President Lincoln received an enthusiastic “Hoo-Ray” from R.W. Emerson, our favorite transcendentalist over at The Atlantic Monthly:
The state of the country fills us with anxiety and stern duties.
It beckoned me to seek, in the pages of my dear monthly, a man of original perception and original action, who could open his eyes wider than to a nationality, namely, to considerations of benefit to the human race.
I have found this man; You may call him Abe.
Forget all that we thought shortcomings, every mistake, every delay. In the extreme embarrassments of his part, call these endurance, wisdom, magnanimity, illuminated, as they now are, by his dazzling success.
Against all timorous counsels he had the courage to seize the moment; and such was his position, and such the felicity attending the action, that he has replaced Government in the good graces of mankind.
He has been permitted to do more for America than any other American man. He is well entitled to the most indulgent construction.
I turn to you then, friend:
Will you hitch your wagon to a star?
Or will you be dragged through the dirt by a coward?