For Abraham Lincoln, Bankruptcy was No More Than a Hiccup on the Road to the Presidency

For Abraham Lincoln, Bankruptcy was No More Than a Hiccup on the Road to the Presidency

Richard Fonfrias, J.D.
Chicago’s Financial Rescue & Bankruptcy Lawyer
Fonfrias Law Group, LLC


Can you believe Abraham Lincoln’s challenges?

He lost eight elections. Failed in business after business. Suffered a nervous breakdown. Overcame bankruptcy.

Yet none of this broke his spirit to succeed.

Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, in a one-room log cabin on a farm near Hodgenville, Kentucky, where slavery was legal.

Nancy Hanks Lincoln, his mother, died when Abe was only nine years old. One year later, Thomas Lincoln, his father, married Sarah Bush.

To help support the family, Lincoln got a job working at a nearby farm. He did not have the opportunity to attend school, so his entire formal education totaled less than one year.

But his real education had just begun.

Lincoln read everything he could find. He studied mathematics, literature and law. And eventually this self-taught man became a lawyer.

Lincoln had a strong desire to make a difference, so he went into politics. In 1832, in a race for the Illinois House of Representatives, he finished 8th out of 13.

He believed that government should be a positive force to serve the people. He concluded that for him to have a dramatic influence in government, he must achieve a high position, namely, the Presidency of the United States. He set out to achieve that near-impossible goal.

While practicing law, in 1834, Lincoln won a seat in the Illinois legislature. He served a four-year term, developing a reputation as a capable, honest politician.

Sadly, over the next decade, he endured many business and political setbacks. But unlike most people, Lincoln did not let these obstacles – including a business and personal bankruptcy – discourage him from pursuing his dreams.

On November 4, 1842, he married Mary Todd Edwards, and they had four children. In 1846, Lincoln won election to Congress. During this time, he took an unpopular stand against President James K. Polk about the Mexican War, which Lincoln thought was unjust.

Lincoln’s opinions differed from those of many government officials, so before long he found himself ostracized by other politicians.

When his term ended, in 1849, Lincoln took five years away from politics and focused on his law practice. There, he encountered more business setbacks. Still, he persisted and did not let these failures cool his fire-in-the-belly for elected office.

In 1854, he again entered politics. Soon he opposed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which threatened to allow slavery to exist in other states.

In 1855, he was defeated in his race for the Senate. The following year, he sought the position of Vice President, and was defeated there, too.

In all likelihood, most people facing Lincoln’s challenges and failures would have given up. But he was determined and committed to make his political dreams come true. So every time he got knocked down, Lincoln got back up. He knew that the only way he could gain ground and turn his goals into reality was to learn from his experiences, setbacks and failures. So he pressed on!

In 1860, Lincoln’s persistence and hard work paid off and he was elected the 16th President of the United States.

But unfortunately, at this time, the states were no longer united. The South’s prosperity was due to its slavery, so when the North opposed expanding slavery into the new western states, 11 southern states broke away and formed their own imperfect union.

Lincoln, as the newly elected president, knew that the original Union must be saved, no matter the cost, even if it meant going to war.

On April 12, 1861, Confederate warships bombarded Union soldiers at Fort Sumter, South Carolina. And the bloody civil war began.

In 1863, in the three-day Battle of Gettysburg, the death count reached 51,112. In his Gettysburg address, on November 19, 1863, President Lincoln spoke of his vision of a nation where everyone is created equal.

After four years – with fighting in 26 states – Robert E. Lee surrendered the last major Confederate army to Ulysses S. Grant in the small village of Appomattox Court House, Virginia. When the dust had settled, and the smell of gunpowder had left the air, the war dead totaled 622,000 brave men and women.

When President Lincoln and his wife went to the Ford Theater in Washington, DC, to celebrate the end of the Civil war, an actor who resented the liberation of North America’s slaves shot and killed President Lincoln.

Following Lincoln’s death, Edwin M. Stanton, the Secretary of War, declared: “Now he belongs to the ages.”

Abraham Lincoln symbolizes the finest example of persistence in the face of countless obstacles. He lost eight elections. Failed in business after business. Filed business and personal bankruptcy. And suffered a nervous breakdown. Yet he never stopped pursuing his dreams.

In light of Lincoln’s many notable accomplishments, his so-called failures were almost meaningless. When things turned against him in his business and personal lives, bankruptcy gave Lincoln the fresh start our founding fathers wrote into the U.S. Constitution.

And while filing for bankruptcy isn’t fun, it is a way to wipe your financial slate clean and start anew. The founding fathers realized that many people, at one time or another, need a fresh start. Lincoln proved that bankruptcy isn’t the end of the world. In fact, it’s the logical next step when things don’t work out the way we expect.

Lincoln erased his financial problems – and you can erase yours, too.

The first step?

Call me today and I’ll do everything I can to help you.

If you can’t pay your bills, are being chased by creditors and can’t sleep at night worrying about accumulating debt and possible foreclosure, Chicago bankruptcy lawyer Rich Fonfrias of the Fonfrias Law Group can help you solve your money woes and put you back on the road to financial security. Let Rich, an experienced Chicago bankruptcy attorney, highly knowledgeable in all areas of bankruptcy law and credit repair, work with you to find the best solution to your personal or business debt problems. Rich Fonfrias, one of Chicago’s best bankruptcy lawyers, provides a wide range of financial legal services, including bankruptcy repair, foreclosure avoidance, loan modification services, credit repair, debt consolidation, tax reduction and tax lien services.