Cover image for Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Pinsker, Matthew.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : CQ Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xii, 340 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm.
Personal Subject:
Format :


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E457 .P575 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Each volume in the American Presidents Reference Series is organized around an individual presidency and gathers a host of biographical, analytical, and primary source historical material that will analyze the presidency and bring the president, his administration, and his times to life. The series focuses on key moments in U.S. political history as seen through the eyes of the most influential presidents to take the oath of office. Unique headnotes provide the context to data, tables and excerpted primary source documents. Abraham Lincoln, born in 1809, served in the military for several months during 1832. He was a failed businessman who lost his first bid to serve in the Illinois state legislature. In 1834 he ran again and won. He was reelected several times and even served as Whig floor leader. In 1846 Lincoln was elected to one term in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he denounced the U.S. role in the Mexican War. In 1856 he joined the newly created Republican Party and campaigned for the 1856 presidential candidate John Fremont, who would lose to James Buchanan. In 1858 Republicans nominated Lincoln for U.S. Senator. It was this race that he would participate in the now famous debates, with his opponent Stephen Douglas. In these debates he would question the morality of slavery and territorial expansion. Douglas, however, emerged victorious. But in 1860, Lincoln became the sixteenth president with less than 40 percent of the popular vote. The threats of secession during the race quickly came true when South Carolina left the Union; the Civil War began in April 1861. The struggle to win on the battlefield and to preserve the Union weighed heavily on Lincoln and was answered in some of America′s most profound documents: the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address, and his second inaugural address. Lincoln won reelection in 1864 and saw the end of the war on April 9, 1865. Less than a week later, while watching the play Our American Cousin at Ford′s Theatre in Washington, D.C., Lincoln was assassinated by actor John Wilkes Booth. He is considered by many to be America′s greatest president. This new volume on the presidency of Abraham Lincoln will cover: Slavery Sectionalism The social, political, and personal turmoil of the Civil War The role of his family

Author Notes

Matthew Pinsker is visiting assistant professor of American history at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Both volumes, part of the "American Presidents Reference Series," provide clear introductions to the executive tenures of two of our most venerated and extensively documented presidents. Six chapters offer brief overviews of their prepresidential lives, campaign issues and elections, administration policies, crises and flashpoints, and institutional relations with the military, Congress, and the press. In the final chapters, the volume on Roosevelt analyzes his place in history; the Lincoln volume explores the assassination conspiracy. Summaries in each chapter are followed by primary source documents, including materials from diaries, speeches, letters, and recollections in the subjects' own words or that of their contemporaries, known or anonymous. Appendixes introduce notable figures in each presidential era and time lines of key life events. These volumes will serve as introductions to these important presidencies; the extensive bibliographies and recommended readings can be used to explore further themes introduced here. Neither strictly biographical nor compilations of writings, these works combine original documentation and historical analysis in an accessible writing style that allows readers to identify important issues and draw conclusions about these iconic figures. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers and lower-division undergraduates. K. M. Conley Illinois State University

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. 3
1. A Self-Made Storyp. 9
Coming of Agep. 12
Marriage and Careerp. 15
Life in Wartime Washingtonp. 19
Lincoln's Accomplishmentsp. 22
1.1 Autobiographical Sketch (1859)p. 25
1.2 Additional Autobiography Written for John L. Scripps (1860)p. 27
1.3 Response to a Distant Relative (1848)p. 34
1.4 Lincoln's Stepmother Recalls His Childhood (1865)p. 36
1.5 Lincoln's Reply to "Dictionary of Congress" Questionnaire (1858)p. 37
1.6 Earliest Known Lincoln Documents (c. 1824-1826)p. 38
1.7 The Lincoln Family on the Movep. 39
1.8 Lincoln Lampoons His Military Experience (1848)p. 39
1.9 Early Romantic Troubles (1838)p. 40
1.10 Lincoln's Transition to Adulthoodp. 43
1.11 Herndon Recalls Lincoln as Lawyer (1888)p. 43
1.12 Letter to His Wife (1848)p. 45
1.13 Walt Whitman Observes the President (1863)p. 47
1.14 Hay Diary Recalls Lincoln Late at Night (1864)p. 48
2. Campaigns and Electionsp. 51
Learning the Political Trade, 1832-1849p. 52
Facing the Political Crisis, 1850-1858p. 57
Seeking the Presidency, 1859-1860p. 64
Running for Reelection, 1863-1864p. 70
2.1 Lincoln's Career Electoral Recordp. 80
2.2 Lincoln's Record in Contests Determined by Legislative Ballotp. 80
2.3 Lincoln's Record as Candidate for Government Positionsp. 81
2.4 Selections from First Campaign Document (1832)p. 81
2.5 Rough-and-Tumble Early Campaigns (1836)p. 82
2.6 Political Opponents Criticize Lincoln's "Clownishness" (1839)p. 83
2.7 Positioning to Run for Congress (1846)p. 84
2.8 Handbill Replying to Charges of Lack of Piety (1846)p. 86
2.9 Lobbying to Become Commissioner of the General Land Office (1849)p. 87
2.10 Selections from Lincoln's Stump Speech (1854)p. 88
2.11 Lincoln-Douglas Debates and the Freeport Questions (1858)p. 92
2.12 Lincoln Offers a "Bare Suggestion" (1858)p. 93
2.13 Lincoln Attempts to Quell Presidential Talk (1859)p. 95
2.14 Discussing Money in Politics (1860)p. 96
2.15 Lincoln Outlines a Nomination Strategy (1860)p. 96
2.16 Brief Remarks during the Presidential Campaign (1860)p. 97
2.17 Election Results (1860)p. 99
2.18 Union Politicians Fear Defeat (1864)p. 100
2.19 Lincoln's "Blind Memorandum" (1864)p. 101
2.20 National Election Results (1864)p. 102
2.21 State-by-State Election Results (1864)p. 103
2.22 Lincoln's Reflections on Wartime Elections (1864)p. 104
2.23 Election Night with Lincoln (1864)p. 105
3. Administration Policiesp. 109
Foreign Policyp. 109
Economic Policyp. 115
Social Policyp. 121
Emancipationp. 126
3.1 Address to Workingmen of Manchester (1863)p. 137
3.2 Statement on Finances (1862)p. 138
3.3 Statement on Sioux Uprising (1862)p. 140
3.4 Statement on Immigration (1864)p. 141
3.5 Lincoln's Hesitation over Confronting Know-Nothings (1855)p. 142
3.6 Lincoln's Outreach to Catholics (1861)p. 143
3.7 Lincoln on the Politics of Racial Equality (1857)p. 144
3.8 Appeal to Border State Representatives (1862)p. 146
3.9 Lincoln Urges Colonization for Blacks (1862)p. 149
3.10 Lincoln Recalls the Emancipation Decision (1862)p. 152
3.11 Gideon Welles Recalls the Release of the Preliminary Proclamation (1862)p. 154
3.12 Final Emancipation Proclamation (1863)p. 155
4. Crises and Flashpointsp. 159
April-July 1861: Washington under Seigep. 161
July 1861: Bull Runp. 163
July 1861: Defining the Aims of the Warp. 165
July-December 1861: Army of the Potomacp. 166
November-December 1861: The Trent Affairp. 167
January-July 1862: Peninsula Campaignp. 168
July-September 1862: Confederate Invasionp. 170
July 1862-January 1863: Emancipationp. 172
September-November 1862: Midterm Electionsp. 174
November 1862: Swapping Generalsp. 176
December 1862: Cabinet Crisisp. 177
May 1863: Chancellorsvillep. 180
May-July 1863: Vicksburg and Gettysburgp. 181
July 1863: Draft Riotsp. 183
September-December 1863: Tennessee Campaignp. 185
November 1863: Gettysburg Addressp. 187
March 1864: Grant's Ascendancyp. 188
May-July 1864: Lee vs. Grantp. 189
July 1864: Washington under Attackp. 191
July-August 1864: Reconstruction Debatesp. 193
July-August 1864: Peace Talksp. 195
August-November 1864: Lincoln's Reelectionp. 197
December 1864-January 1865: Thirteenth Amendmentp. 198
April 1865: Lee's Surrenderp. 199
4.1 Seward's April 1 Memo (1861)p. 202
4.2 Lincoln's Reply to Seward (1861)p. 205
4.3 Special Message to Congress (July 4, 1861)p. 206
4.4 McClellan Says He Can Do It All (1861)p. 207
4.5 Lincoln Explains His Strategic View (1862)p. 208
4.6 Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation (1862)p. 209
4.7 Lincoln Explains His Political Problems (1862)p. 212
4.8 Lincoln Risks Dictatorship (1863)p. 214
4.9 Young Aide Describes Lincoln (1863)p. 215
4.10 Gettysburg Address (1863)p. 216
4.11 Patterns of Troop Strength (1861-1865)p. 217
4.12 Conditions for Peace Negotiations (1864)p. 217
4.13 Lincoln Backpedals on Emancipation (1864)p. 218
4.14 Second Inaugural Address (1865)p. 220
5. Institutional Relationsp. 225
Congressp. 225
The Supreme Courtp. 230
The Militaryp. 231
The Pressp. 237
5.1 Political Composition of Civil War Era Congresses (1859-1867)p. 241
5.2 Chief Justice Roger B. Taney Condemns Lincoln's Suspension of Civil Liberties (1861)p. 242
5.3 Ex parte Milligan Decision Restricts Military Tribunals (1866)p. 244
5.4 Lincoln's Supreme Court Appointees (1862-1864)p. 249
5.5 Lincoln's General War Order No. 1 (1862)p. 250
5.6 Lincoln's Attempt to Placate Power Broker Thurlow Weed (1864)p. 251
6. Assassinationp. 255
Presidential Securityp. 256
Booth's Conspiracyp. 258
Lincoln's Death and Aftermathp. 260
6.1 The Baltimore Plot (1861)p. 266
6.2 Lincoln Calls Military Guard "Very Agreeable" (1862)p. 267
6.3 Sentry Recalls Lincoln's Narrow Escape (1864)p. 267
6.4 Lincoln Declines the "Iron Cage" (1862)p. 268
6.5 Booth's Diary (1865)p. 269
6.6 Testimony of Major Henry Rathbone (1865)p. 271
6.7 Testimony of Dr. Robert Stone (1865)p. 272
6.8 Welles Describes Lincoln's Death and Early Reaction (1865)p. 273
6.9 Booth's Escape from Washington (1865)p. 274
6.10 Opinion on Military Tribunals for Booth's Co-conspirators (1865)p. 275
6.11 Editorial Eulogy of Lincoln (1865)p. 278
Appendix A Cabinet Members, Lincoln Administrationp. 280
Appendix B Notable Figures of the Lincoln Presidencyp. 281
Appendix C Key Events in Lincoln's Lifep. 315
Indexp. 329