To inspire your generosity, a kind donor has pledged to match all gifts in honor of Lincoln’s birthday. Your tax deductible gift to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation will be doubled and make history come alive for students and visitors through creative exhibits, theater, and education programming. Together, through Lincoln’s humane example, we can help new generations understand our past and build a better future.
Lincoln’s story is one for the ages and should live in the hearts of Americans to come. It began in a tiny cabin on Sinking Spring Farm. His mother taught him to read when he was remarkably young, and neighbors thought it was very strange that so small a boy was able to read. His mother died of milk sickness which broke Lincoln’s heart: “all that I am or ever hope to be I owe to her.”
Abraham rarely attended school because he had to work the farm. He recalled: “there were some schools, so called, but no qualification was ever required of a teacher beyond readin’ writin’ and cipherin’ to the rule of three. If a straggler supposed to understand Latin happened to sojourn in the neighborhood, he was looked upon as a wizard.”
His new stepmother described him as a boy of “uncommon natural talents” and found books to encourage his quest for knowledge. He learned the law on his own and developed an astonishing power over words. It is likely his speeches will be forever remembered as the some of the most stirring examples of the English language ever written.
Lincoln used his hard-won knowledge and uncommon natural talents to safeguard democracy and end slavery. He spent the last weeks of his life vigorously pushing the 13th Amendment through Congress to eradicate the evil practice of human bondage.
Lincoln’s compassion and vision are best summed up in his Second Inaugural Address: “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, 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.”
He died at 56 with his moral and intellectual powers intact. Many historians doubt that our country would have survived had someone with less integrity been in the White House. We need to encourage new generations to model Lincoln’s leadership qualities like selflessness, compassion, determination, humility, honesty and clarity.
Please double your impact today to celebrate Lincoln’s astonishing life and share his story with generations to come.
The Board and Staff of ALPLF