Lincoln’s Patience and Ambition

February 12, 2015 – Harrisburg Patriot News

When 23-year-old Abraham Lincoln won election as his militia company captain in the Black Hawk War, the new officer told a friend: “I’ll be damned, Bill, but I’ve beat him!” Preparing to run for president in 1860, Lincoln wrote that he had “not since had any success in life which gave him so much satisfaction” as his election as militia captain. A child of the hardscrabble frontier, Lincoln was ambitious but he managed to keep his expectations of preferment in check. “I have been too familiar with disappointments to be much chagrined,” he wrote in announcing his candidacy for the Illinois State Legislature the spring of 1832.

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