Lincoln and the Bluegrass: Slavery and Civil War in Kentucky

Lincoln and the Bluegrass: Slavery and Civil War in Kentucky

Lincoln and the Bluegrass: Slavery and Civil War in Kentucky

Lincoln and the Bluegrass: Slavery and Civil War in Kentucky

Excerpt

It has been more than twenty-five years since Lincoln and His Wife's Home Town, from which the present work has developed, first came off the press. During this period I have had the benefit of important and relevant sources which were either unknown or unavailable in 1929. The Abraham Lincoln Association of Springfield, Illinois, has assembled The Collected Works into eight large volumes which contain hundreds of Lincoln letters and documents heretofore unpublished. The Herndon-Weik manuscripts and the Robert Todd Lincoln Collection are now open for inspection and research in the Library of Congress. The diaries of the Reverend William Moody Pratt, a veritable gold mine of information about Lexington and the Bluegrass from 1833 until long after the Civil War, are in the Library of the University of Kentucky. Diligence and luck have added to my own collection of Lincolniana many items which have proved useful in the present undertaking. As before, whenever possible I have allowed original sources to speak for themselves.

It is my opinion that the analysis of this new material affords a broader perspective and deeper insight into the affirmation made in the preface to the earlier book--that Abraham Lincoln's personal contacts with slavery in the Bluegrass gave him a firsthand knowledge of the "peculiar institution" that he could have acquired in no other way. The impact of these experiences upon Abraham Lincoln and the circumstances sur-

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