Lincoln before Washington: New Perspectives on the Illinois Years

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Overview

The provocative selections in this book address topics as disparate as William H. Herndon's informants, Lincoln's favorite poem, his mysterious broken engagement, the text of his debates with Douglas, and a previously unknown assault on Peter Cartwright. Although Abraham Lincoln's early years have come to be regarded as the wrong end of his life, Douglas L. Wilson's original and pathbreaking work makes the case that his prepresidential years offer bright prospects for investigation. Collectively, these essays challenge the general view of Lincoln scholars that William H. Herndon, Lincoln's law partner, is an unreliable source. They also provide a fresh look at some of the affinities between Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson.
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Editorial Reviews

James M. McPherson
Many authors have written trilogies, but Douglas L. Wilson may be the first to publish all three volumes within a few months of each other. Although there is some overlap, they fit together like the tiles of a mosaic to provide a fuller portrait than previously existed of Abraham Lincoln during his formative years in New Salem and Springfield....Seven of the nine essays in "Lincoln Before Washington" chronicle work on the Herndon materials and offer important new insights on a number of controversial issues in Lincoln scholarship. -- James M. McPherson, The New York Review of Books
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780252066276
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,159,880
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 The Frigate and the Frugal Chariot: Jefferson and Lincoln as Readers 3
2 Herndon's Legacy 21
3 William H. Herndon and the "Necessary Truth" 37
4 Abraham Lincoln versus Peter Cartwright 55
5 Abraham Lincoln, Ann Rutledge, and the Evidence of Herndon's Informants 74
6 Abraham Lincoln and "That Fatal First of January" 99
7 Abraham Lincoln and the "Spirit of Mortal" 133
8 The Lincoln-Douglas Debates: An Unfinished Text 151
9 Lincoln's Declaration 166
Index 183
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