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CHARLES G. LELAND
When in a republic a good, wise, and powerful citizen appears, which is but seldom,
MACHIAVELLI, Florentine History, Book IV. chap. i.
MAKE no apology for adding another "Life of
Abraham Lincoln” to the many already written, as I believe it impossible to make such an example of successful perseverance allied to honesty, as the great President gave, too well known to the world. And as I know of no other man whose life shows so perfectly what may be effected by resolute selfculture, and adherence to good principles in spite of obstacles, I infer that such an example cannot be too extensively set before all young men who are ambitious to do well in the truest sense.
There are also other reasons why it should be studied. The life of Abraham Lincoln during his Presidency is simply that of his country—since he was so intimately concerned with every public event of his time, that as sometimes happens with photographs, so with the biography of Lincoln and the history of his time, we cannot decide whether the great picture was enlarged from the smaller one, or the smaller reduced from a greater. His career also fully proves that extremes meet, since in no despotism is there an example of any one who ever governed so great a country so thoroughly in detail as did this Republican of Republicans, whose one thought was simply to obey the people.
It is of course impossible to give within the limits of a small book all the details of a busy life, and also the history of the American Emancipation and its causes; but I trust that I have omitted little of much importance. The books to which I have been chiefly indebted, and from which I have borrowed most freely, are the lives of Lincoln by W. H. Lamon, and by my personal friends H. J. Raymond and Dr. Holland; and also the works referring to the war by J. N. Arnold, F. B. Carpenter, L. P. Brockett, A. Boyd, G. W. Bacon, J. Barrett, Adam Badean, and F. Moore.
C. G. L. Fune, 1879