Theodore Roosevelt Dawn Powell Ezra Pound Edgar Allan Poe Francis Parkman Thomas Paine Eugene O'Neill Flannery O'Connor Frank Norris Vladimir Nabokov John Muir Herman Melville Carson Mccullers
American Literature by American Writers.
Sign up for E-Mail View CartMy Account
Lincoln, Abraham - Speeches and Writings 1859–1865


Abraham Lincoln

Speeches and Writings 1859–1865

 
"The Library of America in its reissue of American literary classics...has been the most satisfying (and, I suspect, the most lasting) publishing event of my lifetime. The two volumes of Lincoln's complete writings, superbly edited by Don E. Fehrenbacher, ... are the capstone of this splendid continuing series."
—Alfred Kazin, The New York Times Book Review
 
Overview  |  Reviews  |  Table of Contents
 
Click here to add this title with the standard black dustjacket to your cart.
Click here to add this title with the Bicentennial Blue dustjacket.


E-book edition: Abraham Lincoln: Speeches and Writings 1832–1858 is available for the Amazon Kindle, iBooks, Nook, Kobo, and Google Books.

Abraham Lincoln, America's heroic Civil War president, was also the greatest writer ever to occupy the White House. His addresses at Gettysburg and at his inaugurals, his presidential messages and public lectures, are an essential record of the war and have forever shaped the nation's memories of it. This Library of America volume collects writings from 1859 to 1865 and contains 555 speeches, messages, proclamations, letters, memoranda, and fragments. They record the words and deeds—the order to resupply Fort Sumter, the emancipation of the slaves held in the Confederacy, and proposals to offer the South generous terms of reconstruction—by which he hoped to defend and preserve the Union.

The speeches and letters Lincoln wrote in 1859 and 1860 show his unyielding opposition to the spread of slavery and his canny appraisals of the upcoming election in which he was to win the presidency. His victory triggered the secession that he would oppose in his First Inaugural, with its appeal to logic, history, and "the better angels of our nature."

Lincoln's wartime writings record the nearly overwhelming burdens of office during a fratricidal war, and the added burden of self-seeking Cabinet members, military cliques, and a bitter political opposition. He was savagely criticized both for being too harsh and for being too mild. He ordered the blockade of ports, suspended habeas corpus, jailed dissenters, and applauded Sherman's devastating march to the sea; at the same time he granted clemency to individual Union deserters and releases to Confederate prisoners. "I expect to maintain this contest until successful," he declared, and toward that end he was prepared, not without his characteristic drolleries, to suffer the paradoxes of leadership in a nation at war with itself. His writings here include pleas to his own party to spare him their patronage feuds and to generals that they act more resolutely in the field. The struggles that taxed his physical endurance also tempered his prose style, as evidenced in the nobility of his state papers, his sparse words at Gettysburg, and his poignant letter to Mrs. Bixby, consoling her for the deaths of her sons in battle.

In a message to Congress in December 1862, Lincoln wrote of the fiery trial through which the nation was passing: "We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best, hope of earth." By 1865, he was ready to offer the nation his view of the Almighty's purposes and did so in his Second Inaugural Address with a beauty, clarity, and severity unsurpassed in American letters. Soon after, he fell to an assassin's bullet, joining six hundred thousand of his countrymen killed in the war. He became part of what he called "the cherished memory of the loved and lost," all those who had died that "this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom."

Don E. Fehrenbacher (1920–1997), volume editor, was professor of history at Stanford University. He was the author of several books, including Prelude to Greatness: Lincoln in the 1850's, The Dred Scott Case: Its Significance in American Law and Politics, and Lincoln in Text and Context.

Save $35 when you purchase this book in the Lincoln Bicentennial Collection Box Set!

Also by Abraham Lincoln:
Speeches and Writings 1832–1858

Also available:
The Lincoln Anthology: Great Writers on Ulysses S. Grant: Memoirs and Selected Letters
William T. Sherman: Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman

Copyright 1995–2011 Literary Classics of the United States, Inc.
Contact Us | Privacy and Security

LOA Web Store
List price: $35.00
Web store price: $31.50
ADD TO CART
Free shipping in the U.S.
Phone orders: 1-800-964-5778
Request product #200479
Subscription Account Holders: Buy the cream-slipcased edition at the Customer Service Center.
Booksellers/Libraries: LOA books are distributed worldwide by the Penguin Group.
ISBN: 978-0-94045063-9
788 pages
More purchasing options
Amazon.com
Barnes and Noble
Powells.com
Indiebound.org
Other options

Receive both volumes of Lincolnıııs speeches and writings for only $5.95 as our way of introducing you to The Library of America—and get a FREE 1,200-page book!

Make a tax-deductible gift of volumes to a library of your choice.