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Abraham Lincoln: A History - Volume 1

John Hay and John G. Nicolay

Book Overview: 

This is the biography of Abraham Lincoln, written by two of his private secretaries.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Lincoln usually appeared upon the scene, and with a judicious mixture of force and reason and invincible good- nature restored peace.

While working with Offutt his mind was turned in the direction of English grammar. From what he had heard of it he thought it a matter within his grasp, if he could once fall in with the requisite machinery. Consulting with Menton [Footnote: This name has always been written in Illinois "Minter," but a letter from Mr. Graham's daughter, Mrs. Bell, says that her father's name is as given in the text.] Graham, the schoolmaster, in regard to it, and learning the whereabouts of a vagrant "Kirkham's Grammar," he set off at once and soon returned from a walk of a dozen miles with the coveted prize. He devoted himself to the new study with that peculiar intensity of application which always remained his most valuable faculty, and soon knew all that can be known about it from rules. He seemed surprised, as others have been, a. . . Read More

Community Reviews

A Lincoln biography?

How do you judge a biography about Abraham Lincoln when he gradually fades into the background and the final quarter of the book he is not even mentioned. It starts promisingly enough but at the midway point he just becomes a secondary character in his own biography. As important

Repeating history in 2020...geez

Wow, this was actually a fascinating read!

Maybe things will change in subsequent volumes but this volume spends a lot of time talking about what’s going on in the country whether it involves Lincoln or not.. For example the last several chapters of this book are all about the foment in Kansas around slavery. Interesting but too many details

This is excellent and it provides a lot of information that I did not know. As a New Englander I grew up with a view of the Civil War as it being all about abolition and it was very clear black and white views. This blog shows a different view of people living in the Western front tier of Illinois M