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.

Support the Cause

Proceeds from the sale of these high-quality t-shirts will be given to students who win our "Before They Were Famous" essay contest. Buy a shirt and support the winning students today.

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.

Glenn Beck: Why MLK's pledge of NONVIOLENCE is the key to saving America

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Listen to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s pledge of nonviolence and really let it sink in: "Remember always that the nonviolent movement seeks justice and reconciliation — not victory."

On the radio program, Glenn Beck shared King's "ten commandments" of nonviolence and the meaning behind the powerful words you may never have noticed before.

"People will say nonviolent resistance is a method of cowards. It is not. It takes more courage to stand there when people are threatening you," Glenn said. "You're not necessarily the one who is going to win. You may lose. But you are standing up with courage for the ideas that you espouse. And the minute you engage in the kind of activity that the other side is engaging in, you discredit the movement. You discredit everything we believe in."

Take MLK's words to heart, America. We must stand with courage, nonviolently, with love for all, and strive for peace and rule of law, not "winning."

Watch the video below for more:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Conservatives are between a rock and a hard place with Section 230 and Big Tech censorship. We don't want more government regulation, but have we moved beyond the ability of Section 230 reforms to rein in Big Tech's rising power?

Rachel Bovard, Conservative Partnership Institute's senior director of policy, joined the Glenn Beck radio program to give her thoughts and propose a possibly bipartisan alternative: enforcing our existing antitrust laws.

Watch the video below:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Dan Bongino, host of The Dan Bongino Show, is an investor in Parler — the social media platform that actually believes in free speech. Parler was attacked by Big Tech — namely Amazon, Apple, and Google — earlier this week, but Bongino says the company isn't giving up without a fight. In fact, he says, he's willing to go bankrupt over this one.

Dan joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to detail what he calls a "smear" campaign behind the scenes, and how he believes we can move forward from Big Tech's control.

"You have no idea how bad this was behind the scenes," Dan told Glenn. "I know you're probably thinking ... well, how much worse can the attack on Parler have gotten than three trillion-dollar companies — Amazon, Apple, and Google — all seemingly coordinated to remove your business from the face of the Earth? Well, behind the scenes, it's even worse. I mean, there are smear campaigns, pressure campaigns ... lawyers, bankers, everyone, to get this company ... wiped from the face of the earth. It's incredible."

Dan emphasized that he would not give up without a fight, because what's he's really fighting for is the right to free speech for all Americans, regardless of their political opinions, without fear of being banned, blacklisted, or losing jobs and businesses.

"I will go bankrupt. I will go absolutely destitute before I let this go," he said. "I have had some very scary moments in my life and they put horse blinders on me. I know what matters now. It's not money. It's not houses. It's none of that crap. It's this: the ability to exist in a free country, where you can express your ideas freely."

Watch the video below to hear more from Dan:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Joe Biden's administration is getting ready for something historic, but we're all being distracted. And now that Biden has hired at least 14 former or current executives from Big Tech — experts at colluding to censor unflattering news about Biden — Americans must be laser-focused on what's coming.

On January 20, the most corrupt president in American history will be inaugurated, and it looks like some of his cabinet choices were picked specifically so everything just – poof – goes away. The administration nominees appear to be all about preserving corruption, crony capitalism, and executing a Great Reset. Those same people also have one more thing in common: Ukraine.

On his Wednesday night special this week, Glenn exposes their radical agenda in their own words and gives U.S. senators the questions they must ask before confirming corrupt nominees to some of the highest offices in the country.


Freedom of speech is important. Here at BlazeTV, we work hard to bring you the truth from the most pro-America network in the country, free from Big Tech censors. Support free speech by supporting BlazeTV. Get our largest discount ever: $30 off a one-year subscription with code GLENN. Show your support and join us today!