Lincoln's humility saved him in the end, providing readers with an important moral to the story after they read how and why the duel was set in the first place. Sometimes giving in and seeing the error of one's ways can help in making that person see the light and find the right path to being the bigger person.
Lincoln is remembered as a great man and president, and much of this is due to the way he handled himself throughout life, being kind and making tough decisions that furthered so much in United States history. His decision in the almost-duel that ended the potential danger that could have ensued was part of what shaped him into the man remembered today. All people can find a way to shape themselves into who they think they should be, just as Lincoln did. It only takes a solid dose of knowing how to swallow one's pride when the going gets tough, just as our sixteenth president teaches us to do through Bowman's storytelling.