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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 the Athlete

"For such an awkward fellow, I am pretty sure-footed. It used to take a pretty dextrous man to throw me," recalled President Lincoln on the night of his reelection as President in 1864. "I remember, the evening of the day in 1858, that decided the contest for th...

Abraham Lincoln & Freedom

Abraham Lincoln & Freedom

Military Initiatives

Mr. Lincoln had the reins of government but in the early days of the Civil War, he did not hold those reins tightly. Historian John Hope Franklin wrote that as President Lincoln "evolved his plan of emancipation, he was viewed all the more unfavorably because he f...

Abraham Lincoln's White House

Abraham Lincoln's White House

Prince of Wales Room

It may have been to this room that Mary Todd Lincoln referred when she wrote her cousin that, "We now occupy the state guest room" because of renovations to their own bedrooms in October 1861. The Prince of Wales Room in the Northwest corner of the White House acq...
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

Ninian W. Edwards (1809-1889)

President Lincoln's patronage problems were compounded by his wife's relatives - who were anxious for positions which they did not necessarily deserve as a result of their political loyalty to Mr. Lincoln. An egregious example was the case of Ninian W. Edwards, t...

Abraham Lincoln & New York

Abraham Lincoln & New York

The Speech

Historian Benjamin Thomas wrote: "All day on February 27, 1860 Lincoln was entertained at the Astor House as a visiting celebrity. That night, despite a snowstorm, fifteen hundred persons filed into Cooper Union, the largest assemblage 'of the intellect and cultu...

Lincoln's Contemporaries

Abraham Lincoln's Contemporaries

Abraham Lincoln's Sons

Illinois Editor Jeriah Bonham recalled visiting Abraham Lincoln in Springfield in the summer of 1860. Mr. Lincoln was at the State Capitol where he normally met with visitors, but this day he was alone with Tad and Willie, who were playing on the floor of the Go...

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 23, 1864 President Lincoln orders the reinstatement of Congressman Frank P. Blair, Jr. as a Union Army general. Lincoln writes Secretary of War Edwin Stanton: “According to our understanding with Major General Frank P. Blair, at the time he took his seat in Congress last winter, he now asks to withdraw his resignation as […]...Read More
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