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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's First Inaugural Address

As President-elect Abraham Lincoln traveled from Springfield to Washington in February 1860, he deliberately avoided making policy statements that might be misinterpreted in either North or South. Historian Daniel J. Ryan noted that "Lincoln of course, was shrewdl...

Abraham Lincoln & Freedom

Abraham Lincoln & Freedom

Pay and Promotion

Historian Marvin Cain wrote: "The Negro troops so enlisted were not given a bounty, but instead received only laborer's pay, thus serving for $6 a month less than white soldiers. Angered by this discrimination, Governor John Albion Andrew of Massachusetts, who was...

Abraham Lincoln's White House

Abraham Lincoln's White House

The Attic

During the Civil War, there was no third floor to the White House. (It was not completed until 1927.) The White House attic and roof were the Lincoln boys' playground. Julia Taft, who often oversaw her own brothers as well as Willie and Tad Lincoln, recorded a t...
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

Lyman Trumbull (1813-1896)

Lyman Trumbull could be a difficult man to like. Ward Hill Lamon wrote how Mr. Lincoln signed the Thirteenth Amendment in the spirit of the moment - even though his signature was unnecessary. "Subsequently, however, the Senate, at the instance of Senator Lyman Tr...

Abraham Lincoln & New York

Abraham Lincoln & New York

Charles A. Dana (1819-1897)

New York Tribune "Personally Mr. Dana was one of the most attractive and charming of men," recalled New York politician Chauncey M. Depew. "As assistant secretary of war during Lincoln's administration he came in intimate contact with all the public men ...

Lincoln's Contemporaries

Abraham Lincoln's Contemporaries

Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas

A hero requires a worthy antagonist. Stephen A. Douglas was that antagonist for Abraham Lincoln in the period from 1854 to 1861. The struggle between Lincoln and Douglas was a struggle of values and public policy that had an lasting impact on the country. Dougla...

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: ôLadies 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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