This Fiery Trial: The Speeches and Writings of Abraham Lincoln

Paperback | October 15, 2002

byWilliam E. Gienapp

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William Gienapp has edited a new edition of Lincoln's writings intended to supplement as well as serve as a companion to his short biography Abraham Lincoln and Civil War America. This concise edition will appeal to both a general audience interested in becoming acquainted with Lincoln via hiswritings, speeches, and letters, as well as to students in college courses covering the Civil War and Lincoln's presidency. Gienapp has provided longer and more detailed introductory headnotes than those offered by similar collections of Lincoln's writings, while at the same time, through judiciousselection and editorial focus, he has kept the length short enough to make it an attractive supplementary text for college courses.This edition contains selections from Lincoln's writings from his early years to his death, with primary emphasis on the presidential years. Some documents, especially letters, are published in full, but many of the documents, particularly speeches, annual messages, proclamations, and public lettershave been carefully condensed to preserve the full meaning and significance of Lincoln's writings while at the same time maximizing the collection's conciseness. Taken together the selections convey Lincoln's basic ideas, the nature of his wartime leadership, and his personality andcharacter.

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William Gienapp has edited a new edition of Lincoln's writings intended to supplement as well as serve as a companion to his short biography Abraham Lincoln and Civil War America. This concise edition will appeal to both a general audience interested in becoming acquainted with Lincoln via hiswritings, speeches, and letters, as well as...

William Gienapp grew up in Iowa and California and was educated at the University of California, Berkley, and Yale University. He received his Ph.D. from Berkeley in 1980. He has taught at the University of California, Berkeley, The University of Wyoming and Harvard University, where he is Professor of Harvard College. He is the autho...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.19 × 5.51 × 0.67 inPublished:October 15, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195151011

ISBN - 13:9780195151015

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Table of Contents

PrefacePrologue: "Not much of me," Autobiography, December 20, 1859I. "PECULIAR AMBITION," 1831-18531. "I am young and unknown," Communication to the People of Sangamo County, March 9, 18322. "I shall be governed by their will," Letter to the Editor of the Sangamo Journal, June 13, 18363. "Founded on both injustice and bad policy," Protest in the Illinois Legislature on Slavery, March 3, 18374. "Cold, calculating, unimpassioned reason," Speech to the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, January 27, 18385. "Bow to it I never will," Speech on the Subtreasury, December 26, 18396. "The most miserable man living," Letter to John T. Stuart, January 23, 18417. "An evil tree can not bring forth good fruit," Letter to Williamson Durley, October 3, 18458. "I am not a member of any . . . Church," Handbill Addressed to the Voters of the Seventh Congressional District, July 31, 18469. "No one man should hold the power," Letter to William Herndon, February 15, 184810. "I like the letters very much," Letter to Mary Todd Lincoln, April 16, 184811. "Resolve to be honest," Notes for a law lecture, July 1, 1850?12. "More painful than pleasant," Letter to John D. Johnston, January 12, 1851II. "HALF SLAVE AND HALF FREE," 1854-18601. "The legitimate object of government," Fragment on government, July 1, 1854?2. "Our republican robe is soiled," Speech at Peoria, October 16, 18543. "Where I now stand," Letter to Joshua Speed, August 24, 18554. "Can we not come together, for the future," Speech at a Republican banquet, December 10, 18565. "All the powers of earth seem rapidly combining against him," Speech in Springfield, June 26, 18576. "A question of interest," Fragment on slavery, 1857-1858?7. "A house divided," Speech to the Republican state convention, June 16, 18588. "Construed so differently from any thing intended by me," Letter to John L. Scripps, June 23, 18589. "Public sentiment is every thing," Notes for speeches, August, 185810. "Blowing out the moral lights around us," First debate, at Ottawa, August 21, 185811. "The social and political equality of the . . . races," Fourth debate, at Charleston, September 18, 185812. "A moral, a social and a political wrong," Sixth debate, at Quincy, October 13, 185813. "The eternal struggle between . . . right and wrong," Seventh debate, at Alton, October 15, 185814. "For, and not against the Union," Last speech of the campaign, October 30, 185815. "Opens the way for all," Address before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, September 30, 185916. "Right makes might," Speech at the Cooper Union, February 27, 186017. "I am not the first choice of . . . many," Letter to Samuel Galloway, March 24, 186018. "The taste is in my mouth," Letter to Lyman Trumbull, April 29, 186019. "I accept the nomination," Letter to George Ashmun, May 23, 186020. "A piece of silly affection," Letter to Grace Bedell, October 19, 1860III. "THE PERPETUITY OF POPULAR GOVERNMENT," 1860-18611. "The tug has to come," Letter to Lyman Trumbull, December 10, 18602. "There is no cause for such fears," Letter to Alexander H. Stephens, December 22, 18603. "It is the end of us," Letter to James T. Hale, January 11, 18614. "An affectionate farewell," Farewell Address at Springfield, February 11, 18615. "The Union . . . is perpetual," First Inaugural Address, March 4, 18616. "To suppress said combinations," Proclamation calling the militia, April 15, 18617. "The most prompt, and efficient means," Letter to Winfield Scott, April 25, 18618. "A People's contest," Message to Congress, July 4, 18619. "To conform to . . . the act of Congress," Letter to John C. Fremont, September 2, 186110. "I cannot assume this reckless position," Letter to Orville H. Browning, September 22, 186111. "For a vast future also," Message to Congress, December 3, 186112. "Grumbling dispatches and letters," Letter to David Hunter, December 31, 1861IV. "WE CANNOT ESCAPE HISTORY," 18621. Making our advantage an over-match for his," Letter to Don Carlos Buell, January 13, 18622. "Gradual . . . emancipation, is better for all," Message to Congress, March 6, 18623. "But you must act," Letter to George McClellan, April 9, 18624. "Questions . . . I reserve to myself," Proclamation revoking General Hunter's order of emancipation, May 19, 18625. "I expect to maintain this contest," Letter to William H. Seward, June 28, 18626. "The incidents of the war can not be avoided," Appeal to the border state representatives, July 12, 18627. "Leaving any available card unplayed," Letter to Reverdy Johnson, July 26, 18628. "A single half-defeat," Letter to Agenor-Etienne de Gasparin, August 4, 18629. "The ban is still upon you," Address on colonization, August 14, 186210. "I would save the Union," Letter to Horace Greeley, August 22, 186211. "The will of God prevails," Meditation on divine will, September 2?, 186212. "Shall be . . . thenceforward, and forever free," Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, September 22, 186213. "The Writ of Habeas Corpus is suspended," Proclamation, September 24, 186214. "Breath alone kills no rebels," Letter to Hannibal Hamlin, September 28, 186215. "If we never try, we shall never succeed," Letter to George McClellan, October 13, 186216. "I do not see that their superiority of success has been so marked," Letter to Carl Schurz, November 10, 186217. "The last best, hope of earth," Message to Congress, December 1, 186219. "In this sad world of ours," Letter to Fanny McCullough, December 23, 1862V. "A NEW BIRTH OF FREEDOM," 18631. "Are, and henceforth shall be free," Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 18632. "Broken eggs can not be mended," Letter to John A. McClernand, January 8, 18633. "I will risk the dictatorship," Letter to Joseph Hooker, January 26, 18634. "There is no eligible route for us into Richmond," Memorandum on Joseph Hooker's plan of campaign against Richmond, ca. April 6-10, 18635. "Constantly denounced and opposed," Letter to Isaac Arnold, May 26, 18636. "Lee's Army . . . is your true objective point," Letter to Joseph Hooker, June 10, 18637. "Indispensable to the public Safety," Letter to Erastus Corning, June 12, 18638. "Few things are so troublesome," Letter to William Kellogg, June 29, 18639. "You were right, and I was wrong," Letter to Ulysses S. Grant, July 13, 186310. "I am distressed immeasureably," Letter to George G. Meade, July 14, 186311. "The same protection to all its soldiers," Order, July 30, 186312. "I can not consent to suspend the draft," Letter to Horatio Seymour, August 7, 186313. "It works doubly," Letter to Ulysses S. Grant, August 9, 186314. "I am not watching you with an evil-eye," Letter to William S. Rosecrans, August 10, 186315. "A fair specimen of what has occurred to me through life," Letters to James H. Hackett, August 17, November 2, 186316. "The heaviest blow yet dealt to the rebellion," Letter to James C. Conkling, August 26, 186317. "Give up all footing upon constitution or law," Letter to Salmon P. Chase, September 2, 186318. "An idea I have been trying to repudiate for quite a year," Letter to Henry W. Halleck, September 19, 186319. "Quarrel not at all," Letter to James M. Cutts, Jr., October 26, 186320. "Give me a tangible nucleus," Letter to Nathaniel P. Banks, November 5, 186321. "A new birth of freedom," Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863VI. "EVENTS HAVE CONTROLLED ME," 1863-18641. "The new reckoning," Message to Congress, December 8, 18632. "A full pardon," Proclamation of amnesty and reconstruction, December 8, 18633. "The jewel of liberty," Letter to Michael Hahn, March 13, 18644. "If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong," Letter to Albert G. Hodges, April 4, 18645. "The world has never had a good definition of . . . liberty," Address at Sanitary Fair, April 18, 18646. "I wish not to obtrude any constraints . . . upon you," Letter to Ulysses S. Grant, April 30, 18647. "Not best to swap horses when crossing streams," Reply to delegation from the National Union League, June 9, 18648. "Unprepared . . . to be inflexibly committed to any single plan," Proclamation concerning reconstruction, July 8, 18649. "Will be received and considered," Letter "To Whom it may concern," July 18, 186410. "Not . . . an entirely impartial judge," Letter to John McMahon, August 6, 186411. "Hold on with a bull-dog gripe," Telegram to Ulysses S. Grant, August 17, 186412. "The curses of Heaven," Letter to Charles D. Robinson, August 17, 186413. "Equal privileges in the race of life," Speech to One Hundred Sixty-sixth Ohio Regiment, August 22, 186414. "This Administration will not be re-elected," Memorandum, August 23, 186415. "Go far towards losing the whole Union cause," Letter to William T. Sherman, September 19, 186416. "I am struggling to maintain the government, not to overthrow it," Response to serenade, October 19, 186417. "The election was a necessity," Response to a serenade, November 10, 1864VII. "TO BIND UP THE NATION'S WOUNDS," 1864-18651. "So costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom," Letter to Lydia Bixby, November 21, 18642. "An issue which can only be . . . decided by victory," Message to Congress, December 6, 18643. "The honor is all yours," Letter to William T. Sherman, December 26, 18644. "Time . . . is more important than ever before," Letter to Edwin Stanton, January 5, 18655. "My son . . . wishes to see something of the war," Letter to Ulysses S. Grant, January 19, 18656. "Three things are indispensable," Letter to William H. Seward, January 31, 18657. "A King's cure for all the evils," Response to a serenade, February 1, 18658. "With charity for all," Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 18659. "A truth which I thought needed to be told," Letter to Thurlow Weed, March 15, 186510. "Let the thing be pressed," Telegram to Ulysses S. Grant, April 7, 186511. "No exclusive, and inflexible plan can safely be prescribed," Speech, April 11, 1865Chronology of Abraham LincolnSelected Bibliography

Editorial Reviews

"With a connoisseur's eye, William Gienapp has chosen from Lincoln's speeches and writings. Some of the selections will be familiar to readers; others less so. But all demonstrate Lincoln's power as a writer as well as his ability to summarize the issues of his time. With his own profound understanding of the sixteenth president, Gienapp has placed them in context with his brief introductions. The result is nothing less than the public story of Abraham Lincoln told in his own words, from its beginnings in Sangamo County in the 1830s to its end in Washington in 1865."-- Jean H. Baker, Elizabeth Todd Professor at Goucher College, and author of Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography