Which President of the United States Was a Lowly Shoemaker’s Son?

Although only a shoemaker's son, President Lincoln stood far above those around him. (Image: Alexander Gardner/Wikipedia)

Abraham Lincoln’s father was a shoemaker. When Lincoln became President of the United States in 1861, many people were offended by his lowly status. As Abraham Lincoln entered to give his inaugural address, a senator tried to humiliate him. He said: “Mr. Lincoln, you should not forget that your father used to make shoes for my family.” And the whole Senate laughed.

Lincoln looked at the man and said: Sir, I am very grateful to you for reminding me of my father just before I give my address to the Senate. My father was so beautiful, and such a creative artist—there was no other man who could make such beautiful shoes. I know perfectly well that whatever I do, I will never be such a great president as he was a great creator. I cannot surpass him…
I know that my father used to make shoes in your house for your family… if you have any complaint, I can make another pair of shoes. But as far as I know, nobody has ever complained about my father’s shoes. He was a genius, a creator, and I am proud of my father!”

The whole Senate was dumbstruck, but soon laughter turned into sincere applause.

Some people also criticized President Lincoln’s attitude toward political opponents.

They asked him: “Why are you trying to get them to become your friends? You should attack them and destroy them.”

President Lincoln said gently: ‘When I turn them into friends, political opponents will no longer exist.’

And that was how President Lincoln got rid of his opponents.


Translator: Yi Ming


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