Arranged thematically, The Words of Abraham Lincoln brings together his early writings, his notes on courtship, marriage, and the family, his thoughts on slavery, including the full text of the Emancipation Proclamation, and his letters to his generals during the Civil War, among other subjects. This book includes eight historical photographs and a chronology.
Two hundred years after his birth, Lincoln’s writing endures. Witty and wise, Lincoln speaks today as powerfully as he did when he was president.
In addition to many examples of Lincoln’s writings, this volume includes four interpretive essays that will provide an intellectual feast for any reader exploring his complex legacy. Danilo Petranovich looks at Lincoln’s conception of the Union and its radically new focus on purging the nation of the problem of slavery. Ralph Lerner reconsiders Lincoln’s relation to the American framers and in particular his effort to put the Declaration of Independence on a new foundation. Benjamin Kleinerman examines Lincoln’s always controversial views on the scope of executive power during war. And Steven Smith considers the place of religion in Lincoln’s political thought through a close reading of his Second Inaugural Address.
Lincoln's decision was controversial, even in the North, since it granted freedom only to slaves over which the Union had no control. Though once southern slaves heard of the Proclamation, they quickly escaped in droves to the Union Army lines as the units moved South. As they advanced, thousands of slaves a day were freed until nearly the entire 4 million or so were liberated, sometime in July 1865.