Congratulations, young Mr. Lincoln

The 2009 One Cent Coins tell stories, this time of Lincoln’s Professional Life.

For the most part, his state and early federal political accomplishments occurred in two-year chunks.

After his 23rd birthday, the tall young man entered his first political race as a candidate for the Illinois General Assembly.

After he entered and before the election, he enlisted in the Black Hawk War. In total, he spent three months in the military but did not fight in a battle.

On August 6, 1832, he lost his bid for a position in the Illinois government.

In his second attempt two years later, he succeeded in August 1834 to become a member of the Illinois General Assembly representing the Whig Party for Sangamon County.

After being elected, he began studying law to improve his efforts at understanding laws and lawmaking.

That December, he met Stephen A. Douglas, a Democrat three years his junior, for the first time.

Of course, they met again years later as opponents in the political arena.

In 1836, the citizens re-elected him to his position in the Illinois government.

In 1837, his efforts helped move the state capitol from Vandalia to Springfield.

Two more consecutive times, he ran for his state legislative office and won.

In 1842, however, he chose not to seek the state political office again.

Instead, he opted to run for the US Congress in 1843, which he lost in his first attempt.

Trying again, the people elected him to the 30th Congress where he took the oath of office and began federal work on December 6, 1847.

Applying himself to his new position, within a couple of weeks, he presented resolutions to the House regarding President Polk’s comments and policy about Mexican hostilities toward Texas.

After two years as a US Congressman, he left Washington to return to practicing law in Illinois.

In 1854, he returned to politics. The voters of Illinois elected him to the Illinois legislature again, however he declined.

He opted to solicit an appointment by the Illinois legislature to the US Senate. He did not win.

Remaining active in politics, he helped organize the new Republican Party of Illinois in 1856.

In 1858, he opposed Stephen A. Douglas for the a US Senate seat; Douglas won.

Nominated as the Republican candidate for President of the United States in 1860, he campaigned against Stephen A Douglas, a northern Democrat and John C. Breckinridge, a southern Democrat.

He became the 16th President and the first Republican President in November 1860.

Congratulations, Mr. Lincoln, on winning your first legislative political office on August 4, 1834.

2009 One Cent Coin and Lincoln Statue
Lincoln – Professional Life