Cover image for Lincoln and slavery
Lincoln and slavery
Burchard, Peter.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1999.
Physical Description:
x, 196 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
A biography of the sixteenth president which focuses on the issue of slavery and the importance it had throughout Lincoln's life from his early days as a lawyer through his presidency.
Reading Level:
1220 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 8.9 8.0 31233.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 11 14 Quiz: 19813 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E457.2 .B96 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Why did Abraham Lincoln approve of compromises over slavery?
How could he have thought that most black Americans would accept voluntary segregation as the way to freedom?
Why, in spite of Lincoln's shortcomings, did the black leader Frederick Douglass think that the president's accomplishments were more remarkable than those of the founding fathers?
In providing at least partial answers to these questions, Lincoln and Slavery gives us a fresh look at a subject often shadowed by misinformation.
Here, we follow the young Lincoln as he takes an interest in the law and becomes a legislator. In a series of debates with his political opponent Stephen Douglas, we hear Lincoln argue forcefully that slavery, if allowed to spread, would destroy democracy.
As Lincoln and Slavery focuses on Lincoln's years as president, we see him work on the Emancipation Proclamation -- which changed the purpose of the Civil War and welcomed black men into military service. We go with him to Gettysburg, where he reaffirms "the proposition that all men are created equal." We listen to him, only weeks before his death, as he proclaims that the Union armies will keep fighting "until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid for by another drawn with the sword."
This is the story of a great American, a man who hated slavery and believed, above all else, that democracy was the best hope for humankind -- in his time and in all the years to come.

Author Notes

Peter Burchard is the author of twenty-four books -- both fiction and nonfiction -- for young readers and adults. The last of these was a short biography of black teacher, essayist, and diarist Charlotte Forten. He is the author of One Gallant Rush: Robert Gould Shaw and His Brave Black Regiment, a major historical source for the motion picture Glory, which won three Academy Awards. Two of his books have been listed by the American Library Association as Notable Books. The New York Times has praised him highly, saying that "he uses historical fact with skill" and describing him as having "a splendid facility for characterization." He lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Reviews 1

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6 Up-Burchard provides readers and researchers with a rich understanding of the preeminence of slavery as a political and moral issue in 19th-century America and of the importance of Lincoln's leadership in abolishing it. The author traces his subject's evolution from a young man with a personal antipathy toward slavery to a president who led the country to a broader understanding of freedom. He places Lincoln's story in historical context showing how he was influenced by the events of the era and how he used his formidable political and oratorical skills to guide public beliefs and policy. The author is admiring of the steps Lincoln took in courageously ending slavery and overcoming his occasional personal bigotry toward blacks. He uses many primary sources, documented in essay form at the end of the text. Black-and-white photographs; reproductions of posters, prints, and engravings; and other material accompany the text. This book complements biographies such as Albert Marrin's Commander in Chief: Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War (Dutton, 1997) and primary-source collections such as Lincoln: In His Own Words, edited by Milton Meltzer (Harcourt, 1993). An outstanding choice.-Mary Mueller, Rolla Junior High School, MO (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.