Cover

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Title

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Copyright

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CONTENTS

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p. vii

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Preface

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p. ix

The excerpts in this book have been selected to tell a story of Abraham Lincoln's life in his own words. They have been put together from his writings, speeches, and interviews with preference for those recorded as the events or ideas unfolded. His own writings have been supplemented...

Some Important Dates

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pp. xi-xiii

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Introduction

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pp. 1-4

This book came about in trying to understand what Lincoln was really like. He leads in every twentieth-century poll of presidential greatness. He is perennially subjected to biographies for all ages. Yet his personality remains one of the nation's unsolved mysteries. He himself composed...

List of Abbreviations

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p. 5

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1. Surviving the Frontier

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pp. 7-19

I was born February 12, 1809 in Hardin County, Kentucky.1 My parents were both born in Virginia, of undistinguished families-second families, perhaps I should say. My paternal grandfather, Abraham Lincoln, emigrated from Rockingham County, Virginia, to Kentucky, about 1781 or...

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2. Finding a New Life in New Salem

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pp. 21-34

An adventurer from Kentucky, Denton Offutt promised cousin John Hanks, stepbrother John Johnston, and Lincoln 50 cents a day and 60 dollars to trade a flat-boat load of pork, corn, and live hogs down to New Orleans. Offutt came from a respected Kentucky family but somehow had...

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3. Seeking a Fortune in Springfield

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pp. 35-67

On April 15, 1837 removed to Springfield, and commenced the practice, his old friend, Stuart taking him into partnership.1...

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4. Making His Way with Wit and Wisdom

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pp. 69-88

I never was much interested in the Texas question. I never could see much good to come of annexation; inasmuch, as they were already a free republican people on our own model; on the other hand, I never could very clearly see how the annexation would augment the evil of slavery. It...

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5. Stumping the State and the Nation

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pp. 89-113

In the autumn of that year he took the stump with no broader practical aim or object than to secure, if possible, the re-election of Hon Richard Yates to congress. His speeches at once attracted a more marked attention than they had ever before done. As the canvass proceeded, he...

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6. Preserving, Protecting, Defending

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pp. 115-144

"It was just after my election in 1860, when the news had been coming in thick and fast all day, and there had been a great 'Hurrah, boys!' so that I was all tired out, and went home to rest, throwing myself down on a lounge in my chamber. Opposite where I lay was a bureau, with a swinging- glass...

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7. Making Peace, All Passion Spent

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pp. 145-173

You dislike the emancipation proclamation; and, perhaps, would have it retracted. You say it is unconstitutional. I think differently. I think the Constitution invests its Commander-in-Chief, with the laws of war in time of war. The most that can be said, if so much, is that slaves are...

Notes

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pp. 175-181

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 183-189

Index

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pp. 191-198