• RSS

This bibliography attempts to list, in alphabetical order by author, all the books or parts of books that any serious scholar, biographer, or bibliographer has asserted that Abraham Lincoln read. In the interest of completeness, even dubious claims have been listed. Newspapers or magazines have been excluded unless they were the only available source of a text that Lincoln read. Texts published as songs, hymns, and popular ditties are listed, but only those that Lincoln is said to have sung or recited himself (thus, no "Dixie," although Lincoln referred to the song in one of his speeches). Likewise, included are only those plays that Lincoln was known to have read, though his fondness for the theater in the White House years led him to many performances of works he did not know as texts (thus no Our American Cousin). Because of the importance of poetry in Lincoln's reading, titles of anthologized individual poems do appear, along with bibliographical information concerning such compendia. But the remainder of the contents of these "preceptors" or "recitation books" that Lincoln used as a boy are not detailed here, the occasional exceptions being prose pieces that would have been of obvious importance in the formation of Lincoln's mature thought (for instance, Jefferson's "First Inaugural" or Washington's "Farewell Address" at the end of his second presidential term). For all books, the years of first publication noted are for printings in English, whether in Great Britain or the United States.

Some caveats are in order for the bibliographic sources. Most importantly, the titles from the Library of Congress circulation records (LCR), which are reprinted in both Martin Luther Houser's The Books Lincoln Read (1929) and Rufus Rockwell Wilson's What Lincoln Read (1931), are quite problematic. Their lists were copied from manuscript records that were occasionally illegible (and the sources are no longer known to exist). And, of course, in addition to Lincoln himself, the books in question may have been borrowed from the Library by or for Mary Todd Lincoln, the Lincoln children, or any of the president's secretaries. Who borrowed what is hard to determine. But when a title seems likely to have been read by someone other than Lincoln, it has not been listed here. Thus the reader curious to know the entire pattern of borrowings will need to consult the full printed list in Houser or Wilson. Similarly, the titles taken from Wayne Temple's "Herndon on Lincoln: An Unknown Interview with a List of Books in the Lincoln & Herndon Law Office" consist exclusively of pre-1866 publications that Lincoln could plausibly have read. While they were probably read or used by William Henry Herndon and noticed on the shelves by Lincoln, there is in most cases no corroborating evidence that Lincoln actually read these titles. Finally, the valuable work of the indefatigable bibliographer of Lincoln's reading, M. L. Houser, must in one particular be viewed skeptically. Houser has proved too willing, in a dozen or more instances, to accept on faith that individual copies of books had actually belonged to Lincoln (his phrase for it: "Lincoln copy preserved"). While one would like to believe Houser and indeed seek out and hold such holy relics, the task is rendered all but impossible without documented provenance, which Houser unfortunately does not supply. Moreover, such backtracking is beyond the scope of this project, though ultimately it needs to be done. In the meantime, many of the "Lincoln copy preserved" items in Houser must be provisionally graded as unlikely to have been read by Lincoln, let alone owned by him. (Note: When Houser cites himself in circular fashion, I have given the page references to both MLH-1 and MLH-2.) The same standard of judgment must apply to William E. Barton's Abraham Lincoln and His Books (1920). While Barton was a redoubtable and judicious student of Lincoln, he was also a Lincoln collector of books, manuscripts, and memorabilia. Thus his testimony that he possessed this or that book that Lincoln previously owned (and therefore presumably read) may combine desire with material facts. In any event, without being able to examine the books at issue, or know the documentary train of their provenance, Barton, like Houser, demands corroboration before we can accept his assertions (see the entry on Richard Baxter's The Saints' Everlasting Rest [1649] for an example of the difficulties raised by Barton's claims).

Among the sources here employed that are not primarily bibliographic, the least authoritative is David J. Harkness and Gerald McMurtry, Lincoln's Favorite Poets (1959). Their book is highly assertive about what poetry Lincoln read and admired, yet more often than not the authors provide no sources for their claims. Hence no bibliographic entry can stand on their say-so. By the same token, biographical reminiscences of Lincoln, some written long afterward by friends and associates, require scrutiny. Henry C. Whitney's Life on the Circuit with Lincoln (1892) remains important for its eyewitness observations of Lincoln in the latter 1850s, but Whitney has proved unreliable on important aspects of Lincoln's life and political career—most notoriously, he claimed in 1895 to have found his long-forgotten notes from Lincoln's "Lost Speech" in Bloomington, Illinois (1856), and published what he said was a near-verbatim account of its text. Scholars have almost universally rejected Whitney's "Lost Speech" as a fabrication, and his reputation as a Lincoln biographer has suffered accordingly. So is his veracity to be trusted concerning Lincoln's reading? Not automatically: Whitney named seven authors or books as "Lincoln's favorites." For some of these, such as Lord Byron, there is sufficient other evidence to support the claim; for others, like Francis Bacon, Whitney is the single—and therefore the doubtful—source. And it is difficult to believe that if Bacon were in fact one of Lincoln's seven favorites, only Henry C. Whitney's among the hundreds of late-nineteenth-century reminiscences would name him.

The magazine recollections of Noah Brooks, one published in the year of Lincoln's death and the second in 1877, would appear to provide clear and credible personal testimony about Lincoln's reading (to the extent that Brooks became an important source for Daniel Kilham Dodge's Abraham Lincoln: the Evolution of his Literary Style [1900], the first scholarly study of Lincoln's literacy). Brooks was close to Lincoln during the Civil War; he did journalistic work for the president, occasionally traveled with his entourage, and had at least a few intimate conversations with Lincoln, two of the subjects of which were reading and literature. However, as it turns out, Brooks is the origin of a few titles that no other Lincoln contemporary mentions. For example, Brooks recalled that Lincoln "particularly liked" Joseph Butler's Analogy of Religion, Natural and Revealed (1739), and his word on the book became truth for both Dodge and Houser. While there is no obvious reason to doubt Brooks's statement, one wonders just what drew Lincoln to an obscure eighteenth-century cleric's defense of Christianity against Deism, and why if he "particularly liked" the book he did not say so to others (see the entry below for details).

The instance of Brooks and "Butler's Analogy" epitomizes the devious paths a student of Lincoln's reading must traverse: dozens of titles suggested by disparate sources, of widely varying credibility, with often no direct connection to Lincoln other than a bald assertion. Not one out of twenty of the titles listed below is attested by Lincoln himself. Obviously, the bibliographer must look first in Roy P. Basler's edition of The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, and when an author or title is found there, the search is over. But the work of interpretation has only begun. We must remember that the mere mention of a literary work, or a brief quotation from it, by no means justifies the conclusion that Lincoln read the work entire (his allusion to Plato [Phaedrus] in the "Second Lecture on Discoveries and Inventions" is a good example: he might more easily have obtained the short quotation on the Soul from a reference work than from an edition of Plato's Dialogues).

After the Collected Works, far and away the most important source for this bibliography is the extensive body of reminiscential materials (letters and notes of interviews) gathered by Herndon in the decades following Lincoln's death. These documents made the Herndon-Jesse Weik biography of 1889 (since known familiarly as Herndon's Lincoln) both a literary sensation and a lasting monument of Lincoln studies. Only a handful of scholars after Herndon, notably Albert J. Beveridge for his Abraham Lincoln, 1809–1858, and Louis A. Warren for Lincoln's Youth—Indiana Years (1959), gained limited access to this treasure trove. And it was not until the Library of Congress obtained the Herndon-Weik archive in the early 1940s (eventually microfilming each handwritten document) that the generality of Lincoln students could look at the material—though, lacking a workable index and often facing illegible script and poorly developed film, inquirers were liable to go crazy before they found what they were looking for. That is what makes the printed documentary edition, edited by Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis and published in 1998 as Herndon's Informants, so crucial to this and many other Lincoln projects. Especially regarding Lincoln's self-education in Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois, it would be almost impossible to map the range and sequence of his reading without Herndon's Informants. Yet this is not to say that mention of a title in the Collected Works or Herndon's Informants is always all a bibliographer requires to settle the issue. To take but a single example, does Dennis Hanks's testimony that Lincoln's father gave his son a book recalled as "the united States Speaker" mean that the youth possessed and read The American Speaker (1811), a textbook on elocution? The answers to this and kindred questions are far from clear. A fair part of the value of any bibliography is its contextual information: Who first associated a given text with Lincoln's reading, and how have commentators used this information in interpreting Lincoln's life and career? To assist in answering such questions, I have often listed sources for a title that are "less primary" than either of these two great references. And in the annotations I have also sometimes enlarged the discussion of whether and when Lincoln read a given title.

A brief word about the columnar format for the bibliography and especially the grades conferred in the last column of each entry. The left-hand author/title column also gives the first edition in English of the book or single poem or song—not which precise edition Lincoln might have read, which is often impossible to determine (when there is room for speculation on this question it is to be found in the annotations). The second column denominates a text's genre, while the next two give an indication of the period in his life when Lincoln might have read the work and which sources have offered at least a basic ground for believing that he did read it. The grades in the right-hand column are by their nature somewhat subjective. But in the annotations I have tried to keep my own "intuition" at bay, relying for the most part upon the authority of the informants and the quality of the contextual evidence to judge each title's likelihood of having been read by Abraham Lincoln—such as my conclusion that Lincoln may well have read the Essays of Francis Bacon (1625) because they head up a tradition of commonsense rationalism that reached its climacteric in the late eighteenth century in the works of Enlightenment thinkers like Volney and Hume, the reading of whom by Lincoln is somewhat better attested. The scholarly constraints I have striven to observe have sometimes led me to disappointing conclusions. Like many lovers of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, I would have loved to conclude that this epochal book by the other consummate American democrat appeared on the Lincoln-Herndon law office table in 1856, that Lincoln read it and became fascinated with Whitman's approach to poetry and the "body electric," and that he discussed Whitman at length with Herndon and the young law clerks in the office. But the evidence against this seductive claim ultimately weighed more. Sadly, it warranted a "D" grade.

In concluding the introduction, I wish to emphasize that this bibliography is a work-in-progress. Even in its unfinished form, I sincerely hope that the work will be of use to Lincoln students and that they, in turn, will help the canon of his readings grow through information they possess that I have missed. And where mistakes or misinterpretations are found, I would very much like to correct them, since I am currently at work on the monograph mentioned in the list of sources below. In Reading with Lincoln, I hope to be able to analyze in detail contextual questions not covered in the bibliography's annotations because the necessary notes would be several pages long (for example, which editions of bbbbsop's Fables, with what illustrations, etc., were available to Lincoln in Kentucky and Indiana). Finally, I appreciate the communitarian nature of Abraham Lincoln studies. "What Abraham Lincoln Read" has already benefited from critical readings by a number of Lincoln scholars, and I shall be grateful for all the further help I can obtain!

Table 1. Key to Locations and the Bibliographic Sources
IN Lincoln's Kentucky and Indiana years, 1809–1830
IL-NS Lincoln's New Salem years, 1831–37
IL-SF Lincoln's Springfield years, 1837–1860
DC Lincoln's presidential years, 1861–65 §
AJB Albert J. Beveridge, Abraham Lincoln: 1809–1858. 2 vols. Boston, Mass.: Houghton, Mifflin, 1928. Note: When other authorities have cited the four-volume edition of Beveridge (also 1928), these have been converted to appropriate page numbers in the two-volume printing.
AL The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, ed. Roy P. Basler et al. 9 vols. (New Brunswick: N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1953–1955).
Brooks–1 Noah Brooks, "Recollections of Abraham Lincoln," Harper's Magazine 31 (1865): 222–30; reprinted in Michael Burlingame, Lincoln Observed: Civil War Dispatches of Noah Brooks (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998), as "Personal Recollections of Abraham Lincoln" (201–22).
Brooks–2 "Personal Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln," Scribner's Monthly 15 (1877–78).
Carp Francis B. Carpenter, Six Months at the White House with Abraham Lincoln (New York: Hurd & Houghton, 1866).
Dodge Daniel Kilham Dodge, Abraham Lincoln: the Evolution of His Literary Style. 1900. Reprint, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2000.
HI Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, eds. Herndon's Informants. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998.
HV Douglas L. Wilson, Honor's Voice (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998).
LCR Library of Congress Circulation Records.
LFP David J. Harkness and Gerald McMurtry, Lincoln's Favorite Poets. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1959.
LW Louis A. Warren, Lincoln's Youth: Indiana Years. New York: Appleton, Century, Crofts, 1959.
MLH–1 M. L. Houser, The Books That Lincoln Read. Peoria, Ill.: n. p., 1929.
MLH–2 M. L. Houser, Abraham Lincoln, Student: His Books. Peoria, Ill.: n. p., 1932.
MLH–3 M. L. Houser, Young Abraham Lincoln and Log College. Peoria, Ill.: Lester O. Shriver, 1942.
RCB Robert C. Bray, Reading With Lincoln (in preparation).
RRW Rufus Rockwell Wilson, What Lincoln Read. Washington, D.C.: n. p., 1931.
Temp Wayne C. Temple, "Herndon on Lincoln: An Unknown Interview with a List of Books in the Lincoln & Herndon Law Office," Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 98 (2005): 34–50.
WEB William E. Barton, Abraham Lincoln and His Books. Chicago: Marshall Field, 1920.
WHH William H. Herndon and Jesse W. Weik, Herndon's Life of Lincoln. Chicago: Belford, Clarke, 1889.
Whit Henry C. Whitney, Life on the Circuit with Lincoln. 1892. Reprint, Caldwell, Ia.: Caxton Printers, 1940.
Note: other sources are identified by full title and author in the annotations.
Table 2. Explanation of the "grades"
A+ Attested by Lincoln himself in his writings, in such a way as to indicate more than passing awareness or mere quotation. For example, Lincoln may have alluded once to Cervantes's Don Quixote, but this is not sufficient to conclude that he had read the entire long narrative poem. References to Henry Clay's speeches, on the other hand, imply a familiarity both broad and deep. All but incontestable.
A Either attested by Lincoln himself to a credible second party, or asserted by one or more of his acquaintances who would have been in a position to know that he read the title in question. Very likely.
B Attested by at least one of Lincoln's acquaintances, or mentioned in the Library of Congress circulation records, or reasonably thought to be among books Lincoln owned. Somewhat likely.
C Mentioned by an informant or acquaintance, though in an uncertain context as regards title/author, time or place. Somewhat unlikely.
D Listed, mentioned or asserted by an informant, acquaintance, or bibliographer, but without sufficient credibility or source citation; or going against negative statements by others or Lincoln himself (e. g., his declaration that he "never read a novel through"). Very unlikely.
Table 3. The Bibliography
Author/Title [Orig. Pub.] Genre When Provenance Likelihood
Abbot, Jacob, Biographical Histories [1832–78] Belles-lettres ? MLH-2 D[1]
bbbbsop's Fables [1525] Fiction [fables] IN AL [1: 315], HI, RRW A+
Akenside, Mark, Pleasures of the Imagination [1744] Poetry/essay IL-NS HI D[2]
"Am I For Peace? Yes!" [1864] Poem DC RCB, AL [8: 532] A+
American Speaker [1811] Textbook [literacy] IN HI C[3]
Andrews, E. A. and Stoddard, S., A Grammar of the Latin Language [1836] Textbook [Latin lang.] IL-SF Temp C
Arabian Nights [1706] Fiction [tales] IN HI, RRW, LW A[4]
Austen, Jane, Pride and Prejudice [1813] Novel DC LCR D
Babes in the Wood [1793] Ballad/ Drama [opera] IL-SF HI B[5]
Bacon, Francis, Essays [1625] Belles-lettres [philosophy] IL-SF? Whit B[6]
Bacon, Leonard, Slavery Discussed in Occasional Essays from 1833–46 [1846] Social/Relig. Polemic IL-SF RCB A[7]
Bailey, Nathan, Dictionary of English Etymology [1721] Reference IN RRW, LW, MLH-2, AJB B[8]
Bailey, Philip J., The Beauties of Festus [1851] Nonfiction [wit & humor] IL-SF Temp B[9]
Baldwin, J. G., Flush Times in Alabama & Mississippi [1853] Fiction [humor] DC Whit, MLH-2 B
Balzac, Honoré de, Novels [1842–48] Novels ? MLH-2 D[10]
Droll Stories [1874] Short Stories IL-SF WHH D
Bancroft, George, History of the U.S. [1834] Belles-lettres [history] DC LCR B[11]
The Necessity, the Reality, and the Promise of Progress of the Human Race [1854, 1855] Oratory [political] IL-SF HI A
"Barbara Allen" Ballad/song IN HI A
Barclay, James, Dictionary [1774] Reference IN LW, HI B[12]
Barrett, Joseph H., Illustrated Life of Abraham Lincoln [1860, 1864?] Biography [campaign] DC LCR A[13]
Bartlett, John R., Personal Narrative of Explorations and Incidents in Texas, etc. [1854] Nonfiction [trav. & expl.] DC RRW, LCR B[14]
Baxter, Richard, The Saints' Everlasting Rest [1649] Relig. [polemic] IL-SF MLH-2 C[15]
Beecher, Edward, Narrative of the Riots at Alton [1838] History [documentary] IL [SF] MLH-1, MLH-2 C[16]
Beecher, Henry Ward, Editorials [1862] Nonfiction [journalism] DC Carp A[17]
Lectures to Young Men [1846] Belles-lettres [lectures] IL-SF Temp C[18]
Bell, Robert, Eminent Literary and Scientific Men: English Poets [1839] Belles-lettres [bio./criticism] IL-SF Temp C[19]
Benton, Thomas Hart, Speeches [1856, 1857] Oratory [political] IL-SF MLH-2 D[20]
Bible Relig. IN+ AL [passim] A+
Bingham, Caleb, American Preceptor [1794] Textbook [literacy] IN HI C[21]
Columbian Orator [1797] Textbook [literacy] ? HI D[22]
Blackstone, William, Commentaries [1765–69] Textbook [law] IL AL [3: 344; 4: 121] A+
Blair, Hugh, Lectures in Rhetoric [1784] Textbook [literacy] IN-IL RRW, MLH-1 D[23]
Blanchard, Amos, American Military Biography [1825] Reference [biography] IL-NS HI, RRW B
Blanc, Louis, Louis Blanc on the Working Classes [1848] Sociology/ pol. science IL-SF Temp C
Book of Mormon Relig. DC RRW, LCR C[24]
Brewster, George, A New Philosophy of Matter [1843] Nonfiction [science] IL-SF Temp B
Brontë, Charlotte, Shirley [1849] Novel DC LCR D
Brown, Thomas, Lectures on the Philosophy of the Human Mind [1828] Philosophy IL HI C[25]
Browne, Charles F., Artemus Ward, His Book [1862] Fiction [humor] DC Whit. MLH-2 B[26]
Browning, Robert, Poems [1850?] Poetry DC Dodge C[27]
Bryant, William Cullen, Poems [1821, 1832] Poetry [lyric] IL-DC? LFP, MLH-2 B[28]
"Thanatopsis" [1817,1821] "" IL-SF RCB A[29]
Buckland, Francis T., Curiosities of Natural History [1858] Non-fiction [science] DC LCR C
Bulwer-Lytton, Edward, Lady of Lyons [1838] Drama IL HI B[30]
Caxtoniana [1849] Nonficion [essays] DC LCR C
Bunyan, John, Pilgrim's Progress [1678] Fiction [rel. allegory] IN-IL HI, WHH, LW,RRW A
Burk, ?, The Rifle [not identified] Textbook? [military science?] DC MLH-2, LCR D[31]
Burke, Edmund, Sublime and Beautiful [1757] Philosophy IL MLH-1 C[32]
Burke, Peter, Public and Domestic Life of Edmund Burke [1853] Belles-lettres [biography] IL-SF WHH, Dodge D[33]
Burns, Robert, Poems [1786] Poetry [lyric, satire] IL-NS SF-DC HI, RRW,- Whit., Dodge A[34]
"Tam O' Shanter" " " HI, LFP A
"Holy Willie's Prayer" " " HI, LFP A
"Cotter's Saturday Night" " " " A
"Epistle to a Young Friend " " " " A
"A Man's A Man For A' That" " " " A
"John Anderson, My Jo" Song " " A
"Green Grow the Rushes" " " " A
"Address to the Unco Guid" Poetry " " A
"Address to the Deil" Poetry IL-SF AL [1:104] RCB A
"Auld Lang Syne" Song IN-IL HI, LFP A
"A Heart-Warm Fond Adieu" " IL-SF-DC LFP A
"'Twas Even... " " " " A
"Willie Wastle" " " HI A
"Lament for James, Earl of Glencairn" [1793] Poetry DC RCB A
Butler, Joseph, The Analogy of Religion Natural and Revealed, to the Constitution and Course of Nature [1736] Relig. IL-SF-DC Dodge,MLH-2 B[35]
Butler, Samuel, Works [inc. Hudibras, 1663] Poetry [mock-epic] DC LCR B
Butler, William A., Nothing to Wear [1857] Poetry [humorous verse] IL-SF HI, WHH B[36]
Byron, George Gordon, Lord, Poems [1815] Poetry IL-NS- HI, A[37]
Childe Harold [1812–18] [lyric, dramatic, SF-DC Dodge, A
Bride of Abydos [1813] satiric, Whit, A
Mazeppa [1819] narrative] LFP A
Don Juan [1819–24] " IL-SF " A[38]
"Destruction of Sennacherib" " IL-NS-SF HV-LFP A
"Devil's Drive" " " HI A
"To Inez" " " " A
"Girl of Cadiz" " " " A
"Darkness" " IL-SF HV, HI A
"The Dream" " IL-SF HV A
"Lara" [1814] " IL-SF RCB B
"The Corsair" [1813] " IN " B
"Nisus and Euryalus" [1807] " IN " B
Callan, John. F., Military Laws [1858] Reference [legal] DC? MLH-2 C
Campbell, Thomas, Pleasures of Hope [1799] Poetry [essay] IL HI D[39]
Carey, Henry Charles, Principles of Political Economy [1837] Economics IL-SF RCB B/C[40]
Carlyle, Thomas, ? ? IL-SF MLH-2 D[41]
Carter, Elizabeth et al., Sketches in Biography [1825] Belles-lettres [biography] IL-SF Temp C
Cervantes, Miguel de, Don Quixote [1616] Prose fiction [mock-epic] IL AL C
Chambers, Robert, Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation [1844] Non-fiction [Relig.] IL-SF WEB, RRW,WHH A[42]
Chandler, Mary G., Elements of Character [1854] [self-help] Ethics IL-SF MLH-2 A[43]
Channing, William Ellery, Works [1841] Philosophy [ethical] IL-SF HI, MLH-2 A[44]
Chitty, Joseph, A Practical Treatise on Pleading [1809] Textbook [law] IL-NS AL [3: 344;4: 121] A+
Cibber, Colley, The Hypocrite [1717; 1768] Drama IL-NS HI C[45]
Clay, Henry, Speeches Oratory [political] IL-SF AL [2: 121–32; passim, other volumes] A+
Life [Correspondence] and Speeches of Henry Clay [1857] " " MLH-2 B[46]
Coddington, David, Oration Delivered at Bergen Point, on the Fourth of July, 1845 [1845] Oratory [political] IL-SF Temp C
Conway, Moncure D., The Rejected Stone [1861, 1862] Polemic [abolitionist] DC RCB A[47]
Cook, Eliza, Poems [1838, 1840] Poetry [sentimental] IL? MLH-1, 2 C[48]
Cooper, James Fenimore, The Wept of Wish-Ton-Wish [1829] Drama[historical romance] IL-NS HI C[49]
The Pioneers [1823] Novel [historical romance] IN MLH-1, 2 D[50]
The Last of the Mohicans [1826] Novel [historical romance] IN MLH-1, 2 D
The Prairie [1827] Novel [historical romance] IN MLH-1, 2 D
Cowper, William, Lines from The Task [1785] Poetry [autobio.] IN RCB A
Charity [1782] Poetry [didactic] IL-SF RCB B
"On the Receipt of My Mother's Picture" [1792] Poetry [lyric] IL-SF RCB B[51]
"There is a Fountain Filled with Blood" [1779] Hymn ? LFP B
Cozzens, Frederick S. [Richard Hayward], The Sparrowgrass Papers [1856] Humor DC LCR B
Cruden, Alexander, Concordance [1737] Reference DC MLH-2 B[52]
Cunningham, Peter, Story of Nell Gwynn [1852] Biography DC LCR C
Daboll, Nathan, Schoolmaster's Assistant [1799] Textbook [arithmetic] IN LW, MLH-2 B
Darwin, Charles, The Voyage of the Beagle [1839] Monograph [biology] IL-SF WHH D[53]
The Origin of Species [1859] Monograph [biology] " " D
Davis, Andrew J., The Great Harmonia [1859] Essay [spiritualism] IL-SF Temp C
Davis, William W. H., El Gringo: or, New Mexico and her People [1857] Non-fiction [trav. desc.] DC RRW, LCR B[54]
Day, Jeremiah, Introduction to Algebra [1814] Textbook [math] IL? MLH-2 C
Defoe, Daniel, Robinson Crusoe [1719] Novel IN HI, RRW, LW A[55]
"The Democratic Battle Hymn" [?] Poem IL-SF RCB, AL [2: 152] A+
Dempster, William R., "Lament of the Irish Immigrant" [1843] Song IL-SF? Dodge
Dickens, Charles, Pickwick Papers [1837] Novel IL-DC MLH-2, LCR D[56]
Dilworth, Thomas, A New Guide to the English Tongue [1761] Textbook [literacy] IN HI, WHH, RRW A
Disraeli, Benjamin, Vivian Grey [1826] Novel DC LCR D
Contarini Fleming [1832] Novel DC LCR D
Drake, Benjamin, Life of Blackhawk [1838] Biography IL MLH-2 C[57]
Dupuy, Starke, Hymns Spiritual Songs [1818] Hymns IN HI B
Elliott, Jonathan, Journal and Debates of the Federal Constitution [1836] History [political] IL-SF AL [3: 522ff],WHH A+[58]
Emerson, Ralph W. Belles-lettres IL-SF MLH-2 D[59]
Essays, 1st Series [1841] " DC LCR B
Representative Men [1850] " DC LCR B
Emory, W. H., Reconnaissance in New Mexico and California [1848] Non-fiction [gov't doc.] DC RRW, LCR B[60]
Euclid, Geometry Textbook [math] IL-SF HI, MLH-2 A
Everett, Edward, Orations [general] [1836, 1856] Belles-lettres DC? Brooks-2, Dodge C[61]
Address at Gettysburg [1863] Belles-lettres DC-PA AL A+[62]
Feuerbach, Ludwig, The Essence of Christianity [1854] Belles-lettres [philosophy] IL-SF RRW C[63]
Fichte, Johann G., Doctrine of Knowledge [?][?] Belles-lettres [philosophy] IL-SF RRW D[64]
Fitzhugh, George, Sociology for the South [1857] History[sociology] IL-SF D WHH, AJB, MLH-2 A-
Flint, Abel, System of Geometry, Trigonometry Rectangular Surveying [1804] Textbook [surv.] IL-NS AL [4: 65], MLH-2 A+
Flint, Charles, Insects Injurious to Vegetation [1862?] Biology [pamphlet] DC RCB, AL [5: 211] C
Flint, Timothy, Life of Daniel Boone [1833] Biography IL? MLH-2 C
Ford, Thomas, History of Illinois [1854] History IL-SF AL [3: 28, 182], MLH-2 A+
Franklin, Benjamin, Autobiography [1818, U.S.] Belles-lettres IN LW, MLH-2 B
French, Jonathan, The True Republican [1841, 1852] History IL-SF MLH-1, MLH-2 B[65]
Frémont, John C., Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the Year 1842 [1845] Documentary DC RRW, LCR B[66]
Fresh Evidence of the Continuance of the Slave Trade [Eng.] [1824] Gov't. Report IL-SF Temp B
Gasparin, Agénor-Etienne, America Before Europe [1859] History DC RCB, AL [5: 352, 355] C[67]
Gibbon, Edward, Decline Fall of the Roman Empire [1776] Belles-lettres [history] IL-NS RCB,AL [8: 436], HI, WEB, WHH A
Gibson, Robert, Theory Practice of Surveying [1814] Textbook [surv.] IL-NS AL [4: 65],MLH-2 A+
Giddings, Joshua, Speeches [1853, 1854] Oratory [political] IL-SF WHH A[68]
Giles, Henry, Lectures and Essays [1850] Belles-lettres [lit.criticism] IL-SF Temp C[69]
Gilman, C., Illinois Conveyancer [1846] Textbook [law] IL-NS-SF MLH-2 C[70]
Gilmore, J. R., Among the Pines [1862] Nonfiction [trav. desc.] DC MLH-2 B[71]
Goldsmith, Oliver, Poems [1775, 1777] Poetry DC Carp D[72]
"On the Death of a Mad Dog" " ? LFP C
Gray, Thomas, "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" [1751] Poetry IN RCB, HI A[73]
Greene, Samuel S., Elements of English Grammar [1853] Textbook/Ref. [literacy] IL-SF Temp C
Greenleaf, Simon, A Treatise On the Law of Evidence [1840] Textbook, [law] IL-NS AL [3: 344;4: 121] A+
Greg, William R., The Creed of Christendom [1851] Nonfiction [apologetics] IL-SF Temp C
Grimshaw, William, History of the U. S. [1820] History IN HI, AJB, RRW, MLH-2 B
Grove, William R., On the Correlation of Physical Forces [1846] Nonfiction [science] IL-SF Temp C
Guizot, François P., Essay on the Character and Influence of Washington [1840] Belles-lettres [essay/history] IL-SF Temp B
Gunnison, John W., The Mormons [1852] Nonfiction [trav. & desc.] DC RRW, LCR C[74]
Hackett, James H., Notes and Comments upon Certain Plays and Actors of Shakespeare [1863] Belles-lettres [dramatic criticism] DC RCB, AL [6: 393n] C[75]
Hale, Salma, History of the U.S. [1826] History ? MLH-2 ?
Hallam, Henry, Middle Ages [1818] History ? MLH-2 ?
Halleck, FitzGreene, "Burns" [1827] Poetry IL-SF AL [4: 48], HI A+
"Alnwick Castle" " " " A+
"Marco Bozzaris" " " " A+
"Red Jacket" " " " A+
"Fanny" [1819, 1821] " DC RCB A[76]
Halleck, H. W., Military Art & Science [1846] Textbook [mil.] DC LCR, MLH-2 B[77]
Halpine, Charles. G., Life & Adventures of Private Miles O'Reilly [1864] Nonfiction [autobio.] DC Brooks-1, MLH-2 C[78]
Lyrics by the Letter H [1854] Poetry " LCR C
Harris, T. W., Treatise on Some Insects Injurious to Vegetation [not identified; see entry above for Flint, Charles L.] Nonfiction [science] ? MLH-2 ?
Harvey, William, Children in the Wood [also Babes in the Wood] [1830] Poetry/drama [ballad] IL-SF HI B
Hawes, G. W., Illinois State Gazetteer [1858] Reference IL-SF RCB A[79]
Hawthorne, Nathaniel, Novels Novel[s] ? MLH-2 D
The Blithedale Romance [1852] Novel DC LCR D
Mosses from an Old Manse [1846] Fiction [tales] DC LCR C
Twice-Told Tales [1851] " " " C[80]
Hayes, Catherine [composer],"Annie Laurie" [ca. 1848] Song IL-SF Brooks-1 B
Helper, Hinton R., The Impending Crisis of the South [1857] History [doc.] IL-SF AL[3: 541], AJB, MMH-2 A+[81]
Henry, Patrick, Speeches Oratory [political] IL?-DC AL [5: 502–3], Dodge, MLH-2 B[82]
Hentz, Caroline Lee, The Mob-Cap Other Tales [ca.1848] Fiction [short stories] IL-SF HI B[83]
Novels Novel[s] IL-NS WHH D[84]
Herrick, Robert, Poems [1648] Poetry ? MLH-2 D[85]
Hesiod, Georgicks [George Chapman, trans.][1618] Poetry DC LCR B
Works of Hesiod, Callimachus, and Theognis [1856] Poetry DC LCR B
Hickey, William, The Constitution of the U.S. [1846] History [political] DC MLH-2, LCR A
Hill, John, Opposing Principles of Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln [1860] Political Polemic [pamphlet] IL-SF RCB, AL [4: 104–8] A+
Hitchcock, E., Religious Truth Illustrated from Science [1856] Relig. IL-SF-DC MLH-2 B[86]
Holland, William M., Life of Martin Van Buren [1835] Biography IL-SF MLH-2 B[87]
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, Poems [1850] Poetry IL-SF-DC LFP, HI C
"The Last Leaf" [1831] " " HI, Whit, Dodge A
"The Chambered Nautilus" " " Dodge A
"September Gale" " " Dodge A
"Ballad of an Oysterman" " " Dodge A
"Lexington" " " Brooks-1, LFP A[88]
"Freedom, Our Queen" " " LFP D
"Voyage of the Good Ship Union" " " LFP D
"The Flower of Liberty" " " LFP D
"My Aunt" " " LFP D
"How Not to Settle It" " " LFP D![89]
"The Boys" " " LFP D
"Departed Days" " " LFP D
"Army Hymn" " " LFP D[90]
The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table [1858] Belles-lettres [familiar essay] IL-SF LFP C[91]
"The Deacon's Masterpiece Or the Wonderful One-Hoss Shay" Poetry " LFP C
"Latter-Day Warnings" " " LFP C
Homer, Iliad [George Chapman, trans.] Poetry [narr.epic] IL, DC RRW, MLH-2,LCR, RCB B[92]
Odyssey " IL MLH-2, RCB B
Hood, Thomas, Poems [1840] Poetry [humor/lyric] IL-SF-DC MLH-2 C
"Miss Kilmansegg and her Golden Leg" " DC Dodge, Brooks-1 B
"Faithless Sally Brown" " DC Dodge, Brooks-1 B
"Up the Rhine" " DC LFP B
"The Haunted House" " DC RCB A[93]
"The Lost Heir" " DC " A
"The Song of the Shirt" " DC " C
"The Bridge of Sighs" " DC LFP C
"Ode to Melancholy" " DC " C[94]
"The Spoiled Child" [1861] Fiction [humorous sketch] DC RCB A?[95]
Hopkinson, Jospeh," Hail Columbia, Happy Land" [1798] Song IN HI B
Horace, Q. Horatii Flacci Opera Poetry [Latin] DC LCR C
Howe, Julia Ward, Passion Flowers [1854] Poetry DC LCR C
Howells, William Dean, Lives and Speeches of Abraham Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin [1860] Biography [campaign] IL-SF AL A+[96]
Hume, David, Essays [1741? 1758?] Belles-lettres [philosophy] IL-SF MLH-2 B[97]
History of England [1754–1762] Belles-lettres [history] DC LCR B
Hyde, John, Mormonism [1857] History [relig.] DC LCR A[98]
Illinois, Journal of the House of Representatives, 9th General Assembly [1834] Reference [documentary] IL-SF MLH-2 B[99]
Illinois, Revised Laws [1829] Reference [law] IL-SF AJB, MLH-2 B
Revised Laws [1841–45] " " " B[100]
Indiana, Revised Statutes [1824] Reference [law] IN HI, LW, MLH-2 B[101]
Jackson, Andrew, Proclamation Against Nullification [1832] State Paper [presidential] IL-SF WHH A
Jackson, Edwin W, "Auld Robin Gray" [ca. 1821] Song IL-NS[?]-SF[?] Brooks-1 B
Jefferson, Thomas, Works [vols. 4, 7, 8, 9] [1853–4] Various DC LCR B
First Inaugural Address [1801] Oratory [political] IN RCB A[102]
Correspondence (vol. 7) Letters IL-NS RCB, AL [2: 516–17] A+
Joe Miller's Jests [1739] Humor IL-SF Whit, MLH-2, WEB A[103]
Jefferys, Charles [and Nelson, S.], "Mary of Argyle" [ca. 1840] Song IL-SF Brooks-2 B
"John Adkin's Farewell" Song IN HI A
Johnson, A. B., The Meaning of Words [1854] Nonfiction [linguistics/phil.] IL-SF Temp C
Judd, Sylvester, Margaret [1845] Novel DC LCR D
Kant, Immanuel? Nonfiction [philosophy] IL-SF RRW D[104]
Kellogg, Edward, Labor and Other Capital [1849] Political Economy IL-SF RCB, AL [3: 518–19] C[105]
Kendall, George W., Narrative of the Texan Santa Fé Expedition [1844] Nonfiction [trav. & expl.] DC RRW, LCR B[106]
Kenney, James, Illustrious Stranger [1827] Drama IL-NS HI B[107]
Kent, James, Commentaries on American Law [1826] Textbook [law] IL-NS-SF AL [1: 485–6] A+
The Kentucky Preceptor [1806] Textbook[literacy] IN WHH,LW A[108]
Kingsley, Charles, Hypatia [1851] Novel DC RRW, LCR D[109]
Alton Locke [1850] Novel DC LCR D
Yeast: a Problem [1850] Novel DC LCR D
Westward Ho! [1855] Novel DC LCR D
Kirkham, Samuel, English Grammar Textbook [literacy] ILNS HI [et al.] A
Kirkland, Charles P., A Letter to the Honorable Benjamin P. Curtis [1862] Politics [pamphlet] DC RCB, AL [5: 544] A+
Kneass, Nelson, "Ben Bolt" [ca. 1848] Song IL-SF Dodge C
Knox, Vicesimus, Elegant Extracts [1826] Anthology [literary] IL-SF RCB B[110]
Knox, William, "Mortality" [1824] Poetry IL AL [I: 378] A+[111]
Lament of the Irish Emigrant [see Dempster entry above]
Lanman, Charles, Dictionary of the U. S. Congress [1859] Reference DC MLH-2, AL [2: 459] A[112]
The Law of Nature [1796] Catechism [Deist/secular] IL-NS RCB B[113]
Lawrence, George Alfred, Sword and Gown [1859] Novel DC LCR D
Leland, John, "O When Shall I See Jesus" [see Dupuy entry above]
Lempriere, John, Classical Dictionary [1788] Reference DC LCR B
Lear, Edward, A Book of Nonsense [1856, 1861] Humor IL? DC RCB B[114]
Le Sage, Alain R., Gil Blas [1715–35] Novel IL-NS HI B[115]
Leslie, John M.,"The Phantom" Poetry IL-SF Dodge B[116]
Lewes, George Henry, Life of Göthe [1855] Biography DC LCR D
? Life of Napoleon Biography IL RCB D[117]
Lincoln, Abraham and Douglas, Stephen A., Political Debates [1860] Debate[political] IL-SF AL [2: 461 n. 1; 3: 515] A+
Livermore, G., Historical Research ... Negroes as Slaves, as Citizens, and as Soldiers [1862] History [documentary] DC? MLH-2 B[118]
Livingston, J., Law Register [1851] Reference [law] IL-SF MLH-2 B[119]
Locke, David Ross [Petroleum V. Nasby], The Nasby Papers [1864] Humor DC Whit, MLH-2, Dodge A[120]
Locke, John, ? Nonfiction [philosophy] IL-SF RRW D[121]
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, Poems [1846] Poetry IL-SF? DC LFP, MLH-2 B[122]
The Song of Hiawatha [1855] Poetry [narrative] DC LFP, LCR C[123]
"The Birds of Killingworth" Poetry [lyric] DC Brooks-1, Dodge B
"The Building of the Ship" " DC Brooks-2, Dodge LFP A[124]
"A Psalm of Life" " DC Brooks-1, Dodge B
"I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" " DC LFP C[125]
"The Slave's Dream" " DC LFP C[126]
"The Rainy Day" " IL-SF LFP C
Lowe, A. T., Columbian Class Book [1824] Textbook [literacy] IN RRW, LW B[127]
Lowell, James Russell, The Biglow Papers [1848, 1867] Humor DC Brooks-1, Dodge B[128]
Macaulay, Thomas B., History of England from the Accession of James II [1849] Belles-lettres [history] IL-SF,DC Temp, LCR B
Essays, Critical and Miscellaneous [1846] Belles-lettres [lit. criticism] IL-SF Temp C
McCullough, John Ramsey, Essays on Exchange, Interest, Money and Other Subjects [1850] Economics IL-SF RCB C[129]
McElligott, James N., The American Debater [1855] Textbook [literacy/debate] IL-SF Temp B[130]
Mackay, Charles, "The Inquiry" [1847, 1856] Poetry [song] IL-SF? WHH, Dodge A[131]
"The Ship on Fire" Song IL-SF-DC RCB C[132]
Macklin, Charles, The Man of the World [1781] Drama [comic] DC RCB, AL[6: 559n] C
Marryat, Frederick, Novels Novel[s] IL? MLH-2 D[133]
Massett, Stephen C., "Drifting About;" or, What "Jeems Pipes of Pipesville,"Saw-and-Did [1863] Humor [fictional sketches] DC Carp, RCB, AL [7: 34] B
Mill, John Stuart, On Liberty [1859] Belles-lettres [philosophy] DC Brooks-1, Dodge B[134]
Principles of Political Economy [1848] Economics IL-SF RCB B[135]
Milton, John, Poems [1645, 1673] Poetry IL-SF HI, RRW, MLH-2 C[136]
"Lycidas" [1638] Poetry [lyric] IN RCB B
Paradise Lost [1667] Epic poetry DC RCB C
Mitchell, Donald G. [Ik Marvel], Fudge Doings [1854] Fiction [short stories] IL-SF MLH-1 C[137]
Seven Stories, with Basement and Attic [unidentified] Fiction [short stories] DC LCR D[138]
Molière [Jean-Baptiste Poquelin], Le Tartuffe[139]
Mollhausen, Baldwin, Diary of a Journey from the Mississippi to the Coasts of the Pacific [1858] Nonfiction [trav. & expl.] DC RRW, LCR B[140]
Moore, David A., The Age of Progress; or, A Panorama of Time [1856] Prose-poetry [dream vision] IL-SF Temp B[141]
Moore, Thomas, "Believe Me if All Those Endearing Young Charms" Poetry [song] IL-NS?-SF-DC LFP C
"The Meeting of the Waters" " ? LFP C
"The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls" " ? LFP C
"Oft in the Stilly Night" " ? LFP C
"How Dear to Me the Hour" " ? LFP C[142]
"The Legacy" " NS RCB B[143]
Life, Letters and Journals of Lord Byron [1830–31] Biography [with documents] IL-NS HV B[144]
Morton, John M., Poor Pillicoddy ["a farce in one act"] [1848] Drama [Victorian popular] IL-NS HI C[145]
Murray, Lindley, The English Reader [1799] Textbook [literacy] IN LW, WHH A[146]
The English Grammar [1795] " IL-NS HV C[147]
Neill, Edward D., History of Minnesota [1858] History DC RRW, LCR B[148]
Neilson, William, Greek Exercises [1806] Textbook [Greek lang.] ? MLH-2 ?[149]
Newell, R. H. [Orpheus C. Kerr], Orpheus C. Kerr Papers [1862] Humor DC Brooks, MLH-2 B[150]
Newton, John, "How Tedious and Tasteless the Hours" [see Dupuy entry above] Hymn IN HI, LFP B
"Old Sukey Blue Skin" Song IL-NS HI B
Olmsted, Denison, An Introduction to Astronomy [1839] Textbook [science] ? MLH-2 D[151]
Olmsted, Frederick L., A Journey in the Seaboard Slave States [1856] Nonfiction [trav. desc.] IL-SF Temp B
O'Neill , John, A New and Easy System of Geography and Popular Astronomy [1808] Textbook [geography] IN MLH-3 D[152]
Owen, Robert D., Footfalls on the Boundary of Another World [1859] Essay [spiritualism] IL-SF Temp C
Paine, Thomas, Common Sense [1776] Belles-lettres [propaganda] IL-NS HI B[153]
The Age of Reason [1794–5] Belles-lettres [philosophy] IL-NS WHH, AJB, MLH-2 A[154]
Complete Political Works, 3 vols. [1856–9] Belles-lettres [pol. polemic] IL-SF Temp B[155]
Paley, William, Natural Theology [1802] Religion [Christian Theology] IL-SF RCB, AL [8:433], HI, MLH-2 B[156]
Parker, Theodore, Additional Speeches, Addresses, and Occasional Sermons [1858] Belles-lettres [pol. and relig. Polemics] IL-SF HI, WHH A[157]
"The Effect of Slavery on the American People" [1858] " " WHH A[158]
Parkman, Francis, The Oregon Trail [1849] Belles-lettres [history] DC RRW, LCR B[159]
Perkins, James H., Annals of the West [1847] History IL-SF HI C
Permanent Temperance Documents of the American Temperance Society, vol. 1? [1835] and vol. ? Nonfiction, polemic] IL-SF Temp B[160]
Peterson, Henry, Poems [1863] Poetry DC RCB,MLH-2 B[161]
Phillips, Austin, "Twenty Years Ago" [ca. 1840] Song IL-SF Dodge B
Phillips, Charles, The Character of Napoleon [1817] Biography IL-SF RCB, AL [2: 281] C
Phillips, Philip, "Your Mission" Hymn DC RCB, AL [8: 245–6 and n] A+
Phillips, Wendell, ? Polemic [antislavery] IL-SF MLH-2, WHH A[162]
"Picayune Butler" Song DC RCB, AL [7: 549] A+
Pike, Nicholas, Arithmetic [1788] Textbook [arithmetic] IN LW, RRW B
Plato, Dialogues [Phdrus?] Philosophy IL-SF AL [3: 357], Dodge C[163]
Plutarch, Lives [Arthur H. Clough, ed.] [1859] Belles-lettres [biography] IL-SF HI, WEB LCR B to A+[164]
Poe, Edgar Allan, Poems [1831] Poetry IL-SF HI, MLH-2 A
"The Raven" [1845] " " HI, AL [1: 377n] A[165]
"The Pole-Cat" [1846] Poem [parody] IL-SF RCB, AL [1: 377 and n] A+[166]
Pope, Alexander, Poems [?] [ca. 1715–40] Poetry IL-SF-DC AL [3: 472], MLH-2 B[167]
Essay on Man [1733–4] " DC RCB A
Temple of Fame [1715] " IN RCB B
Post, Truman M., The Skeptical Era in Modern History [1856] Nonfiction [rel. polemic] IL-SF Temp C
Prentice, George Denison, Life of Henry Clay [1831] Belles-lettres [biography] IL-NS or SF HI, Temp B[168]
Prior, James, Memoir of Burke [1839] Belles-lettres [biography] IL-SF AJB D[169]
Quin's Jests [1766] Humor IN AJB, LW B[170]
Ramsay, David, Life of George Washington [1807] Belles-lettres [biography] IN HI, RRW, LW B[171]
Ray, Joseph, Little Arithmetic [1834] Textbook [arithmetic] IN HI D[172]
Read, Thomas B., The Wagoner of the Alleghanies [1862] Poetry DC LCR B
Rhoads, Asa, American Spelling Book [1802] Textbook [literacy] IN HI C[173]
Riley, James, An Authentic Narrative of the Loss of the American Brig Commerce [1817] Belles-lettres [non-fiction] IN LW A[174]
Robertson, George, Scrap Book on Law and Politics, Men and Times [1855] Non-fiction [politics] IL-SF AL [2: 317–9] A+
Rogers, Samuel, Poems [1834] Poetry ? MLH-2, Dodge C
Roget, Peter M., Thesaurus [1852] Reference DC LCR B
Rollin, Charles, Ancient History [1729] Belles-lettres [history] IL-NS HI, AJB, RRW, WEB, MLH-2 A[175]
Ross, Frederick A., Slavery Ordained of God [1857] Polemic [relig.] IL-SF RCB, AL [3: 204–5 and n] C
Schiller, J. von, Works [1861] Poetry/Drama ? MLH-2 C[176]
Scott, Walter, Ivanhoe [1819] Novel ? Carp, Dodge D[177]
Poetical Works [5 vols., 1813; 9 vols., 1857] Poetry DC LCR C
Scott, William, Lessons in Elocution [1779] Textbook [literacy] IN HI, LW, RRW A[178]
Scott, Winfield, Infantry Tactics [pre-1852] Textbook [military science] IL-SF AL [2: 149], MLH-2 B[179]
Scripps, John Locke, Life of Lincoln [1860] Biography [campaign] IL-SF MLH-2 ?[180]
Seward, William H., Speeches [1850–1860] Oratory [political] IL-SF WHH A[181]
Shakespeare, William, Dramatic Works [1594–1623] Drama IL-NS-SF, DC AL [2: 384; 6: 392–3; 558–9], HI D[182]
Hamlet " IL, DC AL [6: 392–3] A+
Henry IV [2 & 2] " DC LFP B[183]
Henry V " DC AL [6: 392–3] A+
Henry VI " DC LFP B[184]
Henry VIII " IL, DC AL [6: 392–3] A+
King Lear " " AL [2: 384] A+
King John " " AL [6: 392–3] A+
Macbeth " " AL [6:392–3] A+[185]
Merchant of Venice " DC LFP B
The Merry Wives of Windsor " " LFP B[186]
Othello " IL HI A[187]
Richard II " IL, DC LFP B
Richard III " " AL [6: 392–3] A+
"Silk Merchant's Daughter" Song/Ballad IN HI A
Simson, Robert, Elements of Euclid [1818] Textbook [math] IL-SF AJB, MLH-2 C[188]
Sloan, Samuel, Architecture? [ca. 1859–61] Architectural handbooks DC MLH-2 D[189]
Smith, James, The Christian's Defence [1843] Religion [polemic] IL-SF HI, MLH-2 C[190]
Smith, Seba, Letters of Jack Downing [1834, 1864] Humor IL-NS HI, MLH-2 B[191]
Spencer, Herbert, Principles of Psychology [?][1855] Belles-lettres [philosophy] IL-SF WHH D[192]
Story, Joseph, Commentaries on Equity Jurisprudence [1836] Textbook [law] IL-NS AL [3: 344; 4: 121], MLH-2 A+[193]
Equity Pleadings [1805] " " AL [3: 344; 4: 121] A+
Stowe, Harriet Beecher, Uncle Tom's Cabin [1852] Novel ? MLH-2 D[194]
The Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin [1853] Documentary DC LCR C[195]
Strickland, William P., Old Mackinaw, or, the Fortress of the Lakes and its Surroundings [1860] Nonfiction [trav. desc.] IL-SF Temp C
Sumner, Charles, The Republican Party [1860] Politics [polemic] ? MLH-2 C[196]
Tappan, Henry Philip, Elements of Logic [1846] Textbook [logic] IL-SF Temp B[197]
Tennyson, Alfred, Enoch Arden [1864] Poetry [narrative] DC LCR C
Thayer, W. M., The Pioneer Boy [1863] Novel DC MLH-2 C[198]
Thomson, James, The Seasons [1730] Poetry IN RCB B[199]
Thomson, Mortimer N. [pseud. Doesticks], Nothing to Say [?] [1857] Humor DC? MLH-2 B[200]
Thornton, J. Quinn, Oregon and California in 1848 [1849] History [trav. desc.] DC RRW, LCR B[201]
Tucker, Nathaniel B. George Balcombe [1836] Novel IL-NS-SF HI B[202]
Turner, J. B., Mormonism in All Ages [1842] History [relig. apologetics] DC LCR C[203]
"Twenty Years Ago" Poetry [song] IL-SF Brooks-2, Dodge B
Upham, Charles W., Salem Witchcraft [1831] History DC LCR C
Vincent, George Giles, The Science of the Moral Nature Considered with a View to Assuage and Neutralize the Rancourand Hostility of Mankind to Different Religions ... [1855] Nonfiction [psychology/philosophy] IL-SF Temp C
Volney, Constantin [Comte de], Volney's Ruins; or Meditations on the Revolutions of Empires [1791] Belles-lettres [hist./phil./polemic] IL-NS HI A
Voltaire [François-Marie Arouet] from the Works [?] Belles-lettres IL-NS? HI D?
A Treatise on Toleration [1779] Belles-lettres IL-NS-SF? RCB C
An Important Examination of the Scriptures [1819] Belles-lettres [anti-Christian polemic] IL-NS RCB B[204]
Walker, Robert J., Argument ... as to the Conclusive Character, etc. [1862] Law [bureaucracy] DC RCB, AL [5: 451] C[205]
Wallace, William R., "The Sword of Bunker Hill" [1855, 1861] Song DC? Brooks-2, Dodge B
Watts, Isaac, Hymns and Spiritual Songs [1707] Hymns IN HI, LFP B
"Shortness of Life, and the Goodness of God" " " HI A[206]
"Am I a Soldier of the Cross?" [see Dupuy entry above] " " HI B
"Alas, and Did My Saviour Bleed?" " " HI B
Wayland, Francis, Elements of Political Economy [1837] Economics IL-SF RCB A[207]
Webster, Daniel, Speeches [1830] Belles-lettres [political oratory] IL-SF AL [7: 303], WHH A
Reply to Hayne [1830] " " AL [2: 383], WHH A+[208]
Webster, Noah, The American Spelling Book [1783] Textbook [literacy] IN HI, LW A
An American Dictionary [1828] Reference [dictionary] IL-SF MLH-2 B[209]
A Dictionary for Primary Schools [1833] " ? MLH-2 B[210]
Weems, Mason Locke, Life of Benjamin Franklin [1815] Belles-lettres [biography] IN LW C[211]
Life of General Francis Marion [1809] " " Dodge B[212]
Life of George Washington [1800, 1808] " " AL [4: 235–6] A+
Wells, David A. [ed.], Annual of Scientific Discovery [1850–71] Nonfiction [science] IL-SF AJB, MLH-2 A[213]
Whedon, Daniel Denison, Public Addresses, Collegiate and Popular [1852] Speeches IL-SF RCB, Temp C[214]
Whiting, William, The War Powers of the President [1862] Monograph [law] DC Carp, MLH-2 A[215]
Whitman, Walt, Leaves of Grass [1855] Poetry IL-SF MLH-2 D[216]
Whittier, John G., Poems [1830, 1837, 1848] Poetry DC? MLH-2 B[217]
"William Riley" Song IN HI A
Willis, Nathaniel P., Poems [1835] Poetry DC MLH-2 C
"Parrhasius" " " Carp B[218]
Wilson, John, Elements of Punctuation [1856] Textbook/ Ref. [literacy] IL-SF Temp B
Wirt, William, Sketches of the Life of Patrick Henry [1817] Belles-lettres [biography] ? MLH-2 D[219]
Wise, Henry A., Los Gringos Nonfiction [trav. desc.] DC LCR B[220]
Wolfe, Charles, "The Burial of Sir John Moore" [1825] Poetry IL-SF HI B[221]
Worcester, J. E., Elements of History, Ancient and Modern [1826] Belles-lettres [history] IL-SF WEB, MLH-2 B[222]
Young, Andrew W., The American Statesman History [political] IL-SF RCB, Al [2: 388] C[223]
Young, Edward, Night Thoughts [1742] Poetry IL-NS?, SF MLH-1, Temp C[224]
The Last Day [1713] " IN RCB B

Notes

  1. MLH-2 (33). Abbott, who was also the author of the very popular Rollo books, published some two hundred short, didactic, Christian juvenile biographies between 1832 and his death in 1878. Which particular titles, if any, Lincoln read are unknown.return to text
  2. HI (470): The testimony of James H. Matheny indicates that Lincoln didn't like this title, without making it clear that that he had indeed read it.return to text
  3. HI (146–7 and n. 1): Dennis Hanks asserted that Thomas Lincoln bought a number of books for Lincoln, including "the united States Speaker," which the editors identify as "probably The American Speaker; A Selection of Popular, Parliamentary and Forensic Eloquence" (Philadelphia: Birch & Small, 1811).return to text
  4. The only tale mentioned by title is "Sinabad [sic] the Sailor," from which the editors infer the entire volume known as The Arabian Nights (HI, 129 and n. 3; testimony of David Turnham); LW quotes Dennis Hanks concerning how Lincoln read The Arabian Nights aloud to himself and Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln by firelight: "'an' we'd laugh when he did.... I reckon Abe read the book a dozen times, an' knowed them yarns by heart'" (70). LW's source for this quotation is Eleanor Atkinson: The Boyhood of Lincoln (New York: McClure, 1908), 24–5. It is important to note, however, that Atkinson's book is fiction, though disguised as Hanks's biographical reminiscences. See also a second letter from David Turnham to WHH, October 12, 1865: "After you left my house I remembered having brought with me to this county two books which Mr. Lincoln read frequently, one was entitled 'Sinabad the Sailor'" (HI, 138). This letter is misdated 1866 in LW (233 n. 35).return to text
  5. HI (665). Testimony of Sarah Rickard, who recalled that Lincoln "used to take me to little Entertainments the first was the Babes in the woods. he tooke me to the first Theater ever played in Springfield." This old English ballad, whose subject is the miserable deaths of a brother and sister neglected by their caretaker uncle, was also known as The Children in the Wood. As early as 1793, Samuel Arnold and Thomas Morton reworked the text into a "comic opera in two acts," and it is probably this (or a similar music version) that Lincoln took Sarah Rickard to see in Springfield. He may also have known the piece in ballad form; see entry below under Harvey, William.return to text
  6. Whit (136) lists "Bacon" as one of Lincoln's seven favorite books, and the inference here is that among Bacon's works the Essays is the most likely title; MLH-1 (27) also lists Bacon, but since he cites Whitney, the former is the sole source for Lincoln's having read Bacon. The grade of "B" is based on the rationally pragmatic nature of Bacon's Essays, which Lincoln would have found attractive.return to text
  7. In one of these "occasional essays" Bacon declared, "if those laws of the southern states, by virtue of which slavery exists there, and is what it is, are not wrong, nothing is wrong" (New York: Baker & Scribner, 1846, x). In addition, according to Joseph P. Thompson, Lincoln told him in 1864 that "I read that book some years ago, and at first did not know what to make of it; but afterwards I read it over more carefully, and got hold of Dr. Bacon's distinctions, and it had much to do with shaping my own thinking on the subject of slavery. He is quite a man" ("A Talk with President Lincoln," The Congregationalist and Boston Recorder, March 30, 1866, 51). Thanks to Michael Burlingame for providing this reference.return to text
  8. AJB (1: 73 and n. 4) asserts that Lincoln had access to this book in Indiana from 1823 on: "[t]he fact that this dictionary was at hand must be borne in mind while considering the books read by Lincoln during the years that he remained in Indiana." Note, however, that Bailey is not mentioned in HI. MLH-2 (39) is mistaken to imply that LW was "skeptical" about Lincoln's having used the dictionary in Indiana: LW's doubts are restricted to Lincoln's access to a particular copy of Bailey (LW: 167–8 and 255 n. 20).return to text
  9. May have interested Lincoln as a collection of epigrams and maxims.return to text
  10. MLH-2 (33), citing William Henry Herndon and Jesse W. Weik, Herndon's Lincoln: the True Story of a Great Life (Chicago: Belford, Clarke [1889]), 311. But the cited text says nothing of Balzac's novels, none among the profusion of which Lincoln was likely to have read; rather, WHH appears indirectly to refer to Balzac's Droll Stories, the first of which appeared in French in 1833. Moreover, WHH's context is Lincoln as a storyteller, one of the very best in central Illinois. When Lincoln, riding the circuit, got together with fellow attorneys William Engle and James Murray after court, "there was sure to be a crowd" at the tavern. "The yarns they spun and the stories they told would not bear repetition here, but many of them had morals which, while exposing the weaknesses of mankind, stung like a whip.... Lincoln was able to draw from Balzac a 'droll story,' and locating it in 'Egypt' or in Indiana, pass it off for a purely original conception" (250–51, Angle ed. of Herndon's Lincoln). If Herndon and Weik are implying that Lincoln had indeed read Balzac's Droll Stories, they are probably mistaken: the earliest English translation of Droll Stories appears to have been in 1874. But they may simply be using late Victorian code (droll stories=dirty stories). In any case, Lincoln's 1864 statement in Francis B. Carpenter's presence, "'I never read an entire novel in my life!'" (Six Months at the White House with Abraham Lincoln [1866; reprint, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995], 115), will be the standard by which novels are judged in this list.return to text
  11. LCR shows vols. 1, 4, 6, 7.return to text
  12. HI (42 and n. 18): testimony of Dennis Hanks. First published in 1774, this dictionary had as supplementary materials a grammar and a historical outline of "Antient [sic] and Modern History." LW cites Nicolay & Hay (1: 35) concerning Lincoln's reading of some unnamed dictionary: "... he would sit 'in the twilight and read a dictionary as long as he could see'" (168).return to text
  13. Probably Barrett's 1860 campaign biography, since the preface for the 1864 edition is dated May 14, 1864.return to text
  14. RRW (68) speculates that all the western Americana withdrawn in mid-1863 provided Lincoln with information he needed to help him address administrative matters affecting the far west.return to text
  15. MLH-2 (27) cites William Barton, The Soul of Abraham Lincoln (New York: George H. Doran, 1920), 289. However unlikely it might seem that Lincoln spent any part of his valuable reading time turning the turgid pages of a seventeenth-century Calvinist divine's apologetics, any conclusion of Barton's is ignored at later scholars' peril. In this case, moreover, Barton had what he took to be incontrovertible evidence: "I own a half page of notepaper containing in Lincoln's handwriting and with his signature, a paragraph from Baxter's 'Saint's Rest'.... The paragraph reads: 'It is more pleasing to God to see his people study Him and His will directly, than to spend the first and chief of their effort about attaining comfort for themselves. We have faith given us, principally that we might believe and live by it in daily applications of Christ. You may believe immediately (by God's help) but getting assurance of it may be the work of a great part of your life' (289)." Could one but see this holograph, the matter might be concluded: Lincoln did indeed know Baxter's book.return to text
  16. MLH-2 (27), citing MLH-1 (27), says "Lincoln copy preserved." Printed in Alton in 1838, this volume appeared too late to be of use to Lincoln in his preparation for the "Lyceum Address" of January 27, 1838 (which, while alluding to mob violence such as "throw[ing] printing presses into rivers [and] shoot[ing] editors," does not directly mention Elijah Lovejoy's murder [CW 1: 111]).return to text
  17. Carp (230–1). "During the brief period that the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher was editor-in-chief of the 'Independent,' in the second year of the war, he felt called upon to pass some severe strictures upon the course of the administration.... Somebody cut these editorials out of the different numbers of the paper, and mailed them to the President under one envelop. One rainy Sunday he took them from his drawer, and read them through to the very last word.... As Mr. Lincoln finished reading them, his face flushed up with indignation. Dashing the package to the floor, he exclaimed, 'Is thy servant a dog, that he should do this thing?'" Note: MLH-2 (33) mistakenly says it was Beecher's Sermons that Lincoln read.return to text
  18. In December 1885 WHH wrote a letter to Jesse Weik in which he listed the last names of twenty writers—mostly nineteenth-century essayists, philosophers, and historians from England and Europe—whose books he bought as they were published and kept in the law office. Henry Ward Beecher was among this group. WHH would read aloud to Lincoln from one or another of these authors, or Lincoln would "frequently" read silently himself, and they would discuss their reading, "sometimes animatedly." (Emanuel Hertz, ed., The Hidden Lincoln [New York: the Viking Press, 1938], 116). Since WHH gives no titles to go with his list of authors, and does not unequivocally say that Lincoln read any of them in particular, only those mentioned coroboratively are included in this bibliography (as with the present case of Beecher's Lectures to Young Men). For the reader's convenience, however, here are all the names on WHH's list: Emerson, Carlyle, Parker, McNaught, Strauss, Monell, Beecher, Feuerbach, Buckle, Froude, Darwin, Draper, Lecky, Lewes, Renan, Kant, Fichte, Conson [?], Hamilton, and Spencer.return to text
  19. May have interested Lincoln because of its entries on Milton, Samuel Butler, Alexander Pope, and Edward Young.return to text
  20. MLH-2 (33) cites AJB (1: 387), but this page indicates only that Lincoln heard a speech of Benton's at the Chicago River and Harbor Convention (July 5, 1847). There is no evidence, here or elsewhere in AJB, that Lincoln ever read any of Benton's papers in book form. On the other hand, Benton was an imposing national figure in the 1850s, and many of his important speeches were published in newspapers, which is the medium by which Lincoln may have known them.return to text
  21. HI (105 and n. 8; Dennis Hanks). LW asserts that the Kentucky Preceptor (see below) was "a new edition of Caleb Bingham's The American Preceptor (167)," but this is not the case: the two readers contained mostly different contents.return to text
  22. HI (105 and n. 8; Dennis Hanks). Perhaps a confusion on Hanks's part with the Columbian Class Book.return to text
  23. MLH-1 (29) and RRW (43, 84 n. 22) both cite Henry B. Rankin's "statement ... to George Hambrecht" that Rankin's mother told her son that "'Blair's Rhetoric'" was one of Lincoln's favorite books. But Rankin, as detailed in the entry below on Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass, is never a reliable informant on Lincoln.return to text
  24. RRW (68): "It is probable ... that the half dozen volumes dealing with Mormonism, called for in August and November, 1861, and retained for periods varying from two to eight months, were sought by Lincoln as throwing desired light on one of the minor problems of his administration." But while Lincoln may have needed to know about the Mormons in Utah, it does not follow that he would have been interested in the Book of Mormon, though he would have known of it from his earliest Illinois years.return to text
  25. HI (498–9 and n. 2; Joshua Speed). Because Speed testifies to this title, one is inclined to believe it; however, Speed's letter ambiguously says "He read law History, Browns Philosophy or Paley," so the matter remains in doubt.return to text
  26. Whit. (136) gives the title as Recollections of A. Ward, Showman and says it was among Lincoln's "favorite books." Not being able to identify Recollections, I have substituted Browne's most famous Artemus Ward book—and the only one that fits with the time frame in which Lincoln could have read Browne in book form.return to text
  27. Dodge (14–15) cites Egbert L.Viele, "A Trip with Lincoln, Chase and Stanton," Scribner's Monthly 16 (1878): 813: "[H]e [Lincoln] would sit for hours during the trip repeating ... page after page of Browning," but mentions no titles of poems.return to text
  28. LFP (88) says "John Hay wrote of Lincoln: 'He read Bryant and Whittier with appreciation,'" but gives no source. The quotation is taken from an article Hay published in Century Magazine 41 (November 1890) (33–37), the original manuscript of which was edited and printed in Michael Burlingame, At Lincoln's Side: John Hay's Civil War Correspondence and Selected Writings (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2000), 138.return to text
  29. According to William H. Townsend in Lincoln and the Bluegrass (1955; reprint, Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1989), during his visit to his wife's family in Lexington (November 1847), while on his way to Washington and Congress, Lincoln read deeply from the Todd library, including Bryant's "Thanatopsis," which he "committed ... to memory" and recited to the Todd family (136). The text of the poem appeared in a literary anthology entitled Elegant Extracts (see entry below for Vicesimus Knox). Townsend also asserted that Lincoln had made pencil markings at various points in Elegant Extracts, which Townsend copied out—though he does not include any of these in Lincoln and the Bluegrass (370 n. 27).return to text
  30. HI (179 and n. 5): Abner Y. Ellis includes this title in an anthology of dramas he lent to Lincoln.return to text
  31. MLH-2 (43) notes that LCR is partially illegible. return to text
  32. MLH-1 (30) says Lincoln copy preserved.return to text
  33. The question here isn't whether Lincoln read a biography of Edmund Burke—he did and he didn't, as the famous statement to WHH concerning the usefulness of biography indicates—but which biography of Burke he used as the basis of his animadversions. AJB identifies one (see note 169 below), Dodge (7) this author's. Here is how WHH remembered the circumstances and what Lincoln said: "Taking [the biography] in hand he threw himself down on the office sofa and hastily ran over its pages, reading a little here and there. At last he closed and threw it on the table with the exclamation, 'No, I've read enough of it. It's like all the others. Biographies as generally written are not only misleading, but false. The author of this life of Burke makes a wonderful hero out of his subject. He magnifies his perfections—if he had any—and supresses his imperfections. He is so faithful in his zeal and so lavish in his praise of his every act that one is almost driven to believe that Burke never made a mistake or a failure in his life'" (353).return to text
  34. Dodge (12) is wary of the oft-repeated statement that Burns was Lincoln's "favorite poet."return to text
  35. Dodge (17) cites Brooks-1 (31: 229) as saying Lincoln "particularly liked" this volume. And since MLH-2 (27) cites Dodge, this leaves Brooks as the only authority for the title. The choice of "B" rather than "C" is based on RCB's judgment that the subject of The Analogy of Religion—the deduction of a divine plan from the operations of nature—is one that Lincoln would have liked.return to text
  36. WHH (479): "Sometime in 1857 a lady reader or elocutionist came to Springfield and gave a public reading in a hall immediately north of the State House.... Among other things she recited 'Nothing to wear,' a piece in which is described the perplexities that beset "Miss Flora McFlimsey" in her efforts to appear fashionable. In the midst of one stanza ... some one in the rear seats burst out into a loud, coarse laugh—a sudden and explosive guffaw. It startled the speaker and audience, and kindled a storm of unsuppressed laughter and applause. Everyone looked back to ascertain the cause of the demonstration, and was greatly surprised to find that it was Mr. Lincoln." But see also the 1888 interview WHH had with Richard M. Lawrence (HI, 715), which is not only the source of this story but casts Lincoln as the hero rather than the embarrassed goat. In either case, however, once again, we may be sure Lincoln knew at least part of the piece, whether he ever read a word of it.return to text
  37. Sometime late in 1866, WHH gave Lincoln's copy of Byron's poems to the painter Francis B. Carpenter (HI, 522). Since the fate of this copy of Byron after Carpenter's ownership is not known, what edition this might have been it is impossible to say. One suspects, however, that the book was a complete printing of the late poet's works, including the long poems and the dramas, such as that of Grigg & Elliot (Philadelphia, 1834), which ran to 764 pages. See also the entry for Thomas Moore.return to text
  38. For Don Juan and "Lara," see Francis Fisher Browne, The Every-Day Life of Abraham Lincoln (1886; reprint, Chicago: Browne & Howell, 1913), 132–3 and 87–88, respectively. Browne quotes from a reminiscence (no date or source given): "a gentleman who visited the old law-office of Lincoln & Herndon, at Springfield" recalled that he "took up carelessly, as I stood thinking, a handsome octavo volume lying on the office table. It opened so persistently at once place, as I handled it, that I looked to see what it was, and found that somebody had thoroughly thumbed the pages of 'Don Juan.' I knew Mr. Herndon was not a man to dwell on it, and it darted through my mind that perhaps it had been a favorite with Lincoln. 'Did Mr. Lincoln ever read this book?' I said, hurriedly. 'That book!' said Herndon, looking up from his writing and taking it out of my hand. 'Oh, yes; he read it often. It is the office copy.'" And Browne quotes from a reminiscence by G. W. Harriss concerning Lincoln's having used the first two stanzas of this poem in a speech during his campaigning for Harrison as a Whig elector in 1840. For The Corsair and "Nisus and Euralyus," see entry for The Columbian Class Book. Also, according to Egbert L. Viele, Lincoln knew "several pages" of The Corsair by heart (Michael Burlingame, e-mail communication to the compiler, citing an interview of Viele by William A. Crofutt, September 23, 1885, clipping collection, Lincoln Museum, Fort Wayne, Indiana).return to text
  39. See note 2 above.return to text
  40. WHH told Weik that "Carey's political economy" was one of the books on this subject that Lincoln "more or less peeped into." The equivocal grade, however, comes from the fact that there was another Carey (Matthew) who wrote a treatise on political economy in the first half of the nineteenth century, and we cannot know which, if either, Herndon is referring to (Hidden Lincoln, 117).return to text
  41. MLH-2 (33) cites Rankin, Personal Recollections, 129. See also note 23 above.return to text
  42. WHH (353–4): "A gentleman in Springfield gave him a book called, I believe, 'Vestiges of Creation,' which interested him so much that he read it through." WEB (17) puts the year of reading at "[a]bout 1844;" but in another context WEB, quoting a Herndon letter, names James W. Keys as the person who loaned this book to Lincoln. Furthermore, in this same letter WHH says that Lincoln later "read the sixth edition of this work, which I loaned him. He adopted the progressive and development theory as taught more or less directly from this work" (The Soul of Abraham Lincoln, 169).return to text
  43. HI (579), Jesse Fell's testimony: "Some eight or ten years prior to his death, in conversing with him [Lincoln] on the Subject [of religion], the writer took occasion to refer, in terms of approbation, to the Sermons, & writings generally, of Dr. W. E. Channing; and finding he was considerably interested in the Statement I made of the opinions held by that author, I proposed to present him (Mr L) a copy of Channing's entire works, which, I soon after did. Subsequently, the Contents of these volumes ... became very Naturally topics of Conversation with us...."return to text
  44. Elements of Character (Boston: Crosby, Nichols, 1854). MLH-2 (29) cites Carl Sandburg, The Prairie Years (1: 275, 291) as his authority: Lincoln "gave his wife a 234–page book in blackboard covers, entitled The Elements of Character, by Mary G. Chandler," even marking a passage on page 222 for her special notice. MLH-2 asserts that this copy survives, and the pamphlet reproduces the underlined passage and page, with the caption indicating that the volume is now in the Barrett collection (36). It is, however, not at all clear that Sandburg and Houser are referring to the same copy. The Barrett copy has the (whimsical?) signature "Mary A. Lincoln" in Lincoln's hand on its front end-paper (Barrett Collection Auction Catalouge, 83). While the disposition of the Barrett copy after its auction is unknown, historian Harry Pratt had examined it earlier and transferred all pencil marks into the copy (examined by the compiler) that now resides in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. If the marginal notes are in fact Lincoln's, then we may reasonably conclude that he read at least parts of Elements of Character.return to text
  45. See note 30 above. If Lincoln read this play, he was actually reading a comedy that, strictly speaking, was by neither Cibber nor Molière: the latter's Le Tartuffe (1664) was reworked by Cibber into The Non-Juror (1717); this, in turn, was further adapted by Isaac Bickerstaff into The Hypocrite (1768). It is the Bickerstaff play that Lincoln would have looked at, if we credit the informant.return to text
  46. MLH-2 (29) says Lincoln copy preserved. Because Lincoln frequently alluded to or cited Henry Clay in his own speeches and writings prior to 1857, he was using texts either derived from newspapers or earlier editions of Clay's works published individually.return to text
  47. The Rejected Stone (Boston: Walker, Wise, 1862 [1861]). Conway was an ex-Unitarian minister and confirmed abolitionist. This title, which first appeared anonymously (by a native of Virginia) in 1861, a few months after the Union defeat at Bull Run, is a searching, skillfully contrived polemic urging the Union—and Lincoln as president—to declare immediate emancipation, both as a positive "war measure" and because it is the just and moral thing to do. A "second edition" (really a second printing with a brief preface) appeared in March 1862. And it is the book in this form that Lincoln probably read. In a letter to his wife, dated March 17 [1862], Conway wrote (from Washington): "By the way Mr. Lincoln said the other day that he had got the 'Rejected Stone' by heart. He said he was astonished to learn that its author was really a native of Virginia." (Conway manuscript, Columbia University). Thanks to Michael Burlingame for leading the author to this information.return to text
  48. MLH-1 (30) says Lincoln copy preserved. Cook's best-known poem, "The Old Arm-Chair" was set to music in 1840 by Henry Russell and became quite a popular "ballad" in the United States. Lincoln may have known it.return to text
  49. See note 30 above. Lincoln may never have read a novel right through, but he might well have done so with this dramatization of Cooper's tale.return to text
  50. MLH-1 (16, 30), citing Alonzo Rothschild, Abraham Lincoln: a Study in Integrity (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1917), 10, simply says "Cooper's Leather Stocking Tales." Houser, in MLH-2 (same citation to Rothschild) refines this to "Leather Stocking Tales before 1830" (29). Noah Brooks, Abraham Lincoln: His Youth and Early Manhood (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1888), also asserts that Lincoln read Cooper's "Leather-Stocking Tales" in Indiana (20). The three titles in the series listed above were the only ones (of five) published before 1830 (and this terminal year is the basis for inferring an Indiana reading, if Lincoln read Cooper at all, which is doubtful considering Lincoln's categorical statement quoted in note 10).return to text
  51. A young Lincoln encountered verse by William Cowper (from the book-length autobiographical poem, The Task) in both Murray's English Reader and The Columbian Class Book (see entries); moreover, according to Townsend, Lincoln and the Bluegrass (136), twenty years later Lincoln read at least extracts from "Charity" and the shorter lyric "On Receipt of My Mother's Picture" in Elegant Extracts (see entry under Knox, Vicesimus), while staying with his in-laws in Lexington, Kentucky, in the autumn of 1847.return to text
  52. MLH-2 (29) cites S. Trevena Jackson, Lincoln's Use of the Bible (New York: Eaton & Mains, 1909), 8. But Jackson's source is Alexander Williamson, who is identified as "a tutor in the Lincoln family in Washington." This is true (see AL 6: 144–5), so when Williamson is quoted as saying that "Mr. Lincoln frequently studied the Bible with the aid of Cruden's Concordance," the claim has credibility. Although it seems reasonable to assume that Lincoln used a concordance, probably from early on in his Bible-reading life, this is the only one named, and covers only the White House years. return to text
  53. WHH (353): "I purchased the works of Spencer, Darwin, and the utterances of other English scientists, all of which I devoured with great relish. I endeavored, but had little success in inducing Lincoln to read them. Occasionally he would snatch one up and peruse it for a little while, but he soon threw it down with the suggestion that it was entirely too heavy for an ordinary mind to digest." While WHH mentions no titles, the two given above are the only ones Lincoln could have noticed during the time of the Lincoln-Herndon partnership. See also note 18 above.return to text
  54. See note 14 above.return to text
  55. There are four separate Indiana recollections that mention Lincoln's reading some version of Defoe's popular story (HI, 41, 112, 121, 445). Despite Lincoln's statement about not reading novels (quoted in note 10 above), he may well have read Robinson Crusoe: many, if not most, of the late-eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century editions of Defoe's most famous novel were abridgements aimed at juvenile readers.return to text
  56. MLH-2 (29) cites James A Murdoch, in Osborn H. Oldroyd, The Lincoln Memorial: Album-Immortelles (1882; reprint, Springfield, Ill.: Lincoln Publishing, 1890): "His clear insight into characterization was apparent in the expression of his conception of the personalities of Falstaff and old Weller.... Speaking of Dickens, he said that his works of fiction were so near the reality that the author seemed to him too have picked up his materials from actual life..." (347). While this is attractive—for who would not like for the works of Dickens and Lincoln to have found each other?—and even somewhat plausible, since Murdoch was an "actor and elocutionist;" yet, given Lincoln's own purported statement and the lack of corroboration from other sources, we must discount Murdoch's claim, as do the Fehrenbachers (Don E. and Virginia Fehrenbacher, Recollected Words of Abraham Lincoln [Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1996], 337).return to text
  57. MLH-2 (29) says Lincoln copy preserved; citing Frederick Trevor Hill, Lincoln the Lawyer (1906; reprint, New York: Century, 1913), 15 (illustration of "books from Abraham Lincoln's Library").return to text
  58. Lincoln used Elliott extensively in his preparation for the "Cooper Union Address" on February 27, 1860. See also WHH: "Mr. Lincoln obtained most of the facts of his Cooper Institute speech from Eliott's [sic] 'Debates on the Federal Constitution.' There were six volumes, which he gave to me when he went to Washington in 1861" (368).return to text
  59. MLH-2 (29), citing Ward H. Lamon [Chauncey F. Black], The Life of Abraham Lincoln (Boston: James R. Osgood, 1872), 494. Lamon is in turn quoting from a letter by WHH to Francis E. Abbott (February 18, 1870): "I loaned him Emerson sometimes, and other writers; and he would sometimes read, and sometimes would not, as I suppose,—nay, know." This is ambiguous at best: hardly an endorsement for Lincoln's having read Ralph Waldo Emerson, though Emerson does appear on the list of authors WHH provided to Jesse Weik in December 1885 (Hidden Lincoln, 116).return to text
  60. See note 14 above.return to text
  61. Dodge (10), citing Brooks-2 (678), which quotes Lincoln: "'Now, do you know, I think Edward Everett was very much overrated.'" Does this mean that Lincoln was familiar with Everett's work generally, and didn't much care for it, or that he based his opinion on what he had heard at Gettysburg?return to text
  62. He may not have read it, but he certainly heard it! And, if he was listening, understood it.return to text
  63. RRW (52), citing Carl Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: the Prairie Years (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1926), 1: 414. But, as usual with Sandburg, there is no way to know what his source was. An irony: if Lincoln did read The Essence of Christianity, he was reading a book translated by Mary Ann Evans, whom he probably did not know as the English novelist George Eliot. See also note 18 above.return to text
  64. RRW (51): "based upon somewhat doubtful authority"; see also Sandburg, Prairie Years, 1: 414, no title by Fichte given. See also note 18 above.return to text
  65. MLH-2 (29), citing himself (MLH-1, 20), says Lincoln copy preserved. If this volume had indeed been among Lincoln's books, it would have been quite useful to him, containing as it does the texts of the Declaration of Independence, all the inaugural addresses from Washington through John Tyler (along with several other public messages from some of the presidents), brief biographies of each chief executive, and the U. S. Constitution and the constitutions of some of the eastern states, Ohio, and Kentucky.return to text
  66. See note 14 above.return to text
  67. An explanation is in order for the low grade for a book Lincoln actually mentions. That Lincoln, in July 1862, received a copy of America Before Europe as a gift from Comte de Gasparin and his American translator, Mary L. Booth, is certain; but that he read the volume is not. Lincoln wrote to de Gasparin: "I have received the volume and letter which you did me the honor of addressing to me, and for which please accept my sincere thanks. You are much admired in America for the ability of your writings, and much loved for your generosity to us, and your devotion to liberal principles generally" (5: 355).return to text
  68. WHH (293): "Hence you could find on my table the latest utterances of Giddings, Phillips, Sumner, Seward and ... Theodore Parker.... Lincoln himself never bought many books, but he and I both read those I have named. After reading them we would discuss the questions they touched upon and the ideas they suggested...."return to text
  69. May have interested Lincoln because of essays on Falstaff and Byron.return to text
  70. MLH-2 (29) says Lincoln copy preserved.return to text
  71. MLH-2 cites James R. Gilmore, Personal Recollections of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War (Boston: L. C. Page, 1898), 78–9. Gilmore was a journalist and the editor of the Continental Monthly in Washington, D.C., during the Civil War years. His series of "sketches" of the contemporary South, after appearing in this magazine, were collected and published as a book, Among the Pines. According to Gilmore, he saw Lincoln more than once, including some private or almost-private interviews. At one of the former (August 1862) he states that Lincoln "took from the drawer of his table a copy of 'Among the Pines,' every few leaves of which had a page turned town. Then looking at me searchingly, he asked, 'how much of this is true?' (78)."return to text
  72. Carp (223ff), quotes at length a newspaper article by "a California lady" about a visit to the Soldiers' Home with Lincoln. In the course of the article she represents Lincoln quoting a line from Goldsmith's Deserted Village ("Even his failings lean to virtue's side") apropos of McClellan.return to text
  73. HI, John Locke Scripps to WHH, June 24, 1865: "'Why Scripps,' said he, on one occasion, 'it is a great piece of folly to attempt to make anything out of my early life. It can all be condensed into a single sentence, and that sentence you will find in Gray's Elegy: "The short and simple annals of the poor."' (57)." This famous poem is also among the contents of The Kentucky Preceptor (see entry below).return to text
  74. See note 24 above.return to text
  75. Hackett sent Lincoln a copy of this title on March 20, 1862; later, on October 3, he also sent Lincoln a copy of the comedy The Man of the World (1781) by Charles Macklin (see entry below). While both of these titles would likely have appealed to Lincoln, there is no evidence (even in Lincoln's letter to Hackett of November 2, 1863 [6: 558–9]) that he had read either.return to text
  76. Orville Hickman Browning's Diary, June 30, 1862: "In the evening went out to Soldiers Home.... The President got home soon after we reached there. He asked me to sit down with him on the stone steps of the portico.... He then took from his pocket a copy of Hallack's [sic] poems, and read to me about a dozen stanzas concluding the poem of Fanny. The song at the end of the poem he read with great pathos, pausing to comment upon them, and then laughed immoderately at the ludicrous conclusion" (The Diary of Orville Hickman Browning, 2 vols., Theodore Calvin Pease and James G. Randall, eds.; Collections of the Illinois State Historical Library, vol. 20, Lincoln Series, vol. 2 [Springfield: 1925], 1: 554–5). Thanks to Douglas L. Wilson for pointing the compiler toward this information.return to text
  77. MLH-2 (29) cites a twentieth-century novel in support of Lincoln's having read Halleck's textbook on military science: Honoré Willsie Morrow, Forever Free (New York: William Morrow, 1927), 68. That Lincoln might have indeed read Halleck is plausible, given his interest in the subject, but we require a better source in order to believe it. LCR provides such an authority.return to text
  78. MLH-2 cites L. P. Brockett, The Life and Times of Abraham Lincoln (Philadelphia: Bradley, 1865), 718, but Brockett himself is quoting Brooks-1, 229.return to text
  79. Copy from Lincoln-Herndon law office, with tipped-in note in Lincoln's hand (Barrett Collection Auction Catalogue, 83).return to text
  80. LCR list all three Hawthorne titles as having been borrowed in November–December 1864, so it may be that Lincoln was having a look at Hawthorne's work in the months following his death on May 19, 1864. The higher grade for the two collections of tales is based on Lincoln's preference for shorter fiction over novels.return to text
  81. Lincoln, "Cooper Union Address:" "And how much would it avail you, if you could, by the use of John Brown, Helper's book, and the like, break up the Republican organization?" (3: 541). Moreover, Alexander Williamson, in a newspaper article entitled "Reminiscences of Lincoln" (Washington Sunday Chronicle, April 7, 1869), revealed that Robert Todd Lincoln had given him Lincoln's personal copy of The Impending Crisis, presented to him by Helper. Lincoln not only read the volume but marked some passages in pencil, including several that quoted the Bible against slavery. Thanks to Michael Burlingame for providing this reference.return to text
  82. Dodge (10) cites Isaac N. Arnold, The Life of Abraham Lincoln (Chicago: A. C. McClurg, 1884): "Patrick Henry had always been his ideal orator ..." (145). While this implies that Lincoln knew Patrick Henry's speeches well, there is only one reference to Henry's actual words, and that a brief one, in the Collected Works (as cited above and taken from William Wirt, Life of Patrick Henry [1841], 389–90).return to text
  83. HI, 172: Abner Y. Ellis specifically mentions Lincoln's reading the "prize story the Mob Cap he said he wished he Could See the Play."return to text
  84. Although WHH (93) says that Lincoln "had a more pronounced fondness for fictitious literature"—inconsistent both with what Lincoln himself said and with WHH's other pronouncements—and goes on to assert that he "read with evident relish Mrs. Lee Hentz's novels," it is probable from the context that WHH has inflated the single title mentioned by Ellis (perhaps even the single story) into a more general reading of her works.return to text
  85. MLH-2 (33) cites Dodge (12), but Dodge nowhere mentions Robert Herrick. Hesperides, or, Poems Human and Divine (1649) was, however, in print during the years of Lincoln's deepest interest in lyric poetry.return to text
  86. MLH-2 says Lincoln copy preserved. The compiler has examined a copy of Hitchcock at the Huntington Library, San Marino, California, that has on its spine "Abraham Lincoln's copy" and on the front free flyleaf the inscription "WHH to A. Lincoln." Whether this is the same copy MLH-2 has in mind, the two mentions together certainly indicate ownership, and it is reasonable to suppose that Lincoln at least looked at the book.return to text
  87. MLH-2 (30) cites Robinson, 38: but this title is not mentioned there, nor anywhere else in the book. But Holland's Life of Van Buren may have been a useful source for Lincoln in his 1839 attack on the Democrats in the "Sub-Treasury Speech" (AL 1: 159–79).return to text
  88. LFP (77): "Lincoln told Brooks that he liked "Lexington" as well as any piece in the book of Holmes's poems and began to read, coming to the lines 'Green be the graves where her martyrs are lying! / Shroudless and tombless they sunk to their rest,' when, Brooks said, 'his voice faltered, and he gave me the book with the whispered request, "You read it; I can't."'return to text
  89. Not written until 1877.return to text
  90. LFP (77–9). The source qualifies Lincoln's reading of these eight D-rated poems with "must have been," "probably," "no doubt," etc.return to text
  91. LFP (78–9). "We know Lincoln also read the humorous writings of Holmes, among them The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table in the year 1857 and 1858. He must have chuckled as he read the famous poem included in this column, "The Deacon's Masterpiece or the Wonderful One-Hoss Shay." "Latter-Day Warnings" in the same column would have appealed to him." Holmes included several of his most popular poems in his Atlantic Monthly column, later collected into book form. If Lincoln was in fact reading the Atlantic at this time (Springfield, late 1850s), then LFP is probably correct in asserting his acquaintance with these poems. But no source is given.return to text
  92. RRW (68–9) says that Lincoln "probably" borrowed Chapman's Iliad "in order to renew his zestful delight" in Homer, "a first reading of which had made memorable his last years and months in Illinois." RRW cites no source, but he may have in mind an article by Talcott Williams called "Lincoln the Reader," in Review of Reviews (February, 1920; reprint, n.p.): "Julius Heath Royce, my father-in-law, a man of business at Albion, N.Y., spent the winter [of 1859–60] in Bloomington, Ill., where he had property. He was at the same hotel as Lincoln, who was in attendance at court. Day by day Mr. Royce, a man who never met any man without leaving a friend behind, saw Lincoln reach across the table for the hotel castor, set it before his plate and lose himself in a volume. Breakfast, dinner and supper brought the same absorption. He asked Lincoln what he was reading. He looked up with alert attention. 'I am reading Homer, the Illiad and the Odyssey. You ought to read him. He has a grip and he knows how to tell a story.' Better criticism has not been made by one no nearer than a translation." Williams also asserts that Lincoln read the Bohn translations of both epics and that the assimilation of Homer "changed his style and gave him the Attic simplicity and Hellenic elevation of his closing and deathless utterances." While this is an attractive story, and plausible on its face, there is a serious problem with Williams's father-in-law's recollection of the year in which his encounter with Lincoln allegedly took place. For Lincoln is not known to have been in Bloomington at any time during the winter of 1859–60 (though he did attend court there and make a speech during the April 9–13 period [Lincoln Day-by-Day, 1849–1860, 278], and it may be these early spring days that the originator of the story had in mind.return to text
  93. For this and the following poem, see the Diary of Orville Hickman Browning, 1: 542.return to text
  94. LFP (73–4) gives no authority for claiming these last three poems as among Lincoln's reading of Hood, but rather asserts he "doubtless" or "no doubt" knew them.return to text
  95. P. M. Zall, Abe Lincoln Laughing (1982; reprint, Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1995), 131–2; Zall's source is David Homer Bates, Lincoln in the Telegraph Office (New York: Century, 1907), 257–60.return to text
  96. (Columbus, Ohio.: Follett, Foster, 1860). Copy owned by Samuel C. Parks corrected in Lincoln's hand (Facsimile reprint: Springfield, Ill.: Abraham Lincoln Association, 1938).return to text
  97. MLH-2 (30) citing Lamon (494), quoting WHH's letter to Francis E. Abbott (see note 59 above). WHH does not name which parts of Hume's works Lincoln may have read, but it was common in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries for his Essays and Treatises to be published in a two-volume edition.return to text
  98. See note 24 above.return to text
  99. MLH-2 (30) says Lincoln copy preserved at Brown University.return to text
  100. AJB (1: 141); MLH-2 (30) says Lincoln copy preserved, citing Hill, 15 (see note 57 above).return to text
  101. MLH-2 (30) says Lincoln copy preserved in Townsend Collection. HI (104), testimony of Dennis Hanks. Although several of Lincoln's acquaintances in Indiana say that he, at some time or other, possessed a copy of the 1824 statutes, scholars have warmly debated whether he really would more than desultorily looked at such a ponderous tome. F. T. Hill, for example, regards the proposition of Lincoln's deep study of the book as incredible: "To appreciate the absurdity of such statements it is only necessary to examine the volume in question. It is dull as only a statute law can be dull, about as easily memorized as the dictionary, and of no enduring authority" (11–12). On the other hand, LW (201–2; 265 n. 60) asserts that this volume was "the one law book [Lincoln] is known for sure to have read before he left Indiana," and LW details the provenance of the particular copy Lincoln allegedly read all the way from the 1820s to Indiana University Library, where it resides today. Given such conflicting opinions, the grade of "B" may seem generous. It is, however, based on RCB's judgment that not the statutes but the front matter of the Revised Statutes of Indiana that Lincoln would have found compelling reading—including texts of the Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution.return to text
  102. See entry for The Kentucky Preceptor below.return to text
  103. WEB (18): "A copy of this volume was found in the drawer of his [Lincoln's] desk after his death, in close juxtaposition with important state papers."return to text
  104. See notes 18 and 59 above.return to text
  105. One John C. Henshaw of New York City sent this title as a gift to Lincoln in January 1860, with, under separate cover, a letter notifying Lincoln of the fact. Lincoln's letter in response (February 13, 1860), however, indicated that he had not yet received the book (3: 518–19 and nn 1, 3). As no further mention of the title is to be found among Lincoln's correspondence, we cannot know whether he eventually read it.return to text
  106. See note 14 above.return to text
  107. See note 30 above.return to text
  108. The copy of The Kentucky Preceptor in the Oliver Barrett Collection had the following inscription by WHH: "This book was given to me by Mrs. Elizabeth Crawford of the State of Indiana, who lived near Mr. Lincoln's old home in Indiana ... This book is the one out of which Mr. Lincoln learned his speeches, as I was told by Mrs.Crawford & which I have good reason to believe to be true. W. H. Herndon" (The Oliver R. Barrett Lincoln Collection Public Auction Sale [catalogue] {New York: Parke-Bernet, 1952}, 4).return to text
  109. LCR show two borrowings of this book, the second by John Hay. Although RRW (67–8) believes—and probably rightly—that Hypatia—was checked out initially either by or for Mary Todd Lincoln, it is interesting that Kingsley's novel has a plot that Lincoln could relate to: "a Greek neo-platonic philosopher Hypatia who was torn to pieces in A.D. 415 by a mob of infuriated Christians (The Oxford Companion to English Literature, 5th ed., Oxford University Press, 1955, 535).return to text
  110. Publication year for this edition only; full title: Elegant Extracts, or, useful and entertaining passages from the best English authors and translations, 6 vols. (Boston: S. Walker, 1826). See Townsend, Lincoln and the Bluegrass, 136–7.return to text
  111. In addition to this mention of "Mortality," Lincoln (ca. 1855) wrote out the poem to oblige a woman who had heard him recite it (Barrett Collection Auction Catalogue, 66–68).return to text
  112. MLH-2 (30) says Lincoln copy preserved. In addition, Lincoln did provide Lanman with the briefest of biographical sketches (self-satirically? "Education: Defective"), which increases the likelihood that he may have received and even used a copy of the Dictionary as a reference.return to text
  113. A forty-page essay, in the form of a catechism, bound into some editions of the Joel Barlow translations of Constantin de Volney's The Ruins; the particular edition here is New York: Dixon & Sickels, 1828, 184–223.return to text
  114. Homer Bates, in Lincoln in the Telegraph Office (1907; reprint, New York: D. Appleton-Century, 1939), recalled that "[t]here was popular, many years ago, a pictorial book of nonsense to which Lincoln once referred in my presence. He said he had seen such a book, and recited from it this rime as illustrating his idea that the best method of allaying anger was to adopt a conciliatory attitude. The picture shown, he said, was that of a maiden seated on a stile smiling at an angry cow near-by in the field, and saying: 'I will sit on this stile / And continue to smile, / Which may soften the heart of that cow'" (202–3). What Bates was remembering were the third and fourth lines of an Edward Lear limerick (Lear always put his limericks into four rather than five-line stanzas), the opening two lines of which were "There was an Old Man who said, "How,— / Shall I flee from this horrible Cow?" The volume in which the limerick first appeared was A Book of Nonsense (1861 ed.), so Bates's memory of the poem as "popular, many years ago," was faulty, and Lincoln had in fact read it—along with other of Lear's poems and paragraphs?—quite recently (see Vivian Noakes, ed., Edward Lear, The Complete Verse and Other Nonsense [New York: Penguin Books, 2001], 171).return to text
  115. HI (513), testimony of Abner Y. Ellis: "[I]s their Such a Book as Gilblass, I think he Used to quote Some from it." The unusually high grade for a novel is based on the supposition that Lincoln had come upon one of the abridged editions (e.g. Leominster Mass.: Isaiah Thomas, Jr., 1810, 148 pp.) and read only extracts from this very long picaresque narrative. return to text
  116. Dodge (12) reports that "[a]n examination of the files of the Urbana Union for 1854, then edited by Judge J. O. Cunningham, revealed one of Mr. Lincoln's newspaper poets who has escaped the attention of his biographers. His name is John M. Leslie, and he was at that time a resident of Danville, Illinois. Many of his poems were written for this paper, which Mr. Lincoln was in the habit of reading when in Urbana on the circuit. Judge Cunningham informed the writer that Mr. Lincoln was very fond of Leslie's poetry.... The poem from 1854 that was noted is called 'The Phantom,' and it shows considerable imaginative power."return to text
  117. According to Edwin Davis in "Lincoln and Macon County, Illinois, 1830–31" (Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 25 [April 1932–January 1933]: 73–107), Lincoln, while living in Macon County, borrowed from William A. Austin and read "a life of Napoleon Bonaparte, who seemed to have a special fascination for Lincoln" (91).return to text
  118. MLH-2 (30) says Lincoln copy preserved.return to text
  119. MLH-2 (30) says Lincoln copy preserved. As this was for a number of years in the nineteenth century an annual publication for the law profession in the United States, the date of 1851 is given as a typical example, and not necessarily the volume that Temp places in the Lincoln-Herndon law office.return to text
  120. Whit (136) lists this title (erroneously giving it as "Nasby's letters") as among Lincoln's seven favorite books. See also Dodge (16), citing and quoting Charles Sumner on the importance of The Nasby Papers to Lincoln: "Of publications during the war none had such charm for Abraham Lincoln. He read every letter as it appeared and kept them all within reach for refreshment.... He then repeated with enthusiasm the message he had sent to the author: 'For the genius to write these things I would gladly give up my office.'" Though the Nasby Papers were collected only in 1864, they began appearing in newspapers in 1861, and that is where Lincoln first read them.return to text
  121. See note 18 above.return to text
  122. LFP (57ff) cites Hay, Noah Brooks, John G. Nicolay, Charnwood, and the LCR to make a middling case for Lincoln's familiarity with several of Longfellow's poems; but we cannot deduce from this limited reading a thorough knowledge.return to text
  123. LFP (62–3), citing the Library of Congress circulation records. However, the Lincolns having checking out this title from LC is not quite sufficient to conclude that Lincoln read it.return to text
  124. Dodge (15–16); Brooks-2 (585): but in his earlier Harper's article (1865), Brooks had not mentioned this HWL title, saying instead that the "'Psalm of Life' and 'Birds of Killingworth' were the only productions of [HWL] he [Lincoln] ever mentioned with praise" (Brooks-1, 229). Still, the context in Brooks-2 is Brooks's reading the poem aloud to Lincoln—so, strictly speaking, Lincoln heard it rather than read it. On the other hand, LFP (57–8) quotes John G. Nicolay recounting a scene in which Lincoln read the poem aloud to him from a newspaper clipping.return to text
  125. LFP (66): Lincoln "no doubt found comfort and renewed courage in reading Longfellow's poem 'I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.'"return to text
  126. LFP (63): "The Slave's Dream, a dream of freedom, must have moved Lincoln deeply."return to text
  127. Both RRW (28) and LW (166) positively declare that Lincoln read The Columbian Class Book, though neither gives a source for his belief. RCB in chapter 2 of Reading with Lincoln, discusses this "recitation book" as if Lincoln had indeed studied the volume.return to text
  128. Dodge (15); Brooks-1 (229). Brooks states: "James Russell Lowell he only knew as 'Hosea Biglow,' every one of whose effusions he knew. He sometimes related, word for word, the whole of 'John P. Robinson, he,' giving the unceasing refrain with great unction and enjoyment. He once said that originality and daring impudence were sublimed in this stanza of Lowell's: 'Ef you take a sword and dror it, / An' stick a feller creetur thru, / Gov'ment hain't to answer for it, / God'll send the bill to you.'" What became the second series of The Biglow Papers were written and published in the Atlantic Monthly during the Civil War, then collected into a book in 1867.return to text
  129. This may be the volume referred to by WHH as "McCullough's political economy" (Hidden Lincoln, 117).return to text
  130. Temp (46): "Lincoln could well have used this volume to prepare for his political debates with Douglas."return to text
  131. Also known by its titles as songs, "Where Can the Soul Find Rest," with music by John C. Baker (1847), and "Tell Me Ye Winged Winds, or, the Inquiry & Answer," with music by David A. Warden (1856). WHH (258–60): this is the song that Lincoln told WHH he heard sung by "a young lady ... at a time when he was laboring under some dejection of spirits." The incident occurred (no time or place given, so we cannot know which, if either, of the musical versions Lincoln heard) as he walked past her house. Lincoln was forward enough to address the singer and ask that she provide him with a copy of the lyrics, which she obligingly did. Much later (indeed, after Lincoln's death), WHH found these, along with Lincoln's annotation: "Poem—I like this." According to WHH the author was Charles Mackay, "an English writer who represented a London newspaper in the United States during the Rebellion as its war correspondent. It was set to music as a chant, and as such was frequently rendered in public by the famous Hutchinson family of singers [or by the earlier composer's group, known as the Baker Family]. I doubt if Mr. Lincoln ever knew who wrote it" (260).return to text
  132. Lair, Songs Lincoln Loved, 60–5.return to text
  133. However, Lincoln, in his August 14 and 26 speeches to the Springfield Scott Club, quoted a stanza of a sea-shanty ("Sally is a bright Mullatter") from "Marryat, in some one of his books" (2:157).return to text
  134. Dodge (17); Brooks-1 (229): "[H]e was also a lover of many philosophical works, and particularly liked ... Stuart Mill on Liberty...."return to text
  135. One of the books WHH says Lincoln "more or less peeped into" (Hidden Lincoln, 117).return to text
  136. HI (499): For Milton's Poems, Joshua Speed's testimony, along with RRW (48): "A study of Milton's verse, much of which he committed to memory, belongs to his first days in Springfield." RRW provides no citation for this extravagant claim; MLH-2 cites AJB as his authority, but Milton is not mentioned in Beveridge's biography. For "Lycidas," see entry on The Columbian Class Book. Regarding Lincoln and Paradise Lost, a biography of Lincoln published in 1901 by a medical doctor and Methodist preacher, Robert H. Browne, claimed that Lincoln while a boy in Indiana obtained and read Milton's Paradise Lost (Abraham Lincoln and the Men of His Time, 2 vols. [Cincinnati: Jennings & Pye, 1901], 1:108). But Browne provides no source for this rather striking (but uncorroborated) assertion. Mitigating against the preacher is a story recounted in the diary of George Templeton Strong (March 29, 1863): "Story of Senator [James] Dixon calling on the President and suggesting a parallel between secession and that first rebellion of which Milton sang. Very funny interview. Abe Lincoln didn't know much about Paradise Lost and sent out for a copy, looked through its first books under the Senator's guidance, and was struck by the coincidences between the utterances of Satan and those of Jefferson Davis, whom by-the-by he generally designates as 'that t'other fellow.' Dixon mentioned the old joke about the Scotch professor who was asked what his views were about the fall of the Angels and replied, 'Aweel, there's much to be said on both sides.' 'Yes,' said Uncle Abraham, 'I always thought the Devil was some to blame!' (Allan Nevins and Milton Halsey Thomas, eds., The Diary of George Templeton Strong [New York: Macmillan, 1952], 3:308). Thanks to Michael Burlingame for pointing the compiler toward this information. In sum, then, Lincoln's thorough reading of John Milton must stand on Speed's recollection alone—no particular titles mentioned.return to text
  137. MLH-1 (23, 31) says Lincoln copy preserved.return to text
  138. No such Donald G. Mitchell title has been identified.return to text
  139. See notes 30 and 45 above.return to text
  140. See note 14 above.return to text
  141. As Wayne C. Temple relates in "Herndon on Lincoln: an Unknown Interview with a List of Books in the Lincoln and Herndon Law Office" (Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, 98 [Spring-Summer 2005]: 34–50), WHH told a newspaperman from Cincinnati that Lincoln "read part" (40) of Moore's utopian prose-poem about the far-off but coming "New Eden" (manifest in 3000 A.D.). The necessary condition for establishing such a New Eden was the overthrow of slavery in the United States, which, being accomplished, leads to the ultimate banishment of Satan and his minions to Hell, and the onset of Millennium in a fulfilled Christian, multi-racial republic. WHH makes it clear that he at least knew the volume well, since he is able to synopsize from memory part of its plot. But did Lincoln really dig into the volume? This is very difficult to judge, and the grade of "B" may be generous. Still, if he got as far as the "Second Vision" he would have read a passage that sounds to our ears prophetic about Lincoln himself (though Moore may have had someone like William Henry Seward in mind). On a monument commemorating the abolition of slavery, there is an inscription that says, in part, "He was a great conqueror—almost the greatest of modern times. But his weapon was neither the bullet nor the sword. His enemies were numerous; but whatever their mode of attack, however malicious or however confident of victory, whenever the smoke and din of battle were over, his colors were sure to be seen waving triumphantly over the battle ground. As ardent a friend of Freedom as ever periled life in its defense, over one subject was he an absolute monarch. That subject was himself. His temper was never ruffled. Amid scenes of strife continually, he was uniformly self-possessed, and pursued the even tenor of his way with a single eye to his great purposes, as though he dwelt in a separate element, and enjoyed a superior life, controlled by a higher law" (David A. Moore, The Age of Progress; or, a Panorama of Time [1856; reprint, New York: Arno Press and the New York Times, 1971], 49–50).return to text
  142. All from LFP (15), without a source or corroboration—hence the low grade.return to text
  143. HI (384), testimony of Robert B. Rutledge: "When in young company he has been Known to excite the most uproarious laughter by singing the tune called 'Legacy' in the 'Missouri Harmony' substituting 'Old Gray' for 'Red Grape.'" The effect is very ludicrous as any one can see by reference to the lines quoted." The song is actually one of Thomas Moore's Irish Melodies, a profane one about a dying man's legacy of red wine to his surviving wife and widow. How it came to rest among the hymns of The Missouri Harmony (1820) is a puzzle. See also John Lair, Songs Lincoln Loved (New York: Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1954), 20.return to text
  144. HV (275, 292, 311) is the only known authority who lists this volume among Lincoln's reading. If he is correct, Lincoln may also during the New Salem years have read or sung (or heard sung) the individual poems (and/or others) from Moore's ongoing Irish Melodies (1801–1834).return to text
  145. See note 30 above.return to text
  146. WHH (34): "Mr. Lincoln told me in later years that Murray's English Reader was the best schoolbook ever put into the hands of an American youth."return to text
  147. HV, 65 and 332 n. 52, quoting Charles Maltby (The Life and Public Services of Abraham Lincoln, 26–7), who went on record as having observed Lincoln studying Murray's grammar in the evenings in New Salem after closing Denton Offutt's store.return to text
  148. RRW (68): "borrowed just before the threat of an Indian outbreak in that territory [Minnesota] became a tragic reality."return to text
  149. MLH-2 (39) has doubts about whether Lincoln ever read (or read at) this title, based on the possibility of a forged signature and notes in the copy Lincoln is said to have owned. In addition, no evidence has come to light that Lincoln ever tried to learn Greek.return to text
  150. Dodge (16), quoting David Ross Locke's article from Allen Thorndike Rice, ed., Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln by Distinguished Men of his Time (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1889): "'Lincoln also seized eagerly upon everything Orpheus C. Kerr wrote, and knew it all by heart'" (448).return to text
  151. MLH-2 (31) cites AJB (2: 222 [four-volume edition]), but no such book or author is found on the page cited or in the index.return to text
  152. MLH-3 (32–3) gives no source for this claim; interesting, however, is the facsimile (33) of page 159 from O'Neill, which treats of the geography of New Orleans. If Lincoln read this textbook, it would have been about the time he made his first trip downriver to that city.return to text
  153. HI (171–2): Abner J. Ellis's testimony: "I think he read some of Tom Pains Works as he frequently spoke of Pains Book Common Since."return to text
  154. WHH (355): "In 1834, while still living in New Salem and before he became a lawyer, he was surrounded by a class of people exceedingly liberal in matters of religion. Volney's Ruins and Payne's Age of Reason passed from hand to hand.... Lincoln read both these books and thus assimilated them into his own being."return to text
  155. Temp (47) cites this as Paine's Political Works, which is the title given above; however, this particular edition was actually Paine's complete works, including what the publisher called his "theological" writings. This would strongly imply that, during the late 1850s, Lincoln had access to The Age of Reason, which he had first read in New Salem more than twenty years previously.return to text
  156. MLH-2 (31) says Lincoln copy preserved; HI (499), Joshua Speed's testimony. This could possibly also be the copy of Paley's Works presented to Lincoln in 1836 by N. W. Edwards (with an inscription) (AL 8: 533).return to text
  157. WHH, returning from an eastern trip made in March 1858, brought with him a number of recently published books, including one that he described as "additional sermons and lectures" by his friend and correspondent Theodore Parker. He may have meant here the title listed above, though neither volume contains an essay with the title "The Effect of Slavery on the American People," which is the single Parker work that WHH names as having been read by Lincoln, and from which, Herndon thought, Lincoln later adapted a notable tricolon for the Gettysburg Address: "Democracy is direct self government, over all the people, for all the people, by all the people" (323). Since this particular Parker address was not given until July 4, 1858, and then published in pamphlet form, WHH could not have seen it in print before he returned to Springfield (John White Chadwick, Theodore Parker: Preacher and Reformer [Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1900], xv, 322–3). And David H. Donald (Lincoln's Herndon [New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1948], 128 n. 13) notes that a copy of this Parker address resides in the Herndon-Weik Collection. See also HI (579), Jesse Fell's testimony: "... the writings of Theodore Parker, furnished him, as he informed me, by his friend, and Law Partner Mr Herndon, became very Naturally topics of Conversation with us, although far from believing there was an entire harmony of views on his part with either of them, yet they were generally much admired and approved by him." See also note 44 above.return to text
  158. HI (579), Jesse Fell's testimony: "... the writings of Theodore Parker, furnished him, as he informed me, by his friend, and Law Partner Mr Herndon, became very Naturally topics of Conversation with us, although far from believing there was an entire harmony of views on his part with either of them, yet they were generally much admired and approved by him." See also note 18 above.return to text
  159. See note 14 above.return to text
  160. Year or number of second volume not known to Temp (45, 47); a reasonable supposition would be that Lincoln used this source in preparing his "Temperance Address" of February 22, 1842 (1: 271–9).return to text
  161. MLH-2 (31) says Lincoln copy preserved at Brown University. This volume contains a poem entitled "To Abraham Lincoln, Sonnet and Acrostic." RCB (in preparation) suggests that this was an author's presentation copy to Lincoln, who then obligingly read at least the dedicated poem.return to text
  162. See note 68 above. Since Phillips's speeches and essays were not collected until 1863, it is impossible to learn from WHH's general comment which particular works he and Lincoln read and discussed, though an important possibility (in addition to Phillips's writings for abolitionist periodicals) is his Review of Webster's Speech on Slavery (1850).return to text
  163. In his "Second Lecture on Discoveries and Inventions," Lincoln writes: "As Plato had for the immortality of the soul, so Young America has "a pleasing hope—a fond desire—a longing after teritory [sic]." Dodge (17), however, points out reasonably that a single quotation from a large corpus does not a reader make. Probably Lincoln recalled an excerpt from Plato he had read in an anthology. Or—and this needs research—was he using a dictionary of quotations as a reference?return to text
  164. WEB (14): "[W]hen John Locke Scripps wrote the first biography of Lincoln, he stated that this [Plutarch's Lives] was among the books which Lincoln had read. Lincoln told him that this statement was not true when it was written, but that it was true before the book was published; for he procured Plutarch and read his great work in order that Mr. Scripps' book might be true in every detail." In HI (57), however, John Locke Scripps's testimony is rather different: "[A]s I had read Plutarch in my boy-hood, I presumed he had had access to it also. If I was mistaken in this supposition, I said to him, it was my wish that he should at once get a copy, and read it, that I might be able to testify as to the perfect accuracy of the entire sketch. Mr. Lincoln did not reply to my note, but I heard of his frequent humorous allusions to it."return to text
  165. HI (519), John T. Stuart's testimony: "Carried Poe around on the Circuit—read and loved the Raven—repeated it over & over."return to text
  166. This was an anonymous parody of Poe's "The Raven" that appeared in the Quincy Illinois Whig on March 18, 1846 (AL 1: 377 and n).return to text
  167. MLH-2 (31) says Lincoln copy preserved "in Harvard University Collection." That Lincoln read some Pope is very likely, given that poet's appearance as a model in several readers or "preceptors," including Murray's English Reader. Far less evident, however, is his serious or complete adult reading of any of Pope's notable works, such as The Rape of the Lock (1714) and the Essay on Man (1732–4), from which Lincoln takes the sole quotation in all of his speeches and writings ("Address before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society," September 30, 1859). On the other hand, there is evidence that Lincoln knew at least some of the most famous lines from the Essay on Man. According to an English visitor to the Soldiers' Home, George Borrett, Lincoln "quoted from memory the closing lines from the first epistle" of the work, ending with the notorious phrase, "whatever is, is right;" on which Lincoln glossed: the trouble is that therefore "'whatever isn't must be wrong'" (quoted in Matthew Pinsker, Lincoln's Sanctuary: Abraham Lincoln and the Soldiers' Home [New York: Oxford University Press, 2003], 177–8). Thanks to Douglas L. Wilson for pointing the compiler toward this information. For The Temple of Fame, see entry for The Columbian Class Book.return to text
  168. HI (146–7 and 147 n. 1): testimony of Dennis Hanks; author identified by editors in note. However, Hanks had earlier told WHH that Lincoln read a life of Clay in Indiana (HI, 41). Since Prentice's book was published in 1831, either Hanks misremembered or had in mind another biography. return to text
  169. AJB (1: 520 and n. 4) identifies this author and title as those that Lincoln animadverted upon to Herndon in 1856. See note 33 above.return to text
  170. Grade of "B" is based upon slight reservations about whether this very rare book, published in London in 1766, was really the one Lincoln's acquaintances in Indiana remembered as The King's Jester. See AJB (1: 83 and n. 5) and LW (195, 263).return to text
  171. HI (41 and n. 15), testimony of Dennis Hanks; LW (161–4 and 254 nn. 8–10) thinks it was the Ramsay life of Washington, rather than Weems's that Lincoln borrowed from Josiah Crawford and had to "pull fodder" for several days to pay for when it was water-damaged. But one of the informants LW cites (Elizabeth Crawford) clearly states that the book in questions was by Weems (HI, 125).return to text
  172. HI (112 and n. 5), testimony of Nathaniel Grigsby. Editors give the publication year as 1834, so Lincoln could not have used this book in Indiana and would have had no use for it later in Illinois.return to text
  173. HI (112 and n. 2), testimony of Nathaniel Grigsby.return to text
  174. LW (109–11 and 240 nn. 27 and 28), citing John Locke Scripps, Life of Abraham Lincoln (Chicago: Chicago Press & Tribune, 1860), 19.return to text
  175. HI (21, 229 and n. 4), testimony of William G. Greene and Dennis Hanks, respectively. The former states: "He read Rollin—Gibbons histories. I loaned them to him."return to text
  176. MLH-2 (35) says "Presented to Lincoln."return to text
  177. Low grade is based on Lincoln's statement in Carpenter's presence (Carp, 115): "'I once commenced Ivanhoe, but never finished it." See also note 10 above.return to text
  178. HI (129, 138); LW (76) asserts that Lincoln had access to a copy of Scott through his stepmother, who brought this title with her when she married Thomas Lincoln.return to text
  179. AL (2: 149): the larger context is that Lincoln was speaking before the "Springfield Scott Club" (August 14, 1852); the smaller context (page 149) is a rhetorical skirmish with Stephen A. Douglas over General Franklin Pierce's behavior during a certain battle of the late Mexican War (Pierce was the Democratic nominee for president, Winfield Scott the Whig). Lincoln's sarcasm is here given free rein against Pierce and other Democrats who fought in the same military campaign (James Shields, for instance), and although the allusion to Scott's manual on infantry tactics shows that Lincoln knew of it—as he would have been expected to be—mention is not sufficient to show that he had read it.return to text
  180. LW (109–11 and 240 nn. 27 and 28), citing Scripps, Life of Abraham Lincoln, 19.return to text
  181. See note 68 above. Some of Seward's "most famous speeches" were included in an 1860 campaign [auto?] biography (Boston, Mass.: Thayer and Eldridge, 1860), but it is very likely that Lincoln had read many such by Seward before this, beginning with the "Speech on Slavery" in 1850 (New York: Stringer & Townsend, 1850), but particularly those of 1854 during the senatorial debates on the "Nebraska question" (New York: Redfield, 1854; and Washington, D.C.: Buell & Blanchard, 1854); two delivered in 1856, "The Dangers of Extending Slavery" and "The Contest and the Crisis" (Washington, D.C.: Republican Association, 1856); and, finally, the "Irrepressible Conflict" speech of October 1858.return to text
  182. It is crucial to understand that Lincoln did not read Shakespeare through—and this means neither the plays nor the poetry (AL, 6: 392–3): "Some of Shakspeare's plays I have never read; while others I have gone over perhaps as frequently as any amateur reader." Hence the testimony in HI must be read as concerning individual plays, even when titles are not mentioned, as with William G. Greene's testimony: "He nearly knew Shakespear by heart" (21); and Caleb Carmen's testimony: " Abe loved Shakespear but not fishing—still [John A. "Jack"] Kelso would draw Abe: they used to sit on the bank of the river and quote Shakespear—criticise one an other" (374).return to text
  183. LFP (30) states: "Lincoln took from his shelf a worn copy of Shakespeare and, turning to Henry IV, read a favorite passage...." No source given, no corroboration known.return to text
  184. LFP (30–1) implies that Lincoln knew when text and scenes from other Shakespeare plays were interpolated into the one being acted; Henry VI was one such that was robbed from; and the context (no source given) indicates that Lincoln knew who Colley Cibber was (see notes 30 and 45 above).return to text
  185. In Lincoln's letter to James H. Hackett (August 17, 1863), the president writes: "I think nothing equals Macbeth" (6: 392).return to text
  186. LFP (30) states: "During the latter period of Lincoln's administration he occasionally carried well-worn copies of Macbeth and The Merry Wives of Windsor." No source is given for this assertion, nor is any corroboration known. LFP also asserts that Lincoln attended a performance of Merry Wives in Washington, D.C.return to text
  187. HI (707–8), testimony of George W. Minier; gives quotation from Othello that Lincoln delivered to the jury in an 1847 trial in Tazewell County, Illinois.return to text
  188. MLH-2 (31) names Simson as the editor of this English version of Euclid. See entry on Euclid above.return to text
  189. MLH-2 (35) says "Presented to Lincoln." Samuel Sloan (1815–1884) was a popular and prolific writer on vernacular architecture during the middle decades of the nineteenth century. Among several titles that might have been "presented to Lincoln," one will have to stand for all: Sloan's Homestead Architecture (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1861).return to text
  190. James Smith, who was pastor of the Springfield, Illinois, Presbyterian church (1849–56), claimed that Lincoln read his book (letter to the Illinois State Journal, March 12, 1867); see also HI (549), where Smith, in a letter to WHH, strongly implies that the arguments of The Christian's Defense, if not the printed book itself, brought Lincoln to an acceptance of Christianity. Much less authoritative is the statement made by Ninian Edwards to James A. Reed in which Edwards claimed that Lincoln had told him (sometime during the early 1850s): "I have been reading a work of Dr. Smith on the evidences of Christianity ... and am now convinced of the truth of the Christian religion" (Recollected Words, 149). Reed was at the time (1873) the pastor of Smith's old charge and eager to reclaim Lincoln from "infidels" like WHH and Ward Hill Lamon. It is James's polemical essay that the Fehrenbachers cite: "The Later Life and Religious Sentiments of Abraham Lincoln," Scribner's Monthly 6 (July 1873): 338–9.return to text
  191. HI (427), testimony of Robert B. Rutledge: "[H]e took great pleasure in reading Jack Downings letters."return to text
  192. See notes 18 and 45 above. The title here given is a guess; what WHH was reading might also have been Spencer's Essays—Scientific, Political and Speculative (London: Longman, 1852).return to text
  193. MLH-2 (31) says Lincoln copy preserved.return to text
  194. MLH-2 (31) cites Rankin (130), whose testimony may not be relied upon.return to text
  195. Lincoln might have at least looked at the Key without having read Stowe's novel, since the former contained a great deal of various sorts of documentation supporting the author's representation of slavery—plausibly quite interesting to Lincoln.return to text
  196. MLH-2 (30) says Lincoln copy preserved; see also note 61 above.return to text
  197. It is very likely that Lincoln read and used a logic text at some time in his pre-Washington life; since this is the only one mentioned by any bibliographic source, it gets the relatively high mark.return to text
  198. MLH-2 (30) says Lincoln copy preserved in Barrett Collection. Since this juvenile novel is about Lincoln, it gets a bit higher grade than others, on the supposition that Lincoln would have been curious about what was between its covers.return to text
  199. A few brief excerpts only from this long blank-verse poem: see the epigraph on the title page of The Kentucky Preceptor and "Hymn to the Sun" in The Columbian Class Book; the latter selection is lines 81–174 of "Summer" in The Seasons.return to text
  200. See entry for William Butler above. Given Lincoln's predilection for humorous verse, some reading of "Doesticks" is likely. Interestingly, the Thomson title here named, while only a guess, is a conservative response to Butler's Nothing to Wear, one that attempts to vindicate the philanthropy of the wealthy against Butler's satire of fashionable New York female frivolity.return to text
  201. See note 14 above.return to text
  202. Comparatively high grade for a novel is based on the testimony (HI, 171) of Abner Y. Ellis, who says that Lincoln had read George Balcombe and recommended it to him; further, that he (Ellis) procured and read it, recounting some details of the plot to WHH.return to text
  203. See note 24 above.return to text
  204. From WHH (102) on, a biographical tradition has developed that asserts Lincoln's having read at least some Voltaire. Yet the only specific title suggested from among his huge body of writings is the Treatise on Toleration. The copy of this title examined by this compiler is in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, Springfield, having come into the collection by way of the book-dealer Henry Ellsworth Barker, whose annotation in part reads: "This book, but not this copy, was known to have been read by Abraham Lincoln." Just how Lincoln's readership is "known" Barker does not say, and no other authority corroborates his assertion. What is more, John Hill, the single informant in HI (24, 61–2), gives Voltaire's name in such an ambiguous context that one would be nearly justified in concluding that Lincoln had not read the Frenchman at all. However, the hypothesis that Lincoln was familiar with "An Important Examination of the Scriptures" is argued by RCB in chapter 2 of Reading with Lincoln.return to text
  205. This was a pamphlet given to Lincoln in September 1862, arguing a question of jurisdiction between the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Treasury. His endorsement on the cover of the pamphlet does not indicate that he read it (5: 451).return to text
  206. HI (134 and n. 2): Augustus A. Chapman told WHH that Lincoln had placed in his "Coppy Book" eight lines of verse, beginning with "Time what an empty vapor tis;" the editors identify the lines as the first two stanzas of Watts's hymn known as "The Shortness of Life, and the Goodness of God."return to text
  207. According to Herndon, in a letter to Weik (January 1, 1886), "Lincoln ate up, digested, and assimilated Wayland's little work. Lincoln liked the book, except the free trade doctrines" (Hidden Lincoln, 117).return to text
  208. WHH (326–7): "If any student of oratorical history, after reading Lincoln's speech on this occasion ["A House Divided," June 16, 1858], will refer to Webster's reply to Hayne in the Senate, he will be struck with the similarity in figure and thought in the opening lines of both speeches. In fact ... Webster's effort was carefully read by Lincoln and served in part as his model."return to text
  209. MLH-2 (31) says Lincoln copy preserved.return to text
  210. MLH-2 (31) says Lincoln copy preserved.return to text
  211. LW (166) gives no source for the assertion that Lincoln read Weems's Franklin.return to text
  212. Dodge (6 n. 2) cites Leonard Swett, "Lincoln's Story of His Own Life," in Allen Throndike Rice, ed., Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln by Distinguished Men of His Time (1885; reprint, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1909), 71. While LW is positive that Lincoln read Weems in Indiana, there is some slight evidence that he may have possessed copies of both the Washington and Francis Marion biographies in Illinois in 1831. Michael Burlingame, in an e-mail communication (May 4, 2005) to the compiler, writes: "I found a little-known reminiscence by Clawson Lacy indicating that while at Sangamotown in 1831 building the flatboat that would take him to New Orleans for the second time, Lincoln read volumes about George Washington as well as about Francis Marion ('the Swamp Fox') and his troops." Burlingame cites the Illinois State Journal, October 15, 1874. If these were indeed the Weems biographies—and probability lies in that direction—one would have to infer that Lincoln was either rereading Weems or reading him for the first time—somewhat later than LW believes.return to text
  213. AJB (1: 519, citing the Weik manuscript, Library of Congress): "One day Herndon, who always was buying new books, brought to the office a small volume, the Annual of Science, one of a series on that subject. Lincoln was keenly interested in the book, and told his partner that he 'must buy the whole set, started out and got them.'" There is a false note as Beveridge tells the story: when did the incident take place, and would any store in Springfield have had the "entire set" of an annual that had been running since 1850? Yet WHH's remembrance of this scene in a December 1885 letter to Weik has considerably more detail. The incident occurred "about 1855." WHH makes it clear that Lincoln rather than himself had left the office in a hurry and came back with the "whole set." Explaining his haste and enthusiasm, Lincoln said: "'I have wanted such a book for years, because I sometimes make experiments and have thoughts about the physical world that I do not know to be true or false. I may, by this book, correct my errors and save time an expense. I can see where scientists and philosophers have failed and avoid the rock on which they split or can see the means of their success and take advantage of their brains, toil, and knowledge. Men are greedy to publish the successes of efforts, but meanly shy as to publishing the failures of man. Many men are ruined by this one-sided practice of concealment of blunders and failures'" (Hidden Lincoln, 113).return to text
  214. The author is misidentified in Temp (43) as "Wedison."return to text
  215. Carp (353): the Whiting book is represented in Carpenter's painting of Lincoln and his cabinet (lower right-hand corner, leaning against a chair-leg). See also Fehrenbachers (273). return to text
  216. Everything here depends upon the credibility of Henry B. Rankin. In his book Personal Recollections of Abraham Lincoln (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1916), Rankin claimed to have been a student in the Lincoln-Herndon law office between late 1856 and early 1861; and it was there, he further asserted, that Lincoln became acquainted with—indeed enamoured of—Whitman's Leaves of Grass (125–7). Rankin's story was picked up by Carl Sandburg in The Prairie Years (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1926), 2: 234, which book gave it such authority as it continues to have. Much more recently, Daniel Mark Epstein, in Lincoln and Whitman: Parallel Lives in Civil War Washington (New York: Ballantine Books, 2004) has accepted the Rankin account at face value (6–12). Against Rankin, however, is William E. Barton's case (Abraham Lincoln and Walt Whitman [Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1928]) that he (Rankin) probably never served in the Lincoln-Herndon law offices at all: "Henry B. Rankin was born in Menard County, Illinois, a county that passed very few votes for Lincoln in 1860. Just why he should have studied law in the intensely Republican office of Lincoln and Herndon has never been explained. So far as is known, he never claimed to have been a student in the Lincoln and Herndon office until most of the men were dead who could have contradicted him.... Lincoln and Herndon took in very few law students.... Lincoln advised young men to read law at home as he had done, and pleaded that his almost constant absence on the circuit and in his political campaigning, made it impossible for him to supervise the studies of law students" (93). On the more specific matter of whether Lincoln read Leaves of Grass, it is curious (to say the least) that if Lincoln were even fractionally as fascinated with Whitman as Rankin asserts, WHH never mentioned Whitman or Leaves of Grass in his and Weik's biography—even though WHH is known to have owned a copy of Leaves of Grass (probably the 1857second edition), and was at that time, according to Barton, "watching [Lincoln] with Boswellian interest" (92). Given WHH's attention to Lincoln's literary tastes, it would be extraordinary that if Lincoln had truly read the book his friend, law partner, and future biographer would have omitted to say so.return to text
  217. See note 28 above. Since Hay's observation that Lincoln read Bryant is supported by one other source, we can, with caution, assume that Hay was right about Whittier as well, though it is impossible to know which of his poems Lincoln knew and liked best.return to text
  218. Carp (115): "N. P. Willis once told me, that he was taken quite by surprise, on a certain occasion when he was riding with the President and Mrs. Lincoln, by Mr. Lincoln, of his own accord, referring to, and quoting several lines from his poem entitled 'Parrhasius.'"return to text
  219. MLH-2 (33) cites Robinson (38), but neither the title nor the author appears on that page or anywhere else in Robinson's book.>return to text
  220. See note 14 above.return to text
  221. HI (407 and n. 3): testimony of Harriet A. Chapman; author identified "probably" by editors in note.return to text
  222. WEB (12): "I have several volumes once owned by him [AL], and bearing the firm name of Lincoln and Herndon in his writing, one of them being Ancient and Modern History by J. E. Worcester." The title as stated above is the more formal one.return to text
  223. The low grade is owing to Lincoln's statement that he had "very briefly glanced" at the book, to the publication of which he and Herndon had subscribed (2: 388).return to text
  224. MLH-1 (29) says Lincoln copy preserved. Edition cited by Temp (44) is Young's Night Thoughts: With Life and Critical Dissertation and Explanatory Notes by George Gilfillan (Edinburgh: J. Nichol, 1847). It is doubtful, however, that Lincoln ever read Young's book-length blank-verse poem known as Night Thoughts, though possibly he was familiar with a few short excerpts. Somewhat more likely is a youthful Indiana encounter with a passage from a much shorter religious poem, "The Last Day," in The Columbian Class Book.return to text