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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, Banking and the Panic of 1837 in Illinois

Abraham Lincoln & Freedom

Abraham Lincoln & Freedom


The first settlers of Illinois came predominantly from slave-holding states like Kentucky. Later settlers came from northern states with strong anti-slavery traditions. Lincoln chronicler Blaine Brooks Gernon wrote: "Sentiment in central and northern Illinois aga...

Abraham Lincoln's White House

Abraham Lincoln's White House

Reverdy Johnson (1796-1876)

Reverdy Johnson was a Senator from Maryland (Whig, Democrat, 1845-49, 1863-68), Attorney General (1849-50) under President Zachary Taylor and Minister to Great Britain (1868-1869). A key supporter of Stephen Douglas in 1860, Johnson became a proponent of emancipat...
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

James Harrison Wilson (1837-1925)

James Harrison Wilson's career in the five years after he graduated from West Point in 1860 was spectacular. He started the Civil war as a topographic engineer and worked on General George B. McClellan's staff before and after the Antietam campaign before transfer...

Abraham Lincoln & New York

Abraham Lincoln & New York

Arrival in New York City

"On that famous visit no one met Lincoln when he stepped off the ferry at Cortlandt Street. Instead, he unobtrusively found his own way to the Astor House. The next day was Sunday, and Lincoln took a two-cent ferry ride to Brooklyn to hear the renowned antislavery...

Lincoln's Contemporaries

Abraham Lincoln's Contemporaries

Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant

General Ulysses S. Grant came to the attention of President Lincoln and the nation when in February 1862 Grant captured two Confederate garrisons on the Tennessee River, Fort Henry and Fort Donelson. "U. S." Grant got the nickname "Unconditional Surrender" Grant a...

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
acknowledge The Lehrman Institute
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 24, 1864 Presidential aide John Hay writes in his diary: “Today, the President, loafing into my room, picked up a paper and read the Richmond Examiner’s recent attack on Jeff. Davis. It amused him. ‘Why,’ said he, ‘the Examiner seems abt as fond of Jeff as the [New York] World is of me.’” President […]...Read More
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