Lincoln in His Own Words

2009 marked Lincoln’s bicentenniel.  In recognition of this, I started reading some of the speeches from before his election (Library of America’s 2 volume Speeches and Writings).  At first, I flipped around, almost at random.  But as I started approaching his presidency, I found myself starting to read his letters as well.  Finally, I noticed that I had stopped flipping around, and was reading each and every page.

Lincoln is one of America’s great prose writers.  Even his short letters are models of clear and lucid writing.  He was also one of America’s great thinkers.  His letters and speeches show a systematic, organized, logical mind, and I find it hard to refute any of his arguments.

So, I decided to start posting some of letters and speeches, in order, day by day, as they were first written/said almost 150 years ago.  I am not posting all his writings – a quick glance through the Collected Works shows that these are too numerous, and many are cursory and uninteresting.  So my selections are based on the Library of America’s choices in their two volume work of his writings and speeches.  The posts come straight from the Collected Works as posted by The Abraham Lincoln Association.

In the months to come I’ll go back and post some of his earlier writings, trying to be specific to the date, but by April next year I suspect I’ll be focusing only on events ‘as they happen’ starting in 1861.  Unless otherwise noted, however, the year, to start with, is 1860, after Lincoln’s nomination as the Republican presidential candidate, but before the election.

A final word.  I’m no historian.  I might post a little commentary here and there, but don’t expect much or any.  Links to other sites with more information are forthcoming. Notes in italics are those of the editors of the Collected Works.  My notes are in [square brackets] and marked “-ed”.

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6 Responses to Lincoln in His Own Words

  1. Larry Tagg says:

    Good words about Lincoln’s writing. You’re right. Every note, no matter how small or insignificant, has a sinewy quality. There is a genius for getting to the nub of every question. I agree with you that, for a lover of good prose, they are habit-forming. They bespeak a great mind, dedicated to truth-finding and truth-telling.

  2. Thanks for following my blog. You have an interesting blog and I will be back to be a little more educated in American history!

    • lincolnscivilwar says:

      Piacere. La mia moglie ed io proviamo comprare un po’ d’italiano per un viaggio che speriamo prendere in Italia in alcuni mesi. E il suo blog e’ perfetto per noi! Non perche’ Lei scitte in italiano naturalmente (Lei non lo fa!), ma perche’ noi ci aspettiamo che il suo blog sara’ molto utile per il nostro viaggio!

      • Sono contenta di poter essere utile per il suo viaggio. Complimenti per il suo Italiano!
        Se e` interessato puo` visitare il mio sito http://www.sharingmyitaly.com dove descrivo il mio servizio di Italy trip consultation and planning.
        Grazie ancora.

        • lincolnscivilwar says:

          We may very well use you! As a matter of fact I’m looking at your blog right now and enjoying it very much!

          In the meantime, please feel free to use me to discover a little about the US Civil War. There are better sources, but… Ciao!

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