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Lincoln "by littles"

by Lewis E. Lehrman
Excerpts from
Lincoln "by littles":

"The self-tutored lawyer from Illinois could not understand those 'don't care' politicians, such as Senator Stephen A. Douglas, who pretended indifference to involuntary servitude."

"For Lincoln, there could be no retreat from the fundamental principles of the Declaration of Independence."

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Lincoln by Littles

Abraham Lincoln In Depth

Abraham Lincoln In Depth

Abraham Lincoln and the Election of 1860

The polls had barely closed on the 1858 election when Jeriah Bonham wrote an editorial for the Illinois Gazette predicting the candidates for the 1860 presidential nomination: "Douglas will lead the cohorts of slavery. Lincoln should lead the hosts of freed...

Abraham Lincoln & Freedom

Abraham Lincoln & Freedom

Experiences with Slavery

"The first impression of slavery which Abraham Lincoln received was in his childhood in Kentucky. His father and mother belonged to a small company of western abolitionists, who at the beginning of the century boldly denounced the institution as an iniquity. So g...

Abraham Lincoln's White House

Abraham Lincoln's White House

George W. Julian (1817-1899)

George W. Julian, Congressman from Indiana (Free Soil, 1849-51 and Republican, 1861-71), was the leading House member of Committee on the Conduct of the War. Although he differed with the President on the speed of his anti-slavery measures, Julian (unlike other me...
Abraham Lincoln:
The Impact on the War, Part A
Abraham Lincoln:
The proclamation, Part A
Abraham Lincoln:
New Years Day Reception

Abraham Lincoln & Friends

Abraham Lincoln & Friends

John Hay (1838-1905)

The chief qualification of John Hay for his White House position may have been his sense of humor. Hay could guffaw while colleague John G. Nicolay growled. In comparison to the somewhat morose disposition of Nicolay, Hay had a more cheerful - if occasionally me...

Abraham Lincoln & New York

Abraham Lincoln & New York

The Speech

Historian Benjamin Thomas wrote: "All day on February 27, 1860 Lincoln was entertained at the Astor House as a visiting celebrity. That night, despite a snowstorm, fifteen hundred persons filed into Cooper Union, the largest assemblage 'of the intellect and cultu...

Lincoln's Contemporaries

Abraham Lincoln's Contemporaries

Abraham Lincoln and William H. Herndon

William H. Herndon: "was about five feet nine inches in height and well proportioned; his movements were swift; he was a rapid thinker, writer and speaker, and usually reached his conclusions quickly and expressed them forcibly and positively," wrote Charles Zane, ...

Featured Article

by Lewis E. Lehrman

They were big men. George Washington was 6-foot-3. Abraham Lincoln was almost 6-4. Their ambitions were equally big -- first for themselves, and then for the nation they would lead.

As young men, both future presidents trained as surveyors at periods when Americans were preoccupied by the development of the frontier and the acquisition of land. Historian John Ferling wrote: "Starting around age fifteen, George learned surveying through self-help books, such as `The Young Man's Companion,' and it is probable that he was tutored by some of the surveyors employed by the Fairfaxes." In his search for self-improvement, 16-year-old Washington famously wrote out the rules for life and behavior from "Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation." That pursuit would continue the rest of his life.

Surveying helped define both men. In 1834 Abraham Lincoln was named as a deputy surveyor of Sangamon County in Illinois; George Washington had been appointed as Culpepper County surveyor in 1749. Ferling observed that, "surveying ... was a respectable and often lucrative occupation in Washington's Virginia, as the population was growing and new frontiers were opening steadily."

A Project of
The Lehrman Institute
Lewis E. Lehrman, Founder
When using this research please
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and The Lincoln Institute.
Lincoln at Peoria

Lincoln at Peoria
The Turning Point
by Lewis E. Lehrman
Lincoln at Peoria explains how Lincoln's speech at Peoria on October 16, 1854, was the turning point in the development of his antislavery campaign and his political career and thought.


April 17, 1864 From Washington Territory a letter is sent to President Lincoln: “The charges against Superintendent [of Indian Affairs] Calvin H.] Hale are all false Do not remove him If necessary let him come & defend Send answer.”   President Lincoln is preparing for a short address in Baltimore the next day....Read More
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