Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, January 27th, 2021

The Imagined Boy in the Painting


The Imagined Boy in the Painting

Since childhood, an extraordinary photo, and my favorite painting, was committed to the visual memory of my mind like something nailed there forever. I saw it almost every day. When I had seen for the first time, probably in primary school, I was curious who was in that imaginary photo hanged on walls of some classes. It was a favorite choice for drawing competitions among students in schools, and a perfect visual story for teachers to explain the essence of education. It's been long time I have not seen the illustration of that famous painting, but whenever I think of it, my visual memory reflects it in front of my eyes more clearly than something I can see in substance.

It was in grey, a young man with poor attire standing near window of a classroom, where a teacher is teaching the students. I had heard from our teachers saying that young boy imagined in the photo was Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, who went to school only for one year in his life. Since the days of school, I have not seen that illustration again, but the stories, explained by our teachers, related to the boy in the painting and its depth brings the photo very clearly to my eyes when I think of it, or the imagined boy. The other day I was reading a story about Abraham Lincoln and it took me some long pause on reading the page, going down to the lane of memories about that photo. I tried to look for it on internet and read some details about the painting, seen for the last time in school many years ago. I could not find details, and wrote down this piece in honor of that photo and the imagined boy illustrated.

While reviewing my memories of the biography of Lincoln I had read some years ago, I thought how unfortunate we are not to have an ideal leader, who could get Afghanistan on the track toward a nation-state and rid of the conflicts stretched on decades, alas!
Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 in Kentucky. He led America during the most critical times of its history. He is known for his tremendous achievements that include unification of the American Federation after the civil war and the Emancipation Proclamation that banned slavery in the United States.
He went to school for only one year in entire life.

His mother died when he was just 10. At 19 he used to work as a sailor on Ohio and Mississippi rivers on a trading ship. He worked as clerk, postman, actor, soldier, store keeper, story teller and wrestler. He stopped fishing because he did not like killing animals even for food. Though he did not have formal education, but was fond of reading books enthusiastically. And this relationship with books remained during his entire life. His father, Thomas Lincoln, was not educated. However, he used to tell stories at nights in his house with friends. Abraham Lincoln would listen to those stories.

His tiny mind could not remember all parts of the story, so he would try to repeat those parts to fetch in mind. Next day in the morning, he would tell those stories to friends. This trained Abraham Lincoln as an influential public speaker which helped him later for his presidential campaigns and speeches. His political career started as a legislator and peaked as the 16th president of the United States. Before he took oath of his office on March 04, 1861, the United States had partitioned in two parts.

The states of Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas had announced autonomy from the federation. After his oath in office, the partition of the federation continued. South Carolina, Virginia and North Carolina also declared partition from the federation. These states formed Confederate States of America, dividing the United States in two parts. Jefferson Davis was the President of the Confederate States of United States and Abraham Lincoln was of the United States of America. The civil war was spreading. Abraham Lincoln then decided to make some historical decision of the hardest times in the history of the United States. He started with removing the less efficient generals of the military.

The four years of American civil war lasting from 1861 to 1865 took lives of 110,000 soldiers from United States of America and 93,000 of United Confederates of America. About 620,000 people died from both sides. The war ended with a new dawn. Abraham Lincoln not only unified the United States, also ended slavery forever.
Abraham Lincoln was not lucky enough regarding family. His first love, Ann Rutledge died due to a disease. His proposal was rejected by another girl and later he got engaged to Mary Todd. They had four children, three of whom died during childhood. Having fought his entire life against slavery, Abraham's wife Marry Todd was the daughter of a famous slave-owner.

He started his political career contesting for the Illinois General Assembly. He served four times in the Illinois House of Representatives. Later he was nominated as the republican presidential nominee. He ran and won the Presidential race twice. Using the special presidential powers during the civil war, Abraham Lincoln ordered the Emancipation Proclamation, which ended slavery.
Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865 at a theater in Washington. An actor from the Confederates of United States had initially planned to kidnap Abraham Lincoln for release of some Confederate prisoners. President Lincoln promoted rights of votes for Blacks, hearing this; John Wilkes Booth changed his plan of abduction and decided to assassinate the president, who was to attend a play in a theater of Washington on April 14. After nine hours, the Greatest President of America lost the fight for life.

The most famous quote from Abraham Lincoln is now regarded as the definition of democracy. On November 19, 1863 Abraham Lincoln delivered a speech known as Gettysburg Address. It is considered as one of the most famous speeches in the US history. One sentence of which is very famous in our age. Known as the definition of democracy, he had said, "Government of the people, by the people for the people shall not perish from earth".

Abbas Daiyar is the permanent writer of the Daily outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at Abbas.daiyar@gmail.com

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