Abraham Lincoln letter to his son’s teacher

Abraham Lincoln letter to his son’s teacher

Hi Learner,

You all know about Abraham Lincoln, right? Though you know about him, I feel immensely happy when I speak about him. It is really a tribute to talk about him because of the unique acts he has performed throughout his life & his character is not at all ordinary but it was of an excellent standard.

One example to quote is Theodore Roosevelt is one among the famous presidents’ of USA & was one of the most successful too, He claimed that whenever he is stuck with any problem or difficult situation and if he considers he can’t get out of it with his expertise then he would look at the painting of  The Great Abraham Lincoln in front of him in the White House & thinks what would Lincoln do, if he would have faced this problem? And an idea would pop out from his head which he would implement and solve the problem at his lot said Dale Carnegie in his book – How to win Friends and influence People.

So, Mr. Carnegie suggests us to simply pull out a 5 $ US currency note which has Abraham Lincoln printed on it to solve our problems the Lincoln way 😉  

Abraham Lincoln on US Dollar
Inspiring Lincoln on US Currency

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Abraham lincoln letter to his son’s teacher

Letters were means of communication in olden days and they were used for every type of communication even to convey the love of a father, husband, teacher, student, mother, message of leader, rules of government or king etc. Some letters written by great people are capable of standing as guideposts to guide us forward in current generation also & to say more intensely than Abraham Lincoln with his sonbefore.

Abraham Lincoln has also written many such letters being the president of USA but a letter which he wrote to his son’s teacher on his first day of schooling in order to just send a gentle reminder of what he wants the teacher to teach his son so that he can be a good person in the future is our current topic, the letter is really a thought provoking one with a wonderful meaning and message in it, I don’t want to modify it before but after you read the whole letter you can find my insights about (rather the lessons I learnt) from the letter.


My son starts school today. It is all going to be strange and new to him for a while and I wish you would treat him gently. It is an adventure that might take him across continents. All adventures that probably include wars, tragedy and sorrow. To live this life will require faith, love and courage.

So dear Teacher, will you please take him by his hand and teach him things he will have to know, teaching him – but gently, if you can, Teach him that for every enemy, there is a friend. He will have to know that all men are not just, that all men are not true. But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero, that for every crooked politician, there is a dedicated leader.

Teach him if you can that 10 cents earned is of far more value than a dollar found. In school, teacher, it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat. Teach him to learn how to gracefully lose, and enjoy winning when he does win.

Teach him to be gentle with people, tough with tough people. Steer him away from envy if you can and teach him the secret of quiet laughter. Teach him if you can – how to laugh when he is sad, teach him there is no shame in tears. Teach him there can be glory in failure and despair in success. Teach him to scoff at cynics.

Teach him if you can the wonders of books, but also give time to ponder the extreme mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun and flowers on a green hill. Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if every one tell him they are wrong.

Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone else is doing it. Teach him to listen to every one, but teach him also to filter all that he hears on a screen of truth and take only the good that comes through.

Teach him to sell his talents and brains to the highest bidder but never to put a price tag on his heart and soul. Let him have the courage to be impatient, let him have the patient to be brave. Teach him to have sublime faith in himself, because then he will always have sublime faith in mankind, in God.

This is the order, teacher but see what best you can do. He is such a nice little boy and he is my son.

Wasn’t that a fantastic letter, I was @ cloud9 when I completed reading the whole letter. Coming to my favorite lessons from the letter

  1. Everyone loves their kids & everyone expects their kids have or to get the best in the world let it be schooling/ clothing/ food/ comfort or say anything but nowadays parents aren’t caring hardly whether they are happy or not they are placing an iPad / smartphone in their hands and watching them play with it for hours together (assuming they are happy) and are unconsciously putting their children’s lives into a trouble which technology can cause if not used properly. But, Lincoln’s love went till approaching his son’s teacher to give him all the education which his life has taught him so that he can also lead a peaceful life.
  2. In the second paragraph of the letter, he states that
    1. for every enemy, there is a friend
    2. for every scoundrel, there is a hero
    3. for every crooked politician, there is a dedicated leader
    4. By the above examples, he intends to pass a message to his son that if there is something bad happening then there is nothing to feel disheartened as an equally or more strong good force also to win over it. This can give him hope in life.
  3. In the third paragraph, he specifies the importance of
    1. Hard earned money which will allow him to focus on how he earns the money & not on how much he earns.
    2. Enjoying failure than to win through cheating.
    3. On how to enjoy success than to just develop pride on succeeding.
  4. In the fourth one, he describes how to
    1. Deal with different types of people. (which is a very important skill needed in modern life)
    2. The way he has to deal with different situations like how to laugh when he is sad (it is what we call Art of living or laughter therapy in modern terminology).
    3. get rid of envy (which has the potential of turning out a patriot into a traitor)
  5. The fifth para is used to portray the importance of imagination & associating with nature than to watch his son becoming a mere bookworm who would account to be nothing more than a cynic who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.
  6. In Sixth para, he mentions the importance of following his heart & dreams when no one stands by his side and how important is listening to everyone but filtering the good and efficient solution from them.
  7. The seventh one is awesome because he specifies the importance of what a person has to sell in his life and what should never be sold at any cost & the courage to have faith. The most important one is to love himself and thus loving people than the most important loving and believing in God.

Those are my insights about the awesome letter of Mr. Lincoln, I would like to salute that legend who has shown a path to many confusing souls who want to teach the children values but are stuck at what has to be taught exactly & souls like me who are wandering always in search of something good & worth learning. This letter will solve that problem.

Salutations to Mr.Abraham Lincoln for his wonderful letter from Learning is Passion.

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Hope you have enjoyed the post, Thanks ­­for reading. Share your insights & lessons you have learned from the letter and your views about the post content with me through comments, I would be very happy to hear. If you have enjoyed reading this post then do  share it with your buddies & Do subscribe to my blog for more interesting & inspiring stuff by entering your email below.
Bye… Take care…


I am Surya Konduru, began blogging to share what I meant was useful with the world as I do it with my friends. It’s been a year since I am blogging and it is really awesome to blog. By the way, I blog @ learningispassion.com, bloggingispassion.com

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26 thoughts on “Abraham Lincoln letter to his son’s teacher

    • Thnx Josh for the compliment and very good catch, you are right T. Roosevelt used to look at the painting of Abraham Lincoln and not the $ 5 but Dale Carnegie suggested that in his book – How to win friends and influence people

      “Theodore Roosevelt said that when he, as President, was confronted with a perplexing problem, he used to lean back and look up at a large painting of Lincoln which hung above his desk in the White House and ask himself, “What would Lincoln do if he were in my shoes? How would he solve this problem?” The next time we are tempted to admonish somebody, /let’s pull a five-dollar bill out of our pocket, look at Lincoln’s picture on the bill, and ask. “How would Lincoln handle this problem if he had it?” ”

      Thnx for that catch, I will edit the post soon

  • I am a special educator and this letter really helps me help bring out the fears and inconveniences that prevent them from achieving their potential. Thanks for your perspective that will help me help them to mould their personalities. This and Kipling’s ” if” are wonderful good to help learn and enjoy the process of interaction and are truly inspirational.

  • Dominic Uwem Bassey · Edit

    I just told my wife that I used Abraham Lincon’s letter to his son’s class teacher while discussing with my son’s class teacher. I had to enter this site and read the letter to the hearing my wife. She enjoyed it and it was really helpful to me. Thanks for the review.

  • Mr.Lincon had four children. Out of which three died before adulthood. For which son had he written this letter. Also curious to know any idea what did the son take up as profession ?

  • Is it the lessons in the letter that matters to you or to whom it was written? Its God doing that you have to come across something like this cos this letter is for people like you @hassan….

  • Dear konduru, I do endorse the analysis . However I think last two lines need further elaboration. I am a teacher and naturally it inspires all teachers. Thank you. T. D. Suri

  • Syeda Qudsiya Nasreen Quadri · Edit

    I adore Abraham Lincoln!!!!
    Incidentally this letter was in my possession and was kept under the glass on my office table……
    Now that I am retired, and the piece of paper having yielded to the wear and tear…I wanted to see the letter once more….and during my search landed on your blog!!!
    The lessons learnt by you are wonderful!1

  • This Letter has thought me a great deal. It’s worth pondering on. Thanks ti the Legend.
    Hope maby will learn from this.
    Many thanks Surya, you made more meaning through the your lessons.

  • The Letter to his Son’s Teacher has such meaning that prompted some to translate into different languages, one such being into Kannada, a language in South India. This has been composed into a by song/prayer by Late Sri. Raju Ananthaswamy, Son of Late Mysore Ananthaswamy. And now this prayer is rendered in many schools by students at the start of the day in Mysuru and has gained considerable popularity. The song is titled ‘Kalisu Guruve’. The song is pictured in a Kannada Movie focused on school children named ‘Very Good 10/10’.
    A great message to teachers and students alike.


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