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Commemorating a Great Lawyer: Abraham Lincoln

July 13, 2015 Hastings and Hastings

Born in the rolling hills of Kentucky, Lincoln grew up a self-educated man with few resources with the exception of a huge heart. As a child, people thought he was a future Rip Van Winkle in the making, spending most his days reading, writing, ciphering, writing poetry, and studying mathematics. His family members considered him lazy because he detested the hard labor associated with frontier life. But although Lincoln was essentially a book worm, he was known for his strength, height, and his fearless disposition.

Lincoln began his professional career as an owner of a general store on credit in New Salem, Illinois. The business struggled, but Lincoln managed to sell his share before the company went under. He dabbled in politics as he ran for general assembly in Illinois, but was once again unsuccessful. After serving as a solider in the Black Hawk War, and the postmaster of Illinois, Lincoln decided he would become a lawyer. He began studying Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England and he was admitted to the bar in 1836, where he began practicing law under John T. Stuart.  Here, Lincoln made a name for himself. His reputation as a lawyer was one of a fearless attorney with an aptitude for hard hitting cross examinations and closing arguments.

Like most great politicians, Lincoln was called to service. He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1846, serving one two-year term for the Whig party, the only Whig included in the Illinois delegation.  It was at this time that Lincoln drafted a bill, alongside Joshua Giddings to abolish slavery. However the bill was shot down.

Eventually, Lincoln made his way to the White House where he was elected President in 1860.  He was selected as the 16th president of the United States amidst the great secession and the civil war. But, he went on to reunite the colonies, abolish slavery, and become one of the greatest presidents of all time before being assassinated in a public theater.