Volume 3, The Rise to National Prominence, 1843-1853
Author: Richard Lawrence Miller
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Based on deep consultation of seldom-examined primary sources, this third volume in Richard Lawrence Miller’s massive Lincoln biography follows Lincoln’s long effort to win a seat in Congress, his activity there, and his return to Illinois—chastened by his Washington experience. Topics include: Lincoln’s anti-slavery efforts in Congress; the popularity of his stance against the Mexican War (which, contrary to common belief, didn’t significantly harm his political reputation); his support of Zachary Taylor’s presidential campaign and his subsequent efforts to win a patronage job from the Taylor White House; his political activities after returning to Illinois; and his generally happy home life with Mary and his sons. Throughout the work, a new portrait emerges of Lincoln as a canny politician, making his own luck by striking swiftly and strongly when opportunities arose.
In this thoroughly researched documentation of a historically controversial issue, the author considers the background, passage, and constitutionality of the Fugitive Slave Law. The author's relation of public opinion and the executive policy regarding the much disputed law will help the reader reach a decision as to whether the law was actually a success or failure, legally and socially. Originally published in 1970. A UNC Press Enduring Edition -- UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.
Edward Coles was a wealthy heir to a central Virginia plantation, an ardent emancipator, the second governor of Illinois, the loyal personal secretary to President James Madison, and a close antislavery associate of Thomas Jefferson. Yet never before has a full-length book detailed his remarkable life story and his role in the struggle to free all slaves. In Crusade Against Slavery, Kurt E. Leichtle and Bruce G. Carveth correct this oversight with the first modern and complete biography of a unique but little-known and quietly influential figure in American history. Rejecting slavery from a young age, Coles's early wishes to free his family's slaves initially were stymied by legal, practical, and family barriers. Instead he went to Washington, D.C., where his work in the White House was a life-changing blend of social glitter, secretarial drudge, and distasteful political patronage. Returning home, he researched places where he could live out his ideals. After considerable planning and preparation, he left his family's Virginia tobacco plantation in 1819 and started the long trip west to Edwardsville, Illinois, pausing along the Ohio River on an emotional April morning to free his slaves and offer each family 160 acres of Illinois land of their own. Some continued to work for Coles, while others were left to find work for themselves. This book revisits the lives of the slaves Coles freed, including a noted preacher and contributor to the founding of what is now the second-oldest black Baptist organization in America. Crusade Against Slavery details Coles's struggles with frontier life and his surprise run and election to the office of Illinois governor as well as his continuing antislavery activities. At great personal cost, he led the effort to block a constitutional convention that would have legalized slavery in the state, which resulted in an acrimonious civil suit brought on by his political enemies, who claimed he violated the law by not issuing a bond of emancipation for his slaves. Although initially convicted by a partisan jury, Coles was vindicated when the Illinois Supreme Court overturned the decisions of the lower courts. Through the story of Coles's moral and legal battles against slavery, Leichtle and Carveth unearth new perspectives on an institution that was on unsure footing yet strongly ingrained in the business interests at the economic base of the fledgling state. In 1831, after less than a decade in Illinois-and after losing a bid for Congress-Coles left for Philadelphia, where he remained in correspondence with Madison about the issue of slavery. Drawing on previous incomplete treatments of Coles's life, including his own short memoir, Crusade Against Slavery includes the first published analysis of Madison's failure to free his slaves despite his plans to do so through his will and a fascinating exploration of Coles's struggle to understand Madison's inability to live up to the ideals both men shared.
A guide to the literature and sources of Illinois history. It includes descriptions of both primary and secondary sources. The first part of the book consists of bibliographical essays that focus on particular periods and topics in Illinois history. The second part includes 12 reports on the principal archival and manuscript repositories for documentation in the field of Illinois history. A final chapter surveys Illinois-related collections in the Library of Congress and the National Archives. "Reference & Research Book News" John Hoffmann's volume is the first comprehensive guide to the literature and sources of Illinois history. It includes full and careful descriptions of both primary and secondary sources. The first part of the book consists of bibliographical essays that focus on particular periods and topics in Illinois history. Eight chapters are devoted to specific areas, from 1673 to the present, while six chapters are thematic in nature, covering, for instance, the religious and educational history of the state, the voluminous literature on Chicago, and the subject of Abraham Lincoln in Illinois. These essays are preceded by introductory remarks on historical surveys, reference books, and periodicals in the field, studies of such topics as the medical and legal history of the state, and publications relating to maps and newspapers of Illinois. This long overdue guide will bring together the vast accumulation of primary and secondary materials that defines Illinois history. The nature and scope of this guide is unmatched by any previous work. The second part includes twelve reports on the principal archival and manuscript repositories for documentation in the field of Illinois history. This section provides detailed information on specific collections within the context of related sources on particular periods and topics. A final chapter surveys Illinois-related collections in the Library of Congress and the National Archives. As part of the series Reference Guides to State History and Research, this book provides a valuable resource for researchers, students, genealogists, and the interested public, and is an appropriate selection for reference collections in American, regional, or Illinois history.
Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico
Author: Amy S. Greenberg
Often forgotten and overlooked, the U.S.-Mexican War featured false starts, atrocities, and daring back-channel negotiations as it divided the nation, paved the way for the Civil War a generation later, and launched the career of Abraham Lincoln. Amy S. Greenberg’s skilled storytelling and rigorous scholarship bring this American war for empire to life with memorable characters, plotlines, and legacies. When President James K. Polk compelled a divided Congress to support his war with Mexico, it was the first time that the young American nation would engage another republic in battle. Caught up in the conflict and the political furor surrounding it were Abraham Lincoln, then a new congressman; Polk, the dour president committed to territorial expansion at any cost; and Henry Clay, the aging statesman whose presidential hopes had been frustrated once again, but who still harbored influence and had one last great speech up his sleeve. Beyond these illustrious figures, A Wicked War follows several fascinating and long-neglected characters: Lincoln’s archrival John Hardin, whose death opened the door to Lincoln’s rise; Nicholas Trist, gentleman diplomat and secret negotiator, who broke with his president to negotiate a fair peace; and Polk’s wife, Sarah, whose shrewd politicking was crucial in the Oval Office. This definitive history of the 1846 conflict paints an intimate portrait of the major players and their world. It is a story of Indian fights, Manifest Destiny, secret military maneuvers, gunshot wounds, and political spin. Along the way it captures a young Lincoln mismatching his clothes, the lasting influence of the Founding Fathers, the birth of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and America’s first national antiwar movement. A key chapter in the creation of the United States, it is the story of a burgeoning nation and an unforgettable conflict that has shaped American history.
This new biography provides a startlingly different picture of Mary Lincoln, President Abraham Lincoln's wife. Preconceived myths about the former first lady are factually disproved. At times her judgment was faulty; in other instances it was brilliant. After her 1861 refurbishing of the Executive Mansion, she made no further furnishings purchases, only replacement items. The furniture she purchased is still in use and the Lincoln bed is well known. Committed to an insane asylum by her only surviving son, she organized, while under constant scrutiny, her friends in a skillfully successful scheme to obtain her freedom and resume control of her life and money. Mary Todd Lincoln had a brilliant mind, a caring heart and an exuberant personality and she was, in every aspect, a true partner to Abraham Lincoln.
Christiana and John Tillson moved from Massachusetts to central Illinois in 1822. Upon arriving in Montgomery County near what would soon be Hillsboro, they set up a general store and real estate business and began to raise a family. A half century later, in 1870, Christiana Tillson wrote about her early days in Illinois in a memoir published by R. R. Donnelley in 1919. The Tillsons lived quite ordinary lives in extraordinary times, notes Kay J. Carr, introducing this edition. They moved west and prospered in the land business at a time when America was being transformed from a rural, agricultural country into an urban, industrial nation. Their views and sensibilities, Carr says, might seem strange to us, but they were entirely normal to people in the early nineteenth century. Thus Tillson's memoir provides fascinating but believable snapshots of ordinary nineteenth-century American life.
Federalism, Popular Sovereignty, and Constitutional Development in Jacksonian Illinois
Author: Gerald Leonard
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
Category: Political Science
This ambitious work uncovers the constitutional foundations of that most essential institution of modern democracy, the political party. Taking on Richard Hofstadter's classic The Idea of a Party System, it rejects the standard view that Martin Van Buren and other Jacksonian politicians had the idea of a modern party system in mind when they built the original Democratic party. Grounded in an original retelling of Illinois politics of the 1820s and 1830s, the book also includes chapters that connect the state-level narrative to national history, from the birth of the Constitution to the Dred Scott case. In this reinterpretation, Jacksonian party-builders no longer anticipate twentieth-century political assumptions but draw on eighteenth-century constitutional theory to justify a party division between "the democracy" and "the aristocracy." Illinois is no longer a frontier latecomer to democratic party organization but a laboratory in which politicians use Van Buren's version of the Constitution, states' rights, and popular sovereignty to reeducate a people who had traditionally opposed party organization. The modern two-party system is no longer firmly in place by 1840. Instead, the system remains captive to the constitutional commitments on which the Democrats and Whigs founded themselves, even as the specter of sectional crisis haunts the parties' constitutional visions.