Learning Lincoln On-line

FROM-- SET TWO, CIVIL WAR STUDIES

Topic Twenty-three: The President's Relations with the People-- "Thistle Picking"

Quotes & Questions About President Lincoln's Thistle Picking

"All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind."  Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

  • I don't like that man.  I must get to know him better.  ~Abraham Lincoln  
  • I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.  ~Abraham Lincoln

Click Here to about how the President treated people he would meet.  Also, you can find information from the site where you read about how Lincoln Met and Greeted friends.  Click here for it.

Choose the word to complete the sentences below, and then answer the questions form the linked above.

talked    Honest Abe     Bible      Aesop's Fables      speech   

1. Lincoln started his public work "with the people" at New Salem in his general store.  He actually lost money in the business because he __________________ too much to the customers.

2. A Lincoln speech always connected to the people because he used language that was from the _____________, and stories, examples and morals from _____________ _____________.

3. How did Abe override his awkward appearance and sometimes dissheveled clothing?

4. About all of Lincoln's great writings were written to give as a ___________.

5. When Lincoln traveled on the 8th Circuit as a lawyer, he met many people at all levels and wakes of life.  He was known as always being _____________ _______.

Click Here for questions 6-
6.  Three men talk about the way that Abraham Lincoln treated and cared for people.  What did Henry McHenry of New Salem, have to say?    What did William Greene, also of New Salem have to say? And, what did Joshua Speed have to say in 1865?   After reading the comments from the men mentioned, do you think the President would be a good friend? 

7.  Two  Pennsylvania women met with the President and asked a favor.  What did they want with him?   How did he respond?  What does the phrase Thistle Picking mean? 

8.  Joseph Gillespie describe the way Lincoln treated people.  What did he have to say about his "heart" and his "nerve?"

9.  Even the highest ranking General, who perhaps didn't quite do as well as he should, would be forgiven and treated fairly by the President.  Describe the instance of General Meade and the Battle of Gettysburg.

10.  Reading on down in the story of Mr. Lincoln's sympathy of people having trouble, we can read what many of his friends and relatives had to say about old Abe.  The paragraph starting with the Linder family, takes place in Charleston, Illinois, and moves on to Shelbyville.  Answer these special questions for this story:  
11.  Why did Usher Linder pour all the chicken onto his own plate?  Why did  Abe and Grandfather give Usher more coffee?

12.  Read on down the article to the paragraph that talks about a letter to Fanny McCullough concerning David Davis, a close friend of the family. 
What was the letter about, and how did he start the letter and end it?   Thousands of soldiers were killed in the Civil War.  Do you think the President would have sent a letter like this for each, if he could have?

13.  Reading on down the article, to the section about the Kentucky Mary Owens (the President's life), Mary said that "In many things he was sensitive almost to a fault."   What do you think she meant?

14.  Amidst all the business of the White House, including people wanting personal gain, self-interests, greed, why is that President Lincoln would tell Joshua Speed, his friend, that dealing with the problems of the citizens ". . .is the only thing I have done to day which has given me any pleasure?"


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