Abraham Lincoln, a Press Portrait: His Life and Times from the Original Newspaper Documents of the Union, the Confederacy, and Europe

By Herbert Mitgang | Go to book overview

Chapter 1
The Young Lincoln

MARCH 1832-AUGUST 1846

Leaving his boyhood behind him in Kentucky and Indiana, the young Lincoln arrived in New Salem, Sangamon County, Illinois, in the summer of 1831. He was twenty-two. Prophetically, an election was going on and because he could make "a few rabbit tracks" with the pen, he became voting clerk. Less than a year later, he was in politics.

A self-announced candidate for election to the State Legislature, he had declared himself and then volunteered in the militia for the Black Hawk Indian uprising. His unit was officially designated "Captain Abraham Lincoln's Company of the First Regiment of the Brigade of Mounted Volunteers." He won military election as a company leader; after his military discharge as a private (his own company had disbanded and he had re-enlisted), he returned to New Salem to face the voters. Running as a Whig in a Democratic-dominated state, he was defeated. However, he received almost a unanimous vote in his own precinct of New Salem, 227 votes against 3.

Lincoln revealed himself—and was so seen by the public, who were to judge him many times later—for the first time in the Sangamo Journal, Springfield. From its first issue on Nov. 10, 1831, the editors spoke for the Whigs and became close personal and political friends of Lincoln. The Journal was published "every Thursday evening, office in the new brick building, fronting on the Public Square, north-west of the Court House, Up Stairs." Here Lincoln came to converse with the editor, Simeon Francis, who ran a big slogan on his little paper: "Not the glory of Caesar, but the Welfare of Rome." The Sangamo Journal (so called after the river and county of Sangamon) later became

-3-

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Abraham Lincoln, a Press Portrait: His Life and Times from the Original Newspaper Documents of the Union, the Confederacy, and Europe
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The North's Civil War Series ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction to the 2000 Editior ix
  • Sources and Publications xix
  • Introduction xxiii
  • Chapter 1 - The Young Lincoln 3
  • Chapter 2 - Congressman Lincoln 49
  • Chapter 3 - The Great Debater 77
  • Chapter 4 - A National Man 129
  • Chapter 5 - Lincoln for President 163
  • Chapter 6 - President at War 235
  • Chapter 7 - The Emancipator 305
  • Chapter 8 - Commander-In-Chief 351
  • Chapter 9 - The Second Term 415
  • Chapter 10 - As They Saw Him 477
  • Index 525
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