Lincoln the Father

I’m sure you’re all aware on the ways in which Abraham Lincoln has been mined as a source of wisdom, a model of leadership skills, and goodness knows what else. However, Sal Litwak’s reflections on Lincoln as father deserve our attention.

Sal gets Lincoln as few people do.

8 thoughts on “Lincoln the Father

  1. Lyle Smith July 30, 2013 / 2:30 pm

    I’m not a parent yet, but I have nieces and godchildren and I have to concur about getting on the floor with children. They will absolutely love and respect you for it.

    Lincoln was just a good man. Grant too. Both are good models in fatherhood from what I can tell.

    • Will Hickox July 30, 2013 / 3:28 pm

      … except that Grant (if Fred Grant is to be believed) let his son wander all over battlefields and come close to taking a rebel bullet.

      • Lyle Smith July 30, 2013 / 7:10 pm

        He did, but I like that about Grant. He wasn’t overly protective.

        • Nancy Winkler July 31, 2013 / 12:34 pm

          It was Mrs. Grant’s harebrained idea to let her son accompany his father as an educational experience. Gen. Grant left the headquarters boat when Fred was asleep. When the boy awoke he followed his father. When he caught up to him, it was too late to send him back. Fred was not that close to the action. The bullet he took was slow-moving, nearly out of range, making a painful though nonlethal wound. I don’t think Grant would have deliberately exposed his son to danger.

  2. Sal Litvak July 30, 2013 / 4:33 pm

    Thanks so much, Brooks! Truly appreciated. I had a great day today with my daughter at the Lincoln Exhibition at the Reagan Presidential Library. She loved seeing our ‘Saving Lincoln’ poster alongside the ‘Lincoln’ poster, and our Lincoln-tests-a-Spencer-rifle scene playing on a monitor over an original Spencer, but I think she was most intrigued by Lincoln’s commode and Mary’s chamber pot! 🙂

  3. Brad July 30, 2013 / 9:49 pm

    On the other hand, from what I’ve read Lincoln was remarkably indulgent with his children, not always a good policy. From what I recall Herndon was not too flattering in how Lincoln let his children around. This was probably a reaction to Lincoln’s relationship with his father, which was not at all good.

  4. Ann Kunkle-Jones July 31, 2013 / 7:37 am

    Excellent article! I believe Lincoln was a “modern” parent before anyone knew what that was. He probably seemed very indulgent to his children based upon what the child-rearing norms of the era were.

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