Lincoln and His World

Volume 3, The Rise to National Prominence, 1843–1853


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About the Book

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.

About the Author(s)

Richard Lawrence Miller worked for former President Herbert Hoover’s personal archivist after college. He became a public radio producer, whose programs were heard on National Public Radio and other outlets. A retired community organizer, he lives in Kansas City, Missouri.

Bibliographic Details

Richard Lawrence Miller
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 417
Bibliographic Info: 66 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5928-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-6192-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments v

Preface      1

1. 1843: Thwarted for a Congressional Seat      3

2. 1844: Thwarted Again      41

3. 1845: Maneuvering Toward Congress      80

4. 1846: Victory at Last      94

5. 1847: Never-Ending Politics      125

6. 1847–1848: Thirtieth Congress, First Session      157

7. 1848: Illinois and Massachusetts      193

8. 1848–1849: Thirtieth Congress, Second Session      217

9. 1850: Slavery      249

10. 1851: Slavery Still      285

11. 1852: Law and Politics      299

12. 1853: Last Days Before Battle      324

Chapter Notes      359

Sources      393

Index      405

Book Reviews & Awards

About the series: “Miller has done a formidable amount of reading in the Lincoln literature, as well as fine-combing the Illinois newspapers for previously unknown material”—Civil War News; “has great value and is distinctive”—Civil War Book Review; “brings the world of Lincoln and the early western frontier to life”—Patricia L. Goitein, Editor, Galena Trail newsletter; “Miller succeeds in his goal of laying out for all time the documentary record of Lincoln’s political actions”—Civil War Studies; “abundant new information…a massive infusion of new material on Lincoln’s initiation into politics and his rise to a position of leadership…survey of Illinois newspapers for these years is beyond anything previously attempted…another impressive feat is Miller’s mining of the political handbill collection…an invaluable contribution”—Journal of American History; “full of revelations”—