn from making war to making peace. Others, however, were preparing to kill him. Threatening letters arrived at the White House in ever greater numbers, yet he ignored them and did nothing to boost security. John Wilkes Booth, a stage actor, originally schemed to kidnap Lincoln and tried on March 17, Abraham Lincoln 137 1865, but the president, riding in a carriage, took an unexpected route. After listening to Lincoln address a crowd on April 11, when he said that some blacks should be given the right to vote, Booth decided the president should be killed. He reacted to Lincoln’s comments by saying, "That means nigger citizenship;” and he said about the president, "That is the last speech he will ever make.” The Lincolns planned to see the play Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater in Washington on the night of April 14. As the time to leave approached, Mary said she had a headache and wanted to stay home. Lincoln insisted they must go, that he had promised too many people he would be there; therefore they went. Later that evening, after finishing a drink at a nearby bar, Booth entered the theater, made his way into the president’s box, and aimed a derringer at the president’s skull, three inches behind the left ear. "Sic semper tyrannis!” ("Thus always to tyrants”—the Virginia state motto) he cried after he fired the pistol and leaped from the president’s box onto the stage below. Conspirators working with Booth also planned to kill Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William Seward but failed, though one assailant entered Seward’s home and knifed and badly bloodied him. Lincoln, meanwhile, was carried across the street to a boardinghouse and laid diagonally across a bed too small for his long frame. Mary watched in shock, and Lincoln’s son Robert stood vigil. Shortly after 7 A.M. on April 15, as rain fell, Lincoln died. One of those at his bedside, Secretary of War Edward Stanton, said, "Now he belongs to the ages.” In the 1999 American Heritage article, businessman Lewis Lehrman commented: "I learned that the untutored chief magistrate of a great nation could be the unsurpassed master of his enemies, above all the master of himself. There for the first time I sensed the meaning of true American statesmanship.” This comment and the others recorded by the magazine show the continuing respect Americans have for Lincoln nearly 150 years after his death, a grand and eloquent monument to his strong, compassionate,
    and often wise leadership.

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