Prior to the presidential election of 1860 and the history altering affairs that soon followed, Abe Lincoln was a political failure. He wasn't even a consideration for the Republican nomination. Sure he was a great guy from humble beginnings with a decent law practice. But an individual with the potential to run the country amist the most turbulant time in the nations history? Nah!!!!!
He was dismissed and people focused their attention on other political upcomers- Edward Bates, Salmon Chase, and William Seward.
Until they heard Lincoln speak.
Captivating, intelligent, enthusiastic, and empathetic, Abe would mesmorize his audiences.
Further, he would TEACH them. Though there are numerous theories surrounding the 1860 Republican nomination and the subsequent presidential election, I believe Abe was successful because he was a good TEACHER.
In other words, he won the trust of the people because he taught them his ideas. He did so in three ways: