For someone who claimed he had been educated by "littles"—a little now and a little then—Abraham Lincoln displayed a remarkable facility in his use of the written word. The simple yet memorable eloquence of his speeches, proclamations and personal correspondence is recorded here in a representative collection of 16 documents.
This volume contains, complete and unabridged, the Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois (1838), which emphasized a theme Lincoln was to return to repeatedly, namely, the capacity of a people to govern themselves; the "House Divided" speech at the Republican State Convention in Illinois (1858); the First Inaugural Address (1861), in which he appealed to the people of an already divided union for sectional harmony; the Gettysburg Address (1864), a speech delivered at ceremonies dedicating a part of the Gettysburg battlefield as a cemetery; the Letter to Mrs. Bixby (1864), expressing Lincoln's regrets over the wartime deaths of her five sons; the Second Inaugural Address (March 1865), urging a post-war nation to "bind up its wounds" and show "charity for all"; and his Last Public Address (April 11, 1865). New notes place the speeches and other documents in their respective historical contexts.
An invaluable reference for history students, this important volume will also fascinate admirers of Abraham Lincoln, American enthusiasts, Civil War buffs and any lover of the finely crafted phrase.