Abraham Lincoln's Legacy Began Long Before He Was Famous

Abraham Lincoln, the Lawyer

Abraham Lincoln was one of the greatest presidents of our time. He was the 16th president of the Unites States, "Savior of the Union," and the man who freed the slaves. However, many of us have never looked at the history before he was president, or how he worked as a very successful lawyer before his presidency. Lincoln's profile as a lawyer led him to become the 16th President of the United States, and his hard working and compassionate behavior came into play well before he sought his law degree.

Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 in Hodgerville, Kentucky. His mother died when he was young and his father remarried Sara Johnston, who raised him along with three other children of her own. Though illiterate herself, Lincoln's step-mother encouraged him to learn to read from a young age. Reading material was in short while Lincoln was growing up, and he would walk for miles just to borrow a book. Lincoln only received about 18 months of formal education, typically a few days at a time. He was one of the few people who could read and write and was known as an excellent storyteller.

Before starting his career as a lawyer, Lincoln worked in many other capacities, including as a shoe keeper, postmaster and general store owner. In 1932, Lincoln was elected by his peers to be a military captain when a conflict between the United States and the Native Americans arose, known as the Black Hawk War. After the conflict, Lincoln officially began his political career and was elected to the Illinois State legislature. In 1834, he was a member of the Whig Party, a political party that strongly advised for U.S. Congress supremacy over the President (Biography.com Editors, 2016).

Around this time, being a member the Illinois State legislature, Lincoln decided to become a lawyer, teaching himself the law by reading William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England. He actually argued and won cases prior to passing the bar in 1836, and in 1837 he was an officially licensed lawyer. He knew this was the path to go so he packed up and moved to Springfield, Illinois and began to practice at the John T. Stuart Law firm. He soon became a lawyer with a partner, but soon sought more work because there was not enough work in Springfield. Lincoln served a single term in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1847 to 1849. He was vocal and spoke out against the Mexican-American War, although it was not a popular opinion back home. After his one term, he returned to Springfield again to practice law. He served as a lobbyist for the Illinois Central Railroad as its company attorney. Several court cases were successful and this brought other business clients as well, such as banks, insurance companies and manufacturing firms. Lincoln participated in many criminal trials as well. He did cases in the Illinois Supreme Court and was a well-known, respected lawyer. He could solve very complex problems and be flexible in everyday matters (Biography.com Editors, 2016), (James, 1995).

Lincoln’s profession as a lawyer contributed to his rise to presidency in many ways. After leaving the Whig Party, he joined the New Republican Party in 1856. It was made up of many former Whigs who opposed slavery. These gentlemen were called “Conscience Whigs.” They took a firm stand against slavery. Personally, this is where I think his ambition and compassion came in to help free slaves later on in his life. If Lincoln would not have become a lawyer, then he never would have had the impact he did to abolish slavery and stress equal rights. Lincoln could make a strong, informed impact (Miller Center of Public Affairs, 2008).

In comparing my own traits to Lincoln's, I think about my passion. Right now in my life, I am a dancer. I eat, sleep and breathe dance. If I wouldn't have tried out for my school’s drill team, I would never have known how much I love to dance and how I want to help others succeed in their passion. One day, I want to help children all over the world learn how to express their feelings through the art of dance. When Lincoln joined the Republican Party, I imagine he had no idea how much it was going to impact him on slavery. He found his ultimate purpose. The passion that started as a child, learning to read on his own, passing the bar, trying cases and entering the political field brought him to find one of his truest passions. Although abolishing slavery was much important than my passion for dance, I know how a passion and a purpose can take extra meaning in life. I know I want to help others be inspired and learn. It only takes one small step and a purpose.

The name “Abraham Lincoln” is a strong, powerful name that everyone knows. I personally think his name means "honesty," "compassion" and "hard work." It means strength because he always had the ability of never giving up, no matter how hard times could be and how strong the opposition was. "Honesty," because he seemed to tell exactly what he thought, not just what people wanted to hear. "Compassion," because of the multiple people he continued to care for throughout his whole life, even the ones who were not blood-related. Finally, I believe "hard work" describes Lincoln best. He never failed working throughout his childhood, career as a lawyer and especially during his role as President. He never gave up. He worked until he abolished slavery, which he could not have done without the knowledge and expertise he gained as a lawyer first.

Without Lincoln’s profession as a lawyer, he probably would not have been our 16th President of the United States. If he had not taught himself to read, he would not have been a lawyer. He would not have led the crusade for the abolishment of slavery. He would not have been the "Savior of the Union." A hard working, compassionate man, Lincoln's legacy continues to inspire people to this day never to give up.

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The following was written by an 11th grader from Kilgore High School and the winner of our "Before They Were Famous" essay writing contest exploring the early life Abraham Lincoln.

Acclaimed environmentalist and author of "Apocalypse Never" Michael Shellenberger joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Wednesday to warn us about the true goals and effects of climate alarmism: It's become a "secular religion" that lowers standards of living in developed countries, holds developing countries back, and has environmental progress "exactly wrong."

Michael is a Time "Hero of the Environment," Green Book Award winner, and the founder and president of Environmental Progress. He has been called a "environmental guru," "climate guru," "North America's leading public intellectual on clean energy," and "high priest" of the environmental humanist movement for his writings and TED talks, which have been viewed more than 5 million times. But when Michael penned a stunning article in Forbes saying, "On Behalf of Environmentalists, I Apologize for the Climate Scare", the article was pulled just a few hours later. (Read more here.)

On the show, Micheal talked about how environmental alarmism has overtaken scientific fact, leading to a number of unfortunate consequences. He said one of the problems is that rich nations are blocking poor nations from being able to industrialize. Instead, they are seeking to make poverty sustainable, rather than to make poverty history.

"As a cultural anthropologist, I've been traveling to poorer countries and interviewing small farmers for over 30 years. And, obviously there are a lot of causes why countries are poor, but there's no reason we should be helping them to stay poor," Michael said. "A few years ago, there was a movement to make poverty history ... [but] it got taken over by the climate alarmist movement, which has been focused on depriving poor countries, not just of fossil fuels they need to develop, but also the large hydroelectric dams."

He offered the example of the Congo, one of the poorest countries in the world. The Congo has been denied the resources needed to build large hydroelectric dams, which are absolutely essential to pull people out of poverty. And one of the main groups preventing poor countries from the gaining financing they need to to build dams is based in Berkeley, California — a city that gets its electricity from hydroelectric dams.

"It's just unconscionable ... there are major groups, including the Sierra Club, that support efforts to deprive poor countries of energy. And, honestly, they've taken over the World Bank [which] used to fund the basics of development: roads, electricity, sewage systems, flood control, dams," Micheal said.

"Environmentalism, apocalyptic environmentalism in particular, has become the dominant religion of supposedly secular people in the West. So, you know, it's people at the United Nations. It's people that are in very powerful positions who are trying to impose 'nature's order' on societies," he continued. "And, of course, the problem is that nobody can figure out what nature is, and what it's not. That's not a particular good basis for organizing your economy."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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Dr. Voddie Baucham, Dean of Theology at African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia, joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to explain why he agrees with Vice President Mike Pence's refusal to say the phrase "Black Lives Matter."

Baucham, who recently drew national attention when his sermon titled "Ethnic Gnosticism" resurfaced online, said the phrase has been trademarked by a dangerous, violent, Marxist movement that doesn't care about black lives except to use them as political pawns.

"We have to separate this movement from the issues," Baucham warned. "I know that [Black Lives Matter] is a phrase that is part of an organization. It is a trademark phrase. And it's a phrase designed to use black people.

"That phrase dehumanizes black people, because it makes them pawns in a game that has nothing whatsoever to do with black people and their dignity. And has everything to do with a divisive agenda that is bigger than black people. That's why I'm not going to use that phrase, because I love black people. I love being black."

Baucham warned that Black Lives Matter -- a radical Marxist movement -- is using black people and communities to push a dangerous and divisive narrative. He encouraged Americans to educate themselves on the organization's agenda and belief statement.

"This movement is dangerous. This movement is vicious. And this movement uses black people," he emphasized. "And so if I'm really concerned about issues in the black community -- and I am -- then I have to refuse, and I have to repudiate that organization. Because they stand against that for which I am advocating."

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We're going to be doing an amazing broadcast on Thursday, July 2nd, and we will be broadcasting a really important moment. It is restoring truth. It is restoring our history. It is asking to you make a covenant with God. The covenant that was made by the Pilgrims. And it's giving you a road map of things that we can do, to be able to come back home, together.

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On last week's Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck revealed where the Black Lives Matter organization really gets its funding, and the dark money trail leading to a cast of familiar characters. Shortly after the program aired, one of BLM's fiscal sponsors, Thousand Currents, took down its board of directors page, which featured one of these shady characters:

Ex-Marxist professor and author of "Beyond Woke," Michael Rectenwald, joined Glenn Beck on the TV show to fill us in on the suspicious change he discovered on the Thousand Currents webpage and the Communist terrorists who is now helping run the organization. (Fortunately, the internet is forever, so it is still possible to view the board of directors page by looking at a web archive from the WayBack Machine.)

Rectenwald revealed the shocking life history of Thousand Currents' vice chair of the board, Susan Rosenberg, who spent 16 years in federal prison for her part in a series of increasingly violent acts of terrorism, including bombing the U.S. Capitol building, bombing an FBI building, and targeting police for assassination.

"Their whole campaign was one of unbelievably vicious, murderous cop killings, assassinations, and bombings," explained Rectenwald of Rosenberg's terror group known as the May 19th Communist Organization or M19.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

Glenn's full investigation into the dark origins of the funding behind Black Lives Matter is available for BlazeTV subscribers. Not a subscriber? Use promo code GLENN to get $10 off your BlazeTV subscription or start your 30-day free trial today.

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