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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 1864

No American President had been reelected since Andrew Jackson had defeated Lincoln hero Henry Clay in 1832. Abraham Lincoln determined to break that three-decade long curse. Meeting with President Lincoln in the summer of 1863 Benjamin Rush Cowen recalled that P...

Abraham Lincoln & Freedom

Abraham Lincoln & Freedom

Republican National Convention

Abolitionist dissidents meeting in Cleveland on May 30, 1864 included in their new party platform support for a constitutional amendment abolishing slavery. "When the regular Republicans met in convention the following month, Lincoln was aware of the need for winn...

Abraham Lincoln's White House

Abraham Lincoln's White House

John Nicolay (1832-1901)

Private Secretary to President Lincoln, John Nicolay subsequently co-authored Abraham Lincoln: A History with John Hay. He wrote The Outbreak of Rebellion on his own. Nicolay was a former journalist with the Pike County Sucker and ...
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

Noah Brooks (1830-1903)

"It is natural that friends should tenderly and frequently talk of the loved and lost, descanting upon their virtues, narrating the little incidents of a life ended, and dwelling with minute particularity upon traits of character which, under other circumstances, m...

Abraham Lincoln & New York

Abraham Lincoln & New York

Visit to West Point

President Lincoln briefly visited New York in late June 1862 when he visited General Winfield Scott at West Point to discuss the military strategy of General George B. McClellan. "The president sought his counsel on the important question of whether to risk weake...

Lincoln's Contemporaries

Abraham Lincoln's Contemporaries

Abraham Lincoln and Members of Congress

Even before Abraham Lincoln took office as President, members of Congress loomed large in President-elect Abraham Lincoln's political planning. Two weeks after the election, President-elect Lincoln met in Chicago with Senators Lyman Trumbull and Hannibal Hamlin....

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 19, 1864 After delivering short speech to Sanitary Commission Fair on Monday, President Lincoln comes back to Washington by train in the morning – missing the regular Tuesday morning cabinet meeting. Navy Secretary Gideon Welles complains in his diary: “He has a fondness for attending these shows only surpassed by [Secretary of State William […]...Read More
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