Lincoln for President

An Underdog’s Path to the 1860 Republican Nomination


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About the Book

This is a narrative of Abraham Lincoln’s bid for the White House from 1858 through 1860. Lincoln seemed like a long shot from the beginning—a one term congressmen, he’d never served as a judge or governor or in any statewide office, and he had lost two campaigns for the U.S. Senate. How, then, did he overtake several seemingly better-qualified candidates to ultimately defeat William Seward for his young party’s nomination? This work offers a day-by-day account that demonstrates how Lincoln’s character, and his upholding of the Declaration of Independence’s bold statement of human equality, helped him triumph. Those traits, it is argued, were far more important than any political machinations or backroom deals at the convention.
This book is a sequel to The Lincoln-Douglas Debates and the Making of a President by the same author (McFarland, 2007).

About the Author(s)

Timothy S. Good is a National Park Service employee who lives in Chatham, Illinois. His research interests lie in the history of the Lincoln presidency and in American maritime history.

Bibliographic Details

Timothy S. Good
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 192
Bibliographic Info: appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3957-7
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5306-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Preface      1

1. Before ’59      5

2. Seward’s “Irrepressible Conflict”

October 25, 1858      15

3. Defining a Lincoln Republican Party

November 1858–August 1859      24

4. Douglas Assails the Republicans in Ohio

September 1859      38

5. Lincoln Assails Douglas in Ohio and Indiana

September 1859      50

6. Lincoln Invades Seward Country: The Cooper

Union Address in New York

September 1859–February 1860      62

7. The True Lincoln: In New England

February 1860–March 1860      77

8. Preparing for the Convention

April–May 1860      86

9. Convention Week Begins

Saturday–Tuesday, May 12–May 15, 1860      93

10. The First Day

Wednesday, May 16      101

11. The Second Day

Thursday, May 17      109

12. From Dusk to Dawn

May 17–18, 1860      122

13. The Third Day

Friday, May 18, 1860      129

14. Aftershock      140

Epilogue      156

Appendix A: After the Convention      157

Appendix B: Is He One of Us?      159

Notes      161

Bibliography      175

Index      181