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Civil War History - Abraham Lincoln

                Abraham Lincoln Film Clips

Click here to read about Lincoln, the joke teller.

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.


General Grant Recalled Meeting Lincoln (National Park Service, 1956)

A short paragraph from General Grant's memoir recalling the "the first private interview with President Lincoln, on the occasion in the early spring of 1864 when he was given command of all the Federal armies."

"In my first interview with Mr. Lincoln alone he stated to me that he had never professed to be a military man or to know how campaigns should be conducted..."

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


Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address (National Park Service, 1956)

Here is the brief text to President Lincoln's very eloquent second inaugural address, that was delivered during the closing weeks of the Civil War.


John Hay Recalls Lincoln (National Park Service, 1956)

"John Hay (1838 - 1905), formerly one of Lincoln's private secretaries, wrote out some of his recollections of Lincoln's daily personal and official habits as President.

"He was very abstemious, ate less than anyone I know. Drank nothing but water, not from principle, but because he did not like wine or spirits."

Hay was in Paris serving as Secretary of United States Legation when he wrote the letter, about a year and a half after Lincoln's death".

The conduct of the war contributed mightily to Lincoln's rapidly aging appearance. Look at this photo-essay examining his facial decay year by hear: click here.


The Lincoln - Douglas Debates: Defining Slavery (National Park Service, 1956)

"The Republican Party, which developed rapidly as a new political force following the enactment of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill in 1854, gathered its strength chiefly from those who opposed the extension of slavery into the territories. In the Lincoln - Douglas Debates this issue was paramount. Perhaps nowhere can a more concise and explicit statement of the position of the Republican Party on this issue be found than in Mr. Lincoln's opening speech at Quincy [Illinois] in the sixth of the joint debates".


An Eyewitness Account of Lincoln's Visit to Richmond (Atlantic Monthly, 1865)

"Abraham Lincoln was walking their streets: and worst of all, that plain, honest-hearted man was recognizing the [slaves] as human beings by returning their salutations!"

-so wrote the Atlanta Weekly journalist, C.C. Coffin, in this report to his readers concerning the 1865 tour Abraham Lincoln made to a very humiliated Richmond, Virginia.


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