Lincoln's Great Depression

June 14, 2010

Of Lincoln, William Herndon, his law partner, said, "His melancholy dripped from him as he walked."

In 1841, after coming out of his second major depressive episode, Lincoln wrote to Herndon:

I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth. Whether I shall ever be better I can not tell; I awfully forebode I shall not. To remain as I am is impossible; I must die or be better, it appears to me.

The article is an 8000-word must-read.

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