Lincoln and Power

Early in his first term, Lincoln was constantly pressured by key advisers to capitulate to the South’s demands to avoid a bloody conflict. On one occasion, he was advised by a Virginian to surrender all forts and property in the Southern states. Lincoln immediately rejected the option by telling Aesop’s parable of the lion and the woodman’s daughter:

A lion was very much in love with a woodman’s daughter. The fair maid referred him to her father and the lion applied for the girl. The father replied: “Your teeth are too long.” So the lion went to a dentist and had them extracted. Returning, he…