Lincoln’s melancholy – guest post from the Holy Rover

I’m sure many of you have already seen Steven Speilberg’s acclaimed “Lincoln.” I am eager to see it myself. My favorite part of American history is from the Civil War to the present, mainly because it is captured in photographs.


Abraham Lincoln is a most compelling and thoughtful man. Lori, in her post, describes how his tendency towards depression from his melancholy nature created the man of character we so admire.

For much of my life I too was deposed towards melancholy fueled by an artist’s temperament. It took me many years to figure out the cause (and therapy, much of it useless) and now having that knowledge, I can say that my life is much calmer. The roller coaster ride has smoothed out into floating downstream.

Here’s a teaser to Lori’s post with a link to the rest. And let me know if you’ve seen “Lincoln” and what you think of it. Can’t wait to go myself!

You probably already know a quite a bit about Lincoln, but one aspect of his story may not be familiar to you. In particular, I want to tell you about a gift that Lincoln possessed, the gift of melancholy. Melancholy—which is related to what we would call depression—was both a blessing and a curse to Lincoln. I think the story of how he bore that affliction, and of how it deepened his character and faith, holds some lessons for us today.

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