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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 Law

Abraham Lincoln's persona was deeply rooted in reverence for law and rationality: "Let reverence for the laws be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap – let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in college; &n...

Abraham Lincoln & Freedom

Abraham Lincoln & Freedom

The Chicago Ministers

In early September, the pressure built. New Yorkers had been trekking to Washington all summer. In desperation, they even recruited New York Evening Post William Cullen Bryant. A delegation headed by the son of Alexander Hamilton came away frustrated acc...

Abraham Lincoln's White House

Abraham Lincoln's White House

James B. Fry (1827-1894)

James B. Fry was a West Point graduate and artillery specialist who was served briefly in the Mexican-American War. He came to Washington in the winter of 1861 to help protect the government during President Lincoln's inauguration. He served as chief of staff to G...
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

Thomas J. Pickett (1821-1891)

Thomas J. Pickett, born in Kentucky, founded more than a dozen newspapers in three states. Pickett moved to Illinois where he became editor of several newspapers in northwest Illinois. Pickett, who served in the Illinois Senate and as an army colonel during the C...

Abraham Lincoln & New York

Abraham Lincoln & New York

Presidential Patronage

Republicans had never held the Presidency. Democrats had held it for eight years. There was considerable pressure not only regarding the Cabinet but virtually the entire slate of federal employee positions. Since no one had civil service protections, Republican...

Lincoln's Contemporaries

Abraham Lincoln's Contemporaries

Abraham Lincoln and Alexander H. Stephens

Part I: Peace Negotiations of 1863 In June 1863, Alexander H. Stephens urged Jefferson Davis to open negotiations with the Union government regarding the exchange of military prisoners: 'I think I might do some good - not only on the immedi...

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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