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Civil War History - Abraham Lincoln

                Abraham Lincoln Film Clips

Click here to read about Lincoln, the joke teller.

The Two Lincoln Inaugurations (Inaugural Program, 1949)

Callously torn from the binding of the 1949 inaugural program were these pithy paragraphs describing the somber moods of both Lincoln inaugurals. The anonymous author noted that

"when Lincoln delivered his Inaugural Address, four future Presidents of the United States stood on the platform near him: Hayes, Garfield, Arthur and Benjamin Harrison."

To read the text of Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, click here .


Ford's Theater Layout (Harper's Magazine, 1865)

Attached is a schematic drawing depicting the theater box occupied by the President and Mrs. Lincoln the night of his assassination.

Featured in the image is the dark hallway leading to the President's Box, the footlights and the stage by which Booth was able to make good his escape.

Click here to read about a dream that President Lincoln had, a dream that anticipated his violent death.


Lincoln Remembered (National Park Service, 1956)

Shortly after Abraham Lincoln's assassination, William H. Herndon (1816 - 1891), Lincoln's law partner, devoted much of his life to collecting as much original source material on the man as he could possibly find. Indeed, scholars have pointed out that there never would have been an accurate word written about Lincoln if not for the efforts of Herndon. The following description of Lincoln is from a lecture delivered by Herndon in 1865.


Lincoln's Address at Cooper Union (The National Park Service, 1956)

Before his 1860 address at the Cooper Institute (presently known as Cooper Union) Abraham Lincoln "was known in the East chiefly as a rather obscure western lawyer who had gained some prestige a little over a year earlier in the debates with Douglas during the Illinois senatorial contest. The day after the address Horace Greeley's NEW YORK TRIBUNE remarked:

"No man ever before made such an impression on his first appeal to a New York audience".

"This speech put within Lincoln's grasp a chance for the Presidency".

Attached, you will find his very powerful conclusion to the address.

Click here to read about the Confederate conscription laws.


The Lincoln - Douglas Debates Observed (The National Park Service, 1956)

These four paragraphs first appeared on the pages of THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE and were written by a reporter named of Horace White at the conclusion of Lincoln - Douglas debates of 1858. The journalist did a fine job in describing the excitement at the debates and the spirit of the participating candidates.

From Amazon:

"Douglas ended in a whirlwind of applause...and Lincoln began to speak in a slow and rather awkward way. He had a thin tenor, or rather falsetto voice, almost as high pitched as a boatswain's whistle".

The debates resulted in a close election that returned Douglas to the U.S. Senate and Lincoln to his law practice.


Traveling to the Lincoln - Douglas Debate (National Park Service, 1956)

Stephen Douglas (1813 1861), Lincoln's Democratic rival in the contest for the U.S. Senate seat from Illinois, was a popular figure with a great deal of political capitol who enjoyed wide spread fame throughout much of the fruited plain; this all contributed to a robust ego which would not suffer anything less than traveling to the debates in a grand style. By contrast, "Honest Abe" traveled in economy class, packed among the masses (although as a railroad lawyer, he certainly could have afforded better).

This short paragraph (accompanied by a photograph of both men) was written by a friend of Lincoln who recalled his train ride with the (losing) candidate as he made his way to Ottawa, Illinois, the site of the first debate.


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