Abraham Lincoln In Depth
Abraham Lincoln’s Stories and Humor
Abraham Lincoln & Freedom
Abraham Lincoln's White House
Jacob Collamer (1791-1865)
DAILY ABRAHAM LINCOLN BLOG
Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War
The Impact on the War, Part A
The proclamation, Part A
New Years Day Reception
Abraham Lincoln & New York
Abraham Lincoln and Salmon P. Chase
They were big men. George Washington was 6-foot-3. Abraham Lincoln was almost 6-4. Their ambitions were equally big — first for themselves, and then for the nation they would lead.
As young men, both future presidents trained as surveyors at periods when Americans were preoccupied by the development of the frontier and the acquisition of land. Historian John Ferling wrote: “Starting around age fifteen, George learned surveying through self-help books, such as `The Young Man’s Companion,’ and it is probable that he was tutored by some of the surveyors employed by the Fairfaxes.” In his search for self-improvement, 16-year-old Washington famously wrote out the rules for life and behavior from “Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.” That pursuit would continue the rest of his life.
Surveying helped define both men. In 1834 Abraham Lincoln was named as a deputy surveyor of Sangamon County in Illinois; George Washington had been appointed as Culpepper County surveyor in 1749. Ferling observed that, “surveying … was a respectable and often lucrative occupation in Washington’s Virginia, as the population was growing and new frontiers were opening steadily.”