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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 Stories and Humor

When Ohio Congressman James Ashley disapproved of a story Abraham Lincoln had just told, the President responded: "Ashley, I have great confidence in you and great respect for you, and I know how sincere you are. But if I couldn't tell these stories, I would die."...

Abraham Lincoln & Freedom

Abraham Lincoln & Freedom

Ottawa, August 21, 1858

Contemporary biographer Isaac Arnold wrote: "Just before the first joint discussion, which was to take place at Ottawa, there was a large gathering at the Chenery House, then the leading hotel in Springfield. The house was filled with politicians, and so great was...

Abraham Lincoln's White House

Abraham Lincoln's White House

Jacob Collamer (1791-1865)

Vermont Senator (1854-1865) Jacob Collamer had a long career in Vermont politics - as a State Supreme Court Justice (1833-1842, 1850-1854) and Congressman (Whig, 1842-1859). He also served briefly as U.S. Postmaster General (1849-1850). Historian Allan G. Bogue...
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

Thurlow Weed (1797-1882)

Thurlow Weed was not an easy friend for the President to keep. He was often out of sorts with Mr. Lincoln on patronage, policy, political or personal reasons - and took umbrage even when Mr. Lincoln thought he had given none. Within two months of taking office, ...

Abraham Lincoln & New York

Abraham Lincoln & New York

Theodore Tilton (1835-1907)

Independent Theodore Tilton was "young, handsome, religious, intense," wrote historian William Harlan Hale.1 The talented Tilton edited a New York daily, called The Independent,dedicated to emancipation. Andrew A. Freeman wrote in M...

Lincoln's Contemporaries

Abraham Lincoln's Contemporaries

Abraham Lincoln and George B. McClellan

General George B. McClellan made a good first impression. He was also a striking contrast to the nation's commander's in chief, Abraham Lincoln. "General McClellan is indeed a striking figure, in spite of his shortness," recalled Lincoln aide William O. Stoddard....

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 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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