OVERRIDE

The Essential Lincoln

Speeches and Correspondence

Edited by Orville Vernon Burton

Hill and Wang

Eloquent, humble, and shrewd, Abraham Lincoln was one of America’s greatest presidents, and The Essential Lincoln brings together his most defining speeches, public and private correspondence, and personal notations in one slim, handsome volume. Lincoln historian Orville Vernon Burton has culled the thousands of pages of the complete works of Lincoln for the most compelling and revealing pieces. Many are presented unabridged, including Lincoln’s speech at Cooper Union in February 1860; his August 1862 letter to Horace Greeley; the Gettysburg Address; and his second inaugural address. Others have been skillfully edited down to reveal the essence of Lincoln’s beliefs and aspirations, including two of his decisive debates with Stephen A. Douglas, the Emancipation Proclamation, and his first inaugural address. From his earliest writings as a loquacious twenty-three-year-old in New Salem to his last public address from the White House balcony, these original documents give life to Lincoln’s deeply rooted beliefs: his unflagging dedication to a united America, his reverence for the rule of law, his feelings on slavery and each human being’s inalienable natural rights, his boundless commitment to mankind’s innate intelligence and morality. What emerges is a portrait of a stunning American and a compelling historical icon, one who represents the highest ideals we have for our country and for ourselves. This collection is quite simply The Essential Lincoln.

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THE ESSENTIAL LINCOLN (Chapter 1)"To the People of Sangamo County"

March 9, 1832

The first known public writing of Abraham Lincoln captures the hardworking aspiring politician. He had lived in New Salem, Illinois (Sangamon County), only half a year and was not quite a month into his twenty-third year when he announced in the c">Sangamo Journal his campaign for a seat in the Illinois General Assembly. As a Whig he appeals to reason and addresses local issues--internal improvements, rising interest rates, and, notable for a man with less than a year's formal schooling, public education, declaring

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Praise for The Essential Lincoln

“Orville Vernon Burton notes that ‘Lincoln chose his words deliberately,’ and so does Burton. His introductions and editorial notes are concise, lively, and reliable, and Lincoln’s words, as always, are gripping, brilliant, and deeply moving. There have been many collections of Lincoln’s writings, but this slender, thoughtfully selected compendium more than lives up to its title: essential.” —Harold Holzer, co-chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission
 
“This is a book to have and to hold. To feel. To put on your coffee table. To give to a friend . . . A wonderful way to honor Lincoln’s memory and to get a new appreciation for why we want to.” —Carolyn Howard-Johnson, MyShelf.com

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    The Essential Lincoln

    Speeches and Correspondence

    Edited by Orville Vernon Burton

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