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PREFACE

I

HAVE tried to give to the reader the picture
of the man who has so firm a hold on the

imagination of his people. To the average
American the name of Abraham Lincoln is one to
be conjured up in all the exigencies of political life,
and his social ideals are to be applied in all the in-
tricacies of modern adjustment. It is impossible to
understand this hero-worship without a knowledge of
the social and economic forces of America, which
created the problems that confronted Abraham Lincoln
when he became President of the United States, and
of the way in which his solution of these problems
epitomized the dominant forces of the country. These
forces had been existent from the moment of the
country's birth to the day when the last free lands
were opened. So exactly did he express the gaunt,
crude, virile America of the free lands, that it is only
now, when that day is over and America sees itself
confronted by a complex society of propertied and
unpropertied classes, that he is being glorified as the
apostle of true democracy.

In writing this book, I have not tried to find an
unopened letter or an unpublished anecdote of the
hero. If this book has any value it is in the new
historical perspective which it throws upon the man
and his time. The social and industrial development
of to-day shows Lincoln to be neither a demi-god

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nor merely a sentimental figure thrown out against a political background. He stands as the representative of a certain stage in American political history, and his importance lies in the fact that it was from this stage that the great present grew.

It is time his name conjured up a truer picture than that of a tall, gaunt man, looking out into space, in his hand the Emancipation Proclamation, and at his feet newly freed and grateful slaves. He is not “The Great Liberator" merely, he is part and parcel of his class, the small home-steader who claimed

an equal opportunity in the virgin forests. As such i he is not a hero, he is a people.

R. S.

May 1914.

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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Frontispiece

BUST OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN

By GUTZEN BORGLUM, Washington

MAP OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 1861

Facing Page

xxviii

38

ABRAHAM LINCOLN IN 1860

By permission of THE MACMILLAN Co., New York.

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300

ABRAHAM LINCOLN AND His Son, TAD

By permission of The MACMILLAN Co., New York.

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