I apologize to everyone for getting this up so late this morning. Starting next week I will make an effort to have PFF up by Thursday night--this to accommodate those of you who are on the other side of the world from us! Thank you everyone for your participation in PFF. I appreciate each and every one of you!
This coming Monday is President's Day in the United States. Most people take the day off to celebrate. President Abraham Lincoln is my favorite president. When I finally get to heaven, I will make a beeline for his mansion. For years, my Dad has told us, our family has ties to President Lincoln--we're shirt tail relatives, he says. But besides that, President Lincoln's wisdom and kindness speak to us down through the years. His insight, courage and rare brilliance are inspiring.
Five months before Abe Lincoln was nominated to run for President, he wrote of himself, "I was born Feb. 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky. My parents were both born in Virginia, of undistinguished families--second families, perhaps I should say. My mother, who died in my tenth year, was of a family of the name of Hanks.... My father ... removed from Kentucky to ... Indiana, in my eighth year.... It was a wild region, with many bears and other wild animals still in the woods. There I grew up.... Of course when I came of age I did not know much. Still somehow, I could read, write, and cipher ... but that was all."
Lincoln did all kinds of things before he became president. He worked on a farm, splitting rails for fences, and keeping store at New Salem, Illinois. He was a captain in the Black Hawk War, spent eight years in the Illinois legislature, and rode the circuit of courts for many years. His law partner said of him, "His ambition was a little engine that knew no rest."
He married Mary Todd, and they had four boys, only one of whom lived to maturity. In 1858 Lincoln ran against Stephen A. Douglas for Senator. He lost the election, but when he debated with Douglas he gained a national reputation which won him the Republican nomination for President in 1860.
As President, he built the Republican Party into a strong national organization. Further, he rallied most of the northern Democrats to the Union cause. On January 1, 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation which declared freedom for all slaves.
Lincoln never let the world forget that the Civil War involved an even larger issue. This he stated most movingly in dedicating the military cemetery at Gettysburg. He said, "that we here highly resolved 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."
Lincoln won re-election in 1864, as Union military triumphs heralded an end to the war. In his planning for peace, the President was flexible and generous, encouraging Southerners to lay down their arms and join speedily in reunion.
Then, on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, Lincoln was assassinated at Ford's Theater in Washington by John Wilkes Booth, an actor, who somehow thought he was helping the South. That was a sad day which rings it's sorrowful song down through the ages. I wonder what he could have done, if he had lived?
To see more wonderful postal stuff, visit Gemma at Greyscale Territory at Weekend Mailbox!