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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

Speech at Springfield, June 26, 1857

Stephen A. Douglas spoke about Utah, Kansas-Nebraska Act, the unrest in Kansas and the Dred Scott decision to an audience in Springfield in June 1857. Mr. Lincoln was present. Two weeks later, he replied. Historian Douglas Wilson wrote in Lincoln Before Wa...

Abraham Lincoln's White House

Abraham Lincoln's White House

James H. Lane (1814-1866)

James H. Lane, known as "Bloody Jim" and "Grim Chieftain," was a Senator from Kansas (Republican, 1861-66). He participated in the defense of Washington after the fall of Fort Sumter in 1861—coordinating protection of the White House with David Hunter and Cassius M...
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

Bipartisan Friendship

A fellow Sangamon County rail-splitter, George Close, noted that Mr. Lincoln's early appeal was bipartisan. In Mr. Lincoln's 1832 election, he received one more vote in Springfield that the Democratic and Whig candidates for Congress received together.1

Abraham Lincoln & New York

Abraham Lincoln & New York

David Dudley Field (1805-1894)

Mr. Lincoln first met David Dudley Field in Chicago at the River and Harbor Convention in July 1847 where Mr. Lincoln delivered a reply to Field's contention that publicly financed public works should be limited by the Constitution. The New York Tribune re...

Lincoln's Contemporaries

Abraham Lincoln's Contemporaries

Abraham Lincoln and William H. Seward

William H. Seward, President Abraham Lincoln's first and only secretary of state, was a force of political nature. Writer Henry Adams described Seward's "slouching slender figure; a head like a wise macaw; a beaked nose; shaggy eyebrows; unorderly hair and clothes...

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 18, 1864 President Lincoln takes train to Baltimore. In a 15-minute speech, he tells attendees at the Sanitary Commission Fair: “Ladies and Gentlemen–Calling to mind that we are in Baltimore, we can not fail to note that the world moves. Looking upon these many people, assembled here, to serve, as they best may, the […]...Read More
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