Blood & Virtue
by Blood & Virtue
Mary Todd Lincoln once wrote to a friend that "Mr. Lincoln . . . is almost monomaniac on the subject of honesty."
The future president was first called "Honest Abe" when he was working as a young store clerk in New Salem, Ill. According to one story, whenever he realized he had shortchanged a customer by a few pennies, he would close the shop and deliver the correct change-regardless of how far he had to walk.
People recognized his integrity and were soon asking him to act as judge or mediator in various contests, fights, and arguments. According to Robert Rutledge of New Salem, "Lincoln's judgment was final in all that region of country. People relied implicitly upon his honesty, integrity, and impartiality."
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