Catalogue

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The Lincoln mailbag : America writes to the President, 1861-1865 /
edited by Harold Holzer.
imprint
Carbondale, Ill. : Southern Illinois University Press, c1998.
description
xxxv, 236 p., [8] p. of plates : ill., ports. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
080932072X (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Carbondale, Ill. : Southern Illinois University Press, c1998.
isbn
080932072X (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
2167920
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1998-07:
This book is a sequel to Holzer's 1993 collection, Dear Mr. Lincoln: Letters to the President (LJ 11/1/93). The contents of the present volume include newly discovered letters, most importantly a batch of hitherto neglected letters from African Americans. Lincoln's personal secretary, later joined by two aides, served as a "filter" for the hundreds of pieces of mail that arrived for him each day. Unlike Holzer's previous volume, which was arranged thematically, these letters are strictly chronological. They make for absolutely fascinating reading, evoking the full range of human emotions from laughter to tears. Holzer, the author, coauthor, or editor of ten Civil War-related books, has wisely kept all the misspellings intact, and each letter also has a useful explanatory note. All libraries will want this volume on hand.‘Stephen G. Weisner, Springfield Technical Community Coll., MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"[A] collection that shows the spirit of America, at its biggest and its meanest." Publishers Weekly
"[A] collection that shows the spirit of America, at its biggest and its meanest." -- Publishers Weekly
"Holzer, a leading authority on the period, does a masterful job of annotating and explaining the letters, truly recreating the mood and atmosphere of the time." Parade Magazine
"Holzer, a leading authority on the period, does a masterful job of annotating and explaining the letters, truly recreating the mood and atmosphere of the time." -- Parade Magazine
"The contents of the present volume include newly discovered letters, most important a batch of hitherto neglected letters from African Americans. . . . They make for absolutely fascinating reading, evoking the full range of human emotions from laughter to tears."Library Journal "A revealing glimpse into how civil war and emancipation appeared from the White House, this browsable collection of epistles and replies enriches the body of Lincolniana."Booklist "Holzer presents an enlightening selection that reveals something of the variety of pressures Lincoln faced each day. The editor's ebullient personality emerges clearly from the preface and introduction."Civil War History "Holzer has done a wonderful service to anyone interested in the Presidency in general and the Lincoln administration in particular."Journal of Illinois History
"The contents of the present volume include newly discovered letters, most important a batch of hitherto neglected letters from African Americans. . . . They make for absolutely fascinating reading, evoking the full range of human emotions from laughter to tears." --Library Journal "A revealing glimpse into how civil war and emancipation appeared from the White House, this browsable collection of epistles and replies enriches the body of Lincolniana."-- Booklist "Holzer presents an enlightening selection that reveals something of the variety of pressures Lincoln faced each day. The editor's ebullient personality emerges clearly from the preface and introduction."-- Civil War History "Holzer has done a wonderful service to anyone interested in the Presidency in general and the Lincoln administration in particular."-- Journal of Illinois History
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, June 1998
Library Journal, July 1998
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
During his four years in the White House, Abraham Lincoln received between 250 and 500 letters a day--not only correspondence from public officials, political allies, and military leaders but from ordinary Americans of all races who never knew the president yet nonetheless felt the urge to share their views with him. Harold Holzer, the editor of Dear Mr. Lincoln: Letters to the President, dips once again into Lincoln's bulging mailbag to assemble and annotate a volume of letters, many of them never-before-published, that the American people wrote to their president during the Civil War--correspondence that offered praise, criticism, advice, threats, abuse, and appeals for help and for special favors from men and women throughout the country. Significantly, this collection may be more representative of the mood of the country at the time than Lincoln might have known; it includes letters from black Americans, originally routed to the War Department's Colored Troops Bureau, that Lincoln never saw. Ed D. Jennings, who simply wanted clarification of his status, writes: "Some Reckon and others guess But what I wish to know is this, what do you mean to do with us Col[ore]d population are we to suffer and our enemies reap or can we Reap now I was brought up a farmer and if I can have a hut in my own native land and a little help that will suffice me." "At a single reading," Holzer notes in his preface, Lincoln's staff "might handle: requests for political appointments (they might come from an ex-President, a New York archbishop, even Lincoln's own minister); suggestions for how better to manage the war; requests for autographs, locks of hair, and personal appearances; presumptuous political advice; rhymes, hymns, epistles--and on one occasion, sixteen pages of vicious abuse in verse--from amateur poets; and gifts and tokens that included food, drink, clothing, pictures, and sculptures." Holzer has rescued these voices--sometimes eloquent, occasionally angry, often poignant, at times poetic--from the obscurity of the archives of the Civil War. The letters, of course, speak for themselves, but Holzer's introduction and annotations provide historical context for events and people described as well as for those who wrote so passionately to their president in Lincoln's America.
Main Description
During his four years in the White House, Abraham Lincoln received between 250 and 500 letters a day--not only correspondence from public officials, political allies, and military leaders but from ordinary Americans of all races who never knew the president yet nonetheless felt the urge to share their views with him. Harold Holzer, the editor ofDear Mr. Lincoln: Letters to the President,dips once again into Lincoln's bulging mailbag to assemble and annotate a volume of letters, many of them never-before-published, that the American people wrote to their president during the Civil War--correspondence that offered praise, criticism, advice, threats, abuse, and appeals for help and for special favors from men and women throughout the country. Significantly, this collection may be more representative of the mood of the country at the time than Lincoln might have known; it includes letters from black Americans, originally routed to the War Department's Colored Troops Bureau, that Lincoln never saw. Ed D. Jennings, who simply wanted clarification of his status, writes: "Some Reckon and others guess But what I wish to know is this, what do you mean to do with us Col[ore]d population are we to suffer and our enemies reap or can we Reap now I was brought up a farmer and if I can have a hut in my own native land and a little help that will suffice me." "At a single reading," Holzer notes in his preface, Lincoln's staff "might handle: requests for political appointments (they might come from an ex-President, a New York archbishop, even Lincoln's own minister); suggestions for how better to manage the war; requests for autographs, locks of hair, and personal appearances; presumptuous political advice; rhymes, hymns, epistles--and on one occasion, sixteen pages of vicious abuse in verse--from amateur poets; and gifts and tokens that included food, drink, clothing, pictures, and sculptures." Holzer has rescued these voices--sometimes eloquent, occasionally angry, often poignant, at times poetic--from the obscurity of the archives of the Civil War. The letters, of course, speak for themselves, but Holzer's introduction and annotations provide historical context for events and people described as well as for those who wrote so passionately to their president in Lincoln's America.
Table of Contents
Illustrationsp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xxiii
Introduction: Omnium Gatherum: the Lincoln Mailbag, by the Private Secretaries Who Opened Itp. xxvii
Notesp. xxxv
A Note on Editorial Methodsp. xxxvii
Views of Lincoln and His Inner Circlep. xxxix
1861p. 1
1862p. 35
1865p. 197
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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