Road to presidency a slippery path

Excerpt from the Register-Mail’s “Tracking History”:

If you want to find an example of someone who refused to quit, look no further than our nation’s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln.

Abe was born into poverty, had virtually no formal education, failed as a businessman and lost eight elections. Because he refused to quit he became one of the greatest presidents in history of the United States.

Indeed Lincoln’s path to the presidency was worn and slippery. In 1854 after a failed attempt to be elected to the United States Senate, Abe commented, “My foot slipped from under me, knocking the other foot out of the way, but I recovered and said to myself that it was only a slip and not a fall.”

In 1858 Lincoln challenged incumbent Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas. Although Douglas would be re-elected, a series of debates throughout Illinois propelled Lincoln to a run for the presidency two years later. Historians have proclaimed that the famous Lincoln-Douglas in 1858, especially one held in Galesburg at Knox College, was instrumental in turning Lincoln’s future in a positive direction.