Abraham Lincoln

Presidential conventions at which no candidate won on the first ballot have produced some of our best Presidents including Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Three U.S President didn’t win a single vote on the first try at their convention.

There has been much talk in recent months about the possibility of a contested Presidential nominating convention. But commentators seem to be quite unaware that candidates have often not been decided until later ballots -- sometimes with happy results. Read more >>

First Medical Report on Lincoln's Assassination Uncovered

It was the discovery of a lifetime. Helena Iles Papaioannou, a researcher with the Papers of Abraham Lincoln project, was meticulously combing through 1865 correspondence of the U.S. Read more >>

The Emancipation Proclamation opened the door for Pennsylvania's African-American soldiers

The scene was wild and grand. Read more >>

In one momentous decision, Robert E. Lee spared the United States years of divisive violence

As April 1865 neared, an exhausted Abraham Lincoln met with his two top generals, Ulysses S. Grant and William Tecumseh Sherman, to discuss the end of the Civil War, which finally seemed to be within reach. Read more >>

Lincoln’s bid for reelection in 1864 faced serious challenges from a popular opponent and a nation weary of war

For a good part of 1864—the year he faced reelection—Abraham Lincoln had little faith that he would win or even be renominated. Read more >>

Even though he had no military training, Lincoln quickly rose to become one of America’s most talented commanders

On July 27, 1848, a tall, raw-boned Whig congressman from Illinois rose in the House of Representatives to challenge the Mexican War policies of President James K. Polk. Read more >>

The Washington, DC, cottage where the 16th president escaped to weigh such matters as the Emancipation Proclamation has been faithfully restored

Only three miles from the White House, the house in northwest Washington, D.C., offered Abraham Lincoln a refuge from the capital’s summertime heat and political pressures. The 16th president spent an estimated one-quarter of his time in office at this 34-room, brown-and-white stucco building. Read more >>

Only hours after being sworn in, Lincoln faced the most momentous decision in presidential history

On March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln’s first day in office, a letter from Maj. Robert Anderson, commander of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, landed on the new president’s desk, informing him the garrison would run out of provisions in a month or six weeks. Read more >>

A story that the Confederate president donned a petticoat to evade capture emerged right after Union cavalrymen apprehended him in Georgia at war’s end. But is it true?

 On Sunday, May 14, 1865, Benjamin Brown French, commissioner of public buildings for the District of Columbia, left his home on Capitol Hill to buy a copy of the Daily Morning Chronicle. Read more >>

An impetuous and sometimes corrupt Congress has often hamstrung the efforts of the president since the earliest days of the Republic

On a little-remarked, steamy day in late June 1973, a revolution took place in Washington, D.C., one that would transfer far more power and wealth than did the revolt against King George III in 1776. Read more >>

Lincoln came out a victor in the 1860 presidential election despite winning only 2 percent of the Southern vote

Just six months before the presidential election of November 1860 and only days after winning his party’s nomination, Abraham Lincoln received some stunning advice from one of his chief supporters, William Cullen Bryant. Read more >>

A tall stranger, told to keep out of the general’s tent, turns out to be Lincoln

Gen. Grant having decided to transfer his army to the James River, preparations began at once. . . . On Tuesday morning, June 14th, Warren crossed [the Chickahominy] at Long Bridge, with Hancock following him. Read more >>

Theodore Roosevelt, his widow recalled, watched Lincoln’s funeral from his grandfather’s house

A famous educator reviews 100 years of service by the land-grant colleges

The year 1955 marks the centennial of one of the greatest landmarks in our American heritage of education for all the people. A century ago, the Michigan State College and the Pennsylvania State University were founded as the first of a group of uniquely new and evolutionary institutions of higher learning. These twin birthdays have been recognized by the issuance of a special commemorative U.S. postage stamp, dedicated to the two institutions and to the land-grant college idea as conceived in 1862 by Act of Congress. Read more >>

A new picture of prairie lawyers coping with bad roads and worse inns on the Illinois frontier, drawn from David Davis’ letters

Lincoln’s oration at New York’s Cooper Union showed that the prairie lawyer could play in the big leagues

On the frigid and stormy evening of February 27, 1860, so the newspapers reported, Abraham Lincoln climbed onto the stage of the cavernous Great Hall of New York’s newest college, Cooper Union, faced a room overflowing with people, and delivered the most important speech of his life. Read more >>

Would the disastrous Reconstruction era have taken a different course?

What would have happened had Abraham Lincoln not been assassinated? Every time I lecture on Lincoln, the Civil War, or Reconstruction, someone in the audience is sure to pose this question—one, of course, perfectly natural to ask but equally impossible to answer. This has not, however, deterred historians from speculating about this “counterfactual” problem. Read more >>

Our most talented writer-president always wrote his own material and sweated hours over it

On February 27, 1860, Abraham Lincoln stood before a crowd of 1,500 at Cooper Union Hall in New York City. Until he had declared his candidacy for President of the United States, the former one-term Congressman had drawn little attention outside his home state of Illinois. Read more >>

The president takes charge and directs a successful amphibious landing at Hampton Roads

The prairie lawyer president and outspoken abolitionist formed an unusual friendship

At dusk in early April 1866, a large crowd filed into Representatives Hall of the imposing Illinois Capitol in Springfield. Just 11 months earlier, President Lincoln’s rapidly blackening body had lain here in state as thousands of townspeople had filed past to say goodbye. Read more >>

As we approach the bicentennial of his birth, leading historians look at the man and his achievements

The Washington, DC, cottage where the 16th president escaped to weigh such matters as the Emancipation Proclamation has been faithfully restored

Only three miles from the White House, the house in northwest Washington, DC, offered Abraham Lincoln a refuge from the capital’s summertime heat and political pressures. Read more >>
50 Years Ago April 25, 1957 The Navy sends its Sixth Fleet to the eastern Mediterranean to support King Hussein of Jordan against an uprising by pro-Egyptian army officers. Read more >>

Reading America’s Most Famous Speech

No presidential speech has been as widely analyzed, memorized, or canonized as Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Read more >>