Lincoln and the Bluegrass: Slavery and Civil War in Kentucky

By William H. Townsend | Go to book overview

SEVEN
Grist to the Mill

MANY persons who knew Abraham Lincoln intimately have borne testimony to his fondness for newspapers. One authority has gone so far as to say that they were the "most potent influence that ever came into Lincoln's life in Illinois."1Lincoln's habit of reading newspapers had been acquired back in the early days when he kept the post office at New Salem. Patrons were often slow in calling for their mail, and the postmaster entertained himself with the LouisvilleJournal and other publications that came to the office. After Lincoln went to Springfield, local newspapers were available at his law office, and regularly he read others on the exchange table of his friend, Simeon Francis, editor of the Sangamo Journal.

It was not, however, until his marriage to Mary Todd that Lincoln had regular access to a southern journal. The newspaper that then began coming to the Lincoln residence was the Lexington Observer & Reporter, published semiweekly in his wife's home town.2 The politics of the Observer suited the Lincolns exactly. It was an uncompromising Whig, a stanch supporter of Henry Clay, and a friend of Robert S. Todd.

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Lincoln and the Bluegrass: Slavery and Civil War in Kentucky
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents xi
  • Illustrations xiii
  • One - Athens of the West 1
  • Two - The Lincolns of Fayette 16
  • Three - The Early Todds 25
  • Four - The Little Trader from Hickman Creek 30
  • Five - Mary Ann Todd 46
  • Six - Slavery in the Bluegrass 70
  • Seven - Grist to the Mill 81
  • Eight - The True American 99
  • Nine - The Lincolns Visit Lexington 120
  • Ten - Widow Sprigg and Buena Vista 141
  • Eleven - A House Divided 157
  • Twelve - Milly and Alfred 176
  • Thirteen - The Buried Years 192
  • Fourteen - Storm Clouds 209
  • Fifteen - Rebellion 239
  • Sixteen - Stirring Days in Kentucky 269
  • Seventeen Problems of State and In-Law Trouble 299
  • Eighteen - With Malice Toward None 320
  • Nineteen - Lilac Time 352
  • Bibliographical Notes 359
  • Index 387
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