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Robert Todd Lincoln was Abraham’s eldest son, and was incredibly successful as a Chicago lawyer and businessman (Chair of Pullman) in his own right. But he stayed away from politics like the plage, as I describe in my essay “Dodging the Shadow of Greatness,” in my new book  of essays presented before the Chicago Literary Club, “Apple Pressings,” now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Booklocker.com.

But Bob Lincoln, as his friends called him, had the heart of a political leader, as evidenced by his speech at the anniversary of the Lincoln/Douglas debate:

He said, “In our country, there are no ruling classes. The right to direct public affairs according to the might and influence and conscience belongs to the humblest as well as the greatest. The elections represent the judgments of individual voters. ..the power of the people.. by their judgments expressed through the ballot box, to shape their own destinies, sometimes makes one tremble.

“But it is in times of danger, critical moments, that brings into action the high national quality of the citizenship of America. The people are always true. They are always right., and I have an abiding faith they will remain so. ”

Let’s hope this carries forward in the coming elections.

 

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