Born into poverty, Lincoln was faced with defeat throughout his life. He lost eight elections, twice failed in business and suffered a nervous breakdown.
He could have quit many times – but he didn’t and because he didn’t quit, he became one of the greatest presidents in the United States history.
Here is a sketch of Lincoln’s road to the White House:
- 1816 His family was forced out of their home. He had to work to support them.
- 1818 His mother died.
- 1831 Failed in business.
- 1832 Ran for state legislature – lost.
- 1832 Also lost his job – wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
- 1833 Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
- 1834 Ran for state legislature again – won.
- 1835 Was engaged to be married, sweetheart died and his heart was broken.
- 1836 Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
- 1838 Sought to become speaker of the state legislature – defeated.
- 1840 Sought to become elector – defeated.
- 1843 Ran for Congress – lost.
- 1846 Ran for Congress again – this time he won – went to Washington and did a good job.
- 1848 Ran for re-election to Congress – lost.
- 1849 Sought the job of land officer in his home state – rejected.
- 1854 Ran for Senate of the United States – lost.
- 1856 Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – get less than 100 votes.
- 1858 Ran for U.S. Senate again – again he lost.
- 1860 Elected president of the United States.