Abraham Lincoln first earned the name "Honest Abe" as a young man, but it was a characteristic he valued and adhered to for the rest of his life in all that he did. Lincoln said that no man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar, but that is not likely why honesty mattered to him. He also said that when he did what was good, he felt good, and when he did what was bad, he felt bad. For Lincoln, the truth was not worth sacrificing for any gain, no matter how large that gain may have been.
As a young man, working as a store clerk and in New Salem on multiple occasions he demonstrated honesty. On one occasion, while counting his cash, he realized he had overcharged a customer. He closed the store, and walked a long…show more content… He didn't like to charge people much who were as poor as he was. Once a man sent him twenty-five dollars, but Lincoln sent him back ten of it, saying he was being too generous. He was known at times to convince his clients to settle their issues out of court, saving them a lot of money, and earning himself nothing.
In political campaigns Lincoln’s reputation for honesty continued. His reputation for honesty and fairness to helped win him four consecutive terms in the legislature. He didn't have to waste time convincing his opponents of his sincerity. He was able to devote his energies to solving political issues and later as president, winning the war.
In 1858, when Douglas heard the news that Lincoln was to be his opponent, he responded by said that Lincoln was as honest as he was shrewd. Lincoln lost that Senate race, but two years later, however, he found himself running against the same man for the presidency, Douglas again called Lincoln honest.
Lincoln’s ethics went beyond his financial dealings, and legal matters to his personal relationships. He wanted to do right by the women he was involved with. He was willing to marry Mary Owens, if it was what she wanted. After ending a relationship with Mary Todd, he reconciled because he had previously proposed to her. There is no evidence that he was ever unfaithful to her during their