"My favorite American is Abraham Lincoln.
"I have painted a number of pictures of him and always with great pleasure. He was no 'pretty man' but I feel everything about him personified the strength, integrity and spirit of America.
"As you know, he was born Fedruary 12, 1809 near Hodgenville, Kentucky. I painted this picture of him with the thought that it was at about this time in his life, age 22, that he lived in New Salem, Ill., on the Sangamon River bank.
"Fortunately, about the time I started the picture I had to go to Champaign, Illinois not far from New Salem. My wife, Molly, and I drove there and, with the help of a real Lincoln expert, saw this town beautifully restored to the time of Lincoln's residence there.
"It was there he was the 'rail-splitter' and voraciously devoured every book he could get his hands on. Then he left for Springfield to become a lawyer and a legislator, and on to great things.
"I hope this lithograph of Lincoln might inspire the youth of our country to appreciate this man who believed so much in the value of education."