A Reporter's Lincoln (Bison Book)

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9780803292536: A Reporter's Lincoln (Bison Book)
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From 1886 to 1909, Walter B. Stevens, chief of the Washington bureau of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, interviewed many people who had known Abraham Lincoln. As the centennial of Lincoln’s birth approached, the Globe-Democrat assembled some of these materials for the series “Recollections of Lincoln,” which appeared in early 1909. In 1916 about half of the “Recollections” articles appeared in A Reporter’s Lincoln, published by the Missouri Historical Society. That work is reproduced here, supplemented by articles that were either omitted or only partially reproduced in the 1916 edition. These little-known accounts flesh out the Lincoln record in a number of important ways. We find valuable new information on the Lincoln-Douglas debates and interesting testimony on Mary Todd Lincoln and Lincoln family traditions. The editor provides useful annotation on the identities of the informants and the likely veracity of the materials.

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About the Author:

Walter B. Stevens (1848–1939) joined the St. Louis Globe-Democrat in 1881 and headed the paper’s Washington bureau from 1884 to 1901. Michael Burlingame is a history professor at Connecticut College. He is the author of The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln and Lincoln Observed: The Civil War Dispatches of Noah Brooks.

Review:

" ... the stories of lover, husband, father, humorist, lawyer, public speaker, politician and statesman tell us as much about the construction of myth and legend as they do about Lincoln. Failures of memory and event distortions abound. But there are also rich nuggets of historical evidence, notably an extended interview with Robert Hitt, Lincoln's stenographer in the senatorial election campaign of 1858." --TLS, July 30, 1999

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