For most of his life, the sixteenth president was plagued by a feeling of gloom and despair that he dubbed the “hypo.” He often spoke of suicide as a young man, and once told an acquaintance that he never carried a pocketknife out of fear of hurting himself. Lincoln dealt with his infrequent breakdowns through humor, but his blue moods later continued during his time in the White House, when he faced the stresses of the Civil War and the untimely death of his 11-year-old son, Willie. Contemporaries often remarked on the Great Emancipator’s sorrow. His friend Henry Whitney noted that, “No element of Mr. Lincoln’s character was so marked, obvious and ingrained as his mysterious and profound melancholy.” The severity of Lincoln’s “hypo” remains a point of contention among historians today, but many believe that he may have suffered from clinical depression. Author Joshua Wolf Shenk has even published a full-length book on the subject titled “Lincoln’s Melancholy.”
Johnson continued to look for a position at a Lichfield school. After being turned down for a job at Ashbourne, he spent time with his friend Edmund Hector, who was living in the home of the publisher Thomas Warren . At the time, Warren was starting his Birmingham Journal , and he enlisted Johnson's help.  This connection with Warren grew, and Johnson proposed a translation of Jerónimo Lobo 's account of the Abyssinians .  Johnson read Abbé Joachim Le Grand's French translations, and thought that a shorter version might be "useful and profitable".  Instead of writing the work himself, he dictated to Hector, who then took the copy to the printer and made any corrections. Johnson's A Voyage to Abyssinia was published a year later.  He returned to Lichfield in February 1734, and began an annotated edition of Poliziano 's Latin poems, along with a history of Latin poetry from Petrarch to Poliziano; a Proposal was soon printed, but a lack of funds halted the project.