Lincoln had a powerful impact, ranging from love to hate, on his fellow Americans. His appearance disarmed people, causing both his friends, rivals, and enemies to underestimate him. The northern political establishment, including his own cabinet, was continually astonished that this seeming country bumpkin was able to outwit them politically and outthink them intellectually. Among southerners and Confederate sympathizers, his name was anathema. Among African Americans, the president had to prove to them his political and emotional sympathy to the abolitionist cause. And amid the high political drama of the Civil War, Lincoln still attempted to keep life as normal as possible for both himself and his family.
This section presents a sampling of people whose lives intersected with Lincoln's in one way or another during both his rise to prominence and his presidency. These portraits are not on view in the exhibition.
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