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Sources

Wherever possible, the Lincoln Institute websites use primary sources and provide "wide" quotes so that students can excerpt pieces of original material to prepare their own reports. The footnotes at the end of text sections are careful to relate to specific quotations — and to avoid technical footnoting jargon and references to previously cited material. The goal has been to provide the context of what authors were writing. Since many of the books cited are difficult to find, the websites have assumed the function of a library of Mr. Lincoln's personal and professional relationships.

Missing dates, truncated names and nonexistent titles can make tough reading of detailed historical material. To ease the pain for students, every effort has been made to clarify dates, and provide complete names and titles even in the second, third and fourth references. "Who is that guy?" can be a particular burden when reading about a period of history with which one is unfamiliar. Whenever possible, both historical figures and historical writers are repeatedly identified — so that the reader doesn't have to backtrack in the text to find the original citation about the individual to order to figure out who he or she was.

Each website includes a library with a complete bibliography to encourage students to look deeper into the material and at the secondary sources cited — since the secondary sources are frequently easier to find than the primary material. However, in recent years, there have been a number of books published which compiled original source material — such as Herndon's Informants, edited by Douglas L. Wilson and Roderick Davis and numerous collections of letters, diaries and articles from Noah Brooks, John Hay, John Nicolay and William O. Stoddard edited by Michael Burlingame. Also invaluable is the Recollected Words of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Don E. and Virginia Fehrenbacher.

Reminiscences, conversations and memories of Mr. Lincoln have been collected in books edited by Harold Holzer, Allen Thorndike Rice, Rufus Rockwell Wilson and others. The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln was edited by Roy P. Basler in the early 1850s. Much of the incoming and outgoing correspondence from the White House years can be found in the Lincoln Library at the Library of Congress.

 

Images

At the top-right of each section of text is a photo gallery that includes photos and drawings from the Gilder-Lehrman Collection, the Library of Congress, the Illinois State Historical Library and other sources. Students should be instructed to double-click on an image to enlarge it and show the source of the image. New images will continuously be added to site and interactive maps will be included to give students a better sense of the geography of the nation and the cities in which Mr. Lincoln lived and worked.

 

Timelines

Timelines are available on Mr. Lincoln and Freedom and Mr. Lincoln's White House. Timelines will be added to Mr. Lincoln and New York and Mr. Lincoln and Friends.

 

Profile Formats

The biographical profiles in the Lincoln Institute websites follow different formats. In Mr. Lincoln's White House, each profile begins with a brief summary of the individual's accomplishments as they pertained to the Civil War Years. What follows are incidents that occurred at the White House or nearby Washington. The profile concludes with a short summary of the individual's life before and after the Civil War.

In Mr. Lincoln and Friends, the profiles generally begin with a story about the individual's relationship to Mr. Lincoln, followed by as much detail about their relationship and to Mr. Lincoln's other friends as could be assembled. Interwoven in these stories is other biographical information about the individual.

In Mr. Lincoln and New York, the profiles begin with evaluations of the individuals by others — biographers, contemporaries or Mr. Lincoln himself. This is followed by a summary of their actions as they affected both Mr. Lincoln and New York politics in the Civil War. Since these lives were particularly interwoven, it is necessary to examine the background and relationships. It is impossible to explain Horace Greeley's relationship with Mr. Lincoln, for example, without explaining his relationship to former editorial subordinates like Henry J. Raymond and Charles A. Dana who were closer to Mr. Lincoln; or Greeley's relationship to former political colleagues like Thurlow Weed and William H. Seward who were now enemies; or his difficult relationships with other newspaper editors like William Cullen Bryant and James Gordon Bennett, whom Greeley occasionally delighted in abusing.

To give another example, there is a separate section in Mr. Lincoln and New York on the New York gubernatorial election of 1862. But to understand more completely the importance of that election, it is also important to read the profiles of Republican boss Thurlow Weed and Democratic boss Dean Richmond as well as the profiles of candidates Horatio Seymour and James Wadsworth — in addition to that of outgoing Governor Edwin D. Morgan.

Some contemporaries of Mr. Lincoln — such as Horace Greeley, Henry J. Raymond William H. Seward, and Thurlow Weed — make appearances in three of the sites. The profiles of these individuals are very different and contain a variety of information and sources. Each profile can stand alone, but to have a full appreciation of an individual like Horace Greeley, the reader should follow the "Visit" links at the bottom of each profile and narrative section of the sites. (Clicking on one of these hyperlinks opens a new web page.) These links provide very helpful clues for discovering "the rest of the story." To make the profiles as comprehensible as possible for individuals not familiar with the cast of characters or authors, references to individuals are made as clear as possible so that students will not become frustrated by the sheer volume of names. So, rather than referring to "historian David M. Potter" as "Potter" in a second reference, the text usually includes a full reference to "historian David M. Potter."

The profiles in Mr. Lincoln and New York bear some explanation. All of the truly important political figures of both parties are included, since their lives intersected with that of Mr. Lincoln. Democrat Samuel J. Tilden is not profiled because he interacted with Mr. Lincoln only once in the summer of 1863 and became a major political figure only after Mr. Lincoln's death. Tammany political boss William Tweed is important, but he was not a player in national policy during the Civil War — the one term that he did spend in Congress was before the war. Tweed did not interact with Mr. Lincoln until Mr. Lincoln's funeral, when he was named to the committee on arrangements. Defeated for election to the House of Representatives, he held a series of minor offices as school commissioner, member of the board of superiors, and deputy street commissioner from 1861 to 1870. His power did not come from involvement in national issues but by mastering the intricacies of corruption. In 1871, Tweed came under attack from a New York Times series which demonstrated the manner and extent of Tweed's corruption. In 1872, Tweed was arrested and jailed. He was important to New York politics but he was peripheral to most of the events here discussed. Both Tweed and Tilden are mentioned in the profiles of other New Yorkers.

Similarly, Republican William Evarts was an important political and legal force in New York, but he was neither an admirer nor an associate of Mr. Lincoln. His role in New York politics is covered in profiles of other politicians closer to Mr. Lincoln. Editor John Bigelow's acquaintance with Mr. Lincoln was limited to one meeting, but Bigelow played an important role in Mr. Lincoln's political and diplomatic life — and with other Republicans whom Mr. Lincoln knew well. As American consul in Paris, Bigelow played a more vital role in U.S. diplomacy than did the U.S. Minister, William Dayton. While Evarts played the cynic, journalist Bigelow played the activist. Bigelow has his own profile.

No women are profiled in Mr. Lincoln and New York or Mr. Lincoln and Freedom. Women indeed played important roles in the Civil War, but few women from New York played a critical role in interacting with Mr. Lincoln. Although Mrs. Lincoln had social relationships with many New Yorkers, virtually all of the important relationships she had were with males. There are profiles on women in Mr. Lincoln and Friends and Mr. Lincoln's White House.

A few black Americans are profiled in Mr. Lincoln and Freedom and Mr. Lincoln's White House. Special attention is given to Mr. Lincoln's relationship with black abolitionist, Frederick Douglass.

 

Lesson Plans

Mr. Lincoln and Slavery
Sites: Mr. Lincoln and Freedom, Mr. Lincoln and Friends, Mr. Lincoln's White House

Mr. Lincoln and the Lincoln Douglas Debates
Sites: Mr. Lincoln and Freedom, Mr. Lincoln and Friends, Mr. Lincoln's White House

Mr. Lincoln and his Cabinet.
Sites: Mr. Lincoln's White House, Mr. Lincoln and Friends, Mr. Lincoln and Freedom Mr. Lincoln and New York

Mr. Lincoln and the Press
Sites: Mr. Lincoln and Freedom, Mr. Lincoln and Friends, Mr. Lincoln and New York

Mr. Lincoln and the Changing Political Parties
Sites: Mr. Lincoln and Friends, Mr. Lincoln and Freedom, Mr. Lincoln and New York, Mr. Lincoln's White House.

Mr. Lincoln and Political Patronage
Sites: Mr. Lincoln and Friends, Mr. Lincoln and New York, Mr. Lincoln's White House

Mr. Lincoln and the Kansas-Nebraska Act
Sites: Mr. Lincoln and Freedom, Mr. Lincoln and Friends, Mr. Lincoln and the Founders

Mr. Lincoln and the Beginning of the Civil War
Sites: Mr. Lincoln and Friends, Mr. Lincoln and Freedom, Mr. Lincoln and New York, Mr. Lincoln's White House

Mr. Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation
Sites: Mr. Lincoln and Freedom, Mr. Lincoln's White House

Mr. Lincoln and the 13th Amendment
Sites: Mr. Lincoln and Freedom, Mr. Lincoln's White House, Mr. Lincoln and the Founders

Mr. Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address
Sites: Mr. Lincoln and the Founders, Mr. Lincoln's White House

Mr. Lincoln and Black Soldiers
Sites: Mr. Lincoln and Freedom

Mr. Lincoln and Frederick Douglas
Sites: Mr. Lincoln and Freedom, Mr. Lincoln's White House

Mr. Lincoln, Preachers and Religion
Sites: Mr. Lincoln and Friends, Mr. Lincoln and New York, Mr. Lincoln's White House

Mr. Lincoln and Reconstruction
Sites: Mr. Lincoln and Freedom, Mr. Lincoln and Friends, Mr. Lincoln's White House

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
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.
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