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The Lincoln Mailbag

America Writes to the President, 1861-1865

Edited by Harold Holzer

Publication Year: 2006

As president, Abraham Lincoln received between two hundred and five hundred letters a day—correspondence from public officials, political allies, and military leaders, as well as letters from ordinary Americans of all races who wanted to share their views with him. Here, and in his critically acclaimed volume Dear Mr. Lincoln, editor Harold Holzer has rescued these voices—sometimes eloquent, occasionally angry, at times poetic—from the obscurity of the archives of the Civil War. The Lincoln Mailbag includes letters written by African Americans, which Lincoln never saw, revealing to readers a more accurate representation of the nation’s mood than even the president knew. This first paperback edition of The Lincoln Mailbag includes a new index and fourteen illustrations, and Holzer’s introduction and annotations provide historical context for the events described and the people who wrote so passionately to their president in Lincoln's America.

Published by: Southern Illinois University Press

Title Page

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Copyright Page

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pp. ix-x


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pp. xi-xii

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pp. xiii-xxii

VIRTUALLY FROM 1Tm DAY the book Dear Mr. Lincoln1 was published in the fall of 1993, I have been urged to undertake a second volume of citizen correspondence to America's sixteenth president. And I have been armed with so much wonderful material ever since that the challenge has become a most welcome opportunity....

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pp. xxiii-xxvi

IN UNDERTAKING THIS VOLUME, I have been blessed by assistance, support, and encouragement from friends and colleagues who have earned much more gratitude than I can begin to express. Most of all, I am indebted to my close friend, Judge Frank]. Williams of Hope Valley, Rhode Island, who again made available to me the vast resources of ...

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pp. xxvii-xxxvi

DURING THE CIVIL WAR, responsibility for the White House mailbag fell to a succession of staff aides: first, to John M. Hay, the future secretary of state who served as assistant private secretary throughout the Lincoln administration; then, when Hay required help, to the young Illinois ...

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A Note on Editorial Methods

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pp. xxxvii-xl

THE LETTERS on the following pages are presented chronologically, rather than by topic, to best provide a sense of the broad range of subjects that Lincoln's correspondents addressed daily. The editor has made a determined effort to preserve the letters in their original state. Misspellings ...

Photo Gallery

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pp. xli-l


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pp. 1-34


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pp. 35-80


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pp. 81-118


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pp. 119-196


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pp. 197-236


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pp. 237-244

Author Bio

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p. 245-245

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780809388103
Print-ISBN-13: 9780809326853

Publication Year: 2006