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During the current tumultuous election season in the United States,  many Americans have been longing for a presidential candidate with strong moral character. They’re reminded of the great presidents of the past, such as Ronald Reagan, George Washington, and the president best-known for his moral character – Abraham Lincoln.

The premium story Abraham Lincoln: From the Poor House to the President tells the story of how Abraham Lincoln grew up as a poor boy in Kentucky and went on to hold the highest office in the United States. Sharing the story of Abraham Lincoln can inspire children to develop strong moral character in their own lives.

Before or after reading the story with children, talk about some of the follow traits of Abraham Lincoln.

He was honest.
Abraham Lincoln’s presidential campaign featured the slogan “Honest Abe.” He was known for being truthful with those around him, even if it meant that his opinion was unpopular. Because he was so honesty, people realized they could trust Abraham Lincoln to do what he said he would do and to tell them the truth in all circumstances.

He trusted others.
Abraham Lincoln put the same trust in others that they put in him. Sometimes that meant that other people let him down. A few people spread lies about him and tried to get him in trouble. However, that didn’t keep him from giving people the benefit of the doubt. In many cases, this caused people to work even harder so they felt like they deserved the trust he gave them.

He was a hard worker.
Abraham Lincoln came from a poor family without a lot of money and without many opportunities to receive a formal education. As a child, he’d walk for miles to find a book to read and he focused on his studies. As an adult, he worked hard to build his law practice and develop a strong reputation in the community.

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He was persistent.
Abraham Lincoln ran for office more than once. He didn’t win every time that he ran. Instead, whenever he lost, he picked himself back up, worked on his strategies, and ran again. He persisted until he made it all the way to the office of the President of the United States of America.

He was humble.
Abraham Lincoln didn’t take on leadership roles to bring honor and fame to himself. He also didn’t take credit for everything he accomplished. Instead, he recognized the hard work of others and focused on helping others improve their lives. He did this both as a lawyer and as president.

He was a good listener.
Abraham Lincoln didn’t make a decision without listening to all sides of the situation. For example, when it was time to draft the Emancipation Proclamation, he considered the opinions of people in the North and the South. He wanted to make the right decision, but he also wanted to make sure the decision was fair. Being a good listener also helped Abraham Lincoln become a successful lawyer and win a lot of cases.

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He had a sense of humor.
When Abraham Lincoln was a young boy, his mother died. When he was a teenager, his older sister died as well. After experiencing so much heartbreak, Abraham Lincoln would sometimes feel very sad and depressed. Rather than staying sad, he used humor to help him feel better. His humor often helped others feel better as well.

Behind the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial, the following words are inscribed: “IN THIS TEMPLE AS IN THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE FOR WHOM HE SAVED THE UNION THE MEMORY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN IS ENSHRINED FOREVER.”

Abraham Lincoln may have been assassinated in 1865, but he left behind a legacy that children can learn from for centuries to come.

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