Historical Reprints History Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln
Catalog # SKU1217
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name John T. Morse


Abraham Lincoln
John T. Morse, Jr.

Originally published in two volumes,
now both volumes in one book!

The American Civil War continues to be a mystery among citizens of the North and the South. Most important facts were hidden from the American Public for well over a hundred years by the U.S. Government. This biography is more of a history book detailing many small facts and important ones that are obscured in most studies of American history. A rather candid and objective view is given by the author of many behind the scenes details of the Lincoln administration.


The years of the civil war constitute an episode rather than an independent period in our national history. They were interposed between two eras; and if they are to be integrally connected with either of these, it is with the era which preceded them rather than with that which followed them. They were the result, the closing act, of the quarter-century of the anti-slavery crusade. When the war came to an end the country made a new start under new conditions. Yet it is proper to treat the years of the war by themselves, not only because they were filled by the clearly defined and abnormal condition of warfare, but because a distinct group of statesmen is peculiarly associated with them. The men whose lives are found in this group had been struggling for recognition during the years which preceded the war, but they only arrived at the control of affairs after that event became assured. Soon after its close their work was substantially done.

For a long while before hostilities actually broke out, it was evident that a civil war would be a natural result of the antagonism between the South and the North; it is now obvious enough that it was more than a natural, that it was an absolutely inevitable result. Looking backward, we can only be surprised that wise men ever fancied that a conflict could be avoided; but, as usual, the strenuous hope became father to an anxious belief. Abraham Lincoln, in the first year when he gave indication of his political clear-sightedness, said truly that the country could not continue half slave and half free. That truth involved war.

There was no other possible way to settle the question between the two halves; talk of freeing the slaves by purchase, or by gradual emancipation and colonization, was simple nonsense, the forlorn schemes of men who would fain have escaped out of the track of inexorable destiny. Yet the vast majority of the nation, appalled at the vision of the great fact which lay right athwart their road, was obstinate in the delusive expectation of flanking it, as though there were side paths whereby mankind can circumvent fate and walk around that which must be, just as if it were not. Thus it came to pass that when the South seceded, as every intelligent man ought to have been perfectly sure would be the case, a confusion fell for a time upon the North. In that section of the country there was for a few months a spectacle which has no parallel in history. There was paralysis, there was disintegration; worse than either, there was an utter lack of straight sense and clear thought. There were politicians, editors, writers, agitators, reformers in multitudes whose reiteration of their moral convictions, whose intense addresses and uncompromising articles, had for years been bringing about precisely this event; yet when it came, it appeared that no one of them had contemplated it with any realizing appreciation, no one of them was ready for it, no one of them had any sensible, practical course of action to recommend. There was no union among them, no cohesion of opinion or of purpose, no agreement of forecast; each had his own individual notion as to what could be done, what should be done, what would be the train of events. Politically speaking, society was a mere parcel of units, with topical proximity, but with no other element of aggregation.

The immensity of the crisis seemed to shake men's minds; the enigma of duty involved such possibilities, in case of a wrong solution, that the wisest leaders, becoming dazed and overawed, uttered the grossest follies. Men who had been energetic and vigorous before, when they were pursuing a purpose, who became so again afterward, when the distinct issue had taken shape, now lost for a time their intellectual self-possession. The picture of the country during three or four months, or rather an observant study of the prominent men of the country, is sufficiently interesting historically, but is vastly more so psychologically. I know of no other period in history in which this peculiar element of interest exists to anywhere near an equal degree. It is the study of human nature which for a brief time absorbs us, much more than the study of events.

But this condition was, by its nature, transitory. Events moved, and soon created defined and clean-cut issues, in relation to which individuals were compelled to find their positions,--positions where they could establish a belief, whether that belief should prove at last to be right or wrong; positions wherein they were willing to abide to the end, be that end victory or ruin. Primarily everything depended upon Abraham Lincoln. If he should prove to be a weak man, like his predecessor, or if he should prove to be a man of merely ordinary capacity and character like the presidents who had followed Van Buren, then all was over for the North. With what anxiety, with how much doubt, the people of the Northern States scanned their singular and untried choice can never be fully appreciated by persons who cannot remember those wearisome, overladen days. He was an unknown quantity in the awful problem.

In his debates with Douglas he had given some indication of what was in him, but outside of Illinois not one man in a hundred was familiar with those debates. Nor did even they furnish conclusive proof of his administrative capacity, especially in these days of novel and mortal stress. For a time he seemed to wait, to drift; until the day of his inauguration he gave no sign; then in his speech the people, whose hearts were standing still in their eagerness to hear, found reassuring sentences. Yet nothing seemed to follow during many anxious weeks; the suns rose and the suns set, and still the leader raised no standard around which the people could rally, uttered no inspiring word of command which could unite the dissevered political cliques. What was in his mind all this while can never be known, though no knowledge could be more interesting. Was he in a simple attitude of expectancy, awaiting the march of events, watchful for some one of them to give him the cue as well as the opportunity for action?

Many believe that this was the case; and if it was, no other course could have been more intelligent. In due time events came which brought decision with them, the crisis shaped itself, and he was ready with clear and prompt action. When it was known what he would do, matters were settled. The people, once assured that the fight would be made, entered upon it with such a temper and in possession of such resources that, in spite of those trying fluctuations which any wise man could have foreseen, they were sure in the end to win.

435+pages - 10 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches SoftCover


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