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tv   Ronald White Lincoln in Private  CSPAN  August 24, 2021 7:31pm-8:59pm EDT

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>> good afternoon and welcome to house divided coming to you from abraham lincoln bookshop in chicago. i will be the administrator for this program. the book we are going to talk about today is making in private,e, you will learn more about the book in a moment. with that, i'm ready turn you over for your post. daniel. >> welcome to house divided, i am abraham lincoln. i wish. [laughter] we are here at the abraham lincoln bookshop in chicago in our broadcast studio. wish ron you are here with us as you have been in the past but our next book we hope to have
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you do that. we are here fore' the latest bok which i'll talk about a moment, we can in private and if you are watching this, you will have books signed for you in books like this, our logo is on it. ron is going to sign those for us and for you you order a book from us. let's introduced ron donald white junior, rivington at the huntington library in washington d.c. he taught at ucla, colorado college, wentworth university and theological seminary. he lectured at the white house interviewed for the cbs news hour and lectured all over the world. previous books include a
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lincoln, a biography, lincoln's greatest speech, the second inaugural, liberty and justice for all, racial reform and the second gospel and numbers of others. his latest book is making in private, personal recollection tell us our greatest president. random house book, 328 pages fully illustrated and it's $28. i said house divided, that's one of our showsco here, are 83-year-old shop, a lot more comfortable as you can see in the 23rd century even though we are 19 century oriented. we've been broadcasting these author interviews now called house divided 2004, inspired by brian lam's a work on c-span.
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next time we hope ron will be here at the broadcast studio in our shop and we welcome our viewers to drop into our shop here by appointment. we are thankful to c-span for following our programming for many years and we welcome c-span's viewers to follow our lifestream on house divided which are on right now and artifactual. it's on every friday 1:00 p.m. central. we thinkam are publishing partns house and publicist rachel parker for putting together this event. we hope you will follow all our book signing events, we can the civil war and u.s. president. there watching on c-span, these will be on youtube as well, you
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can go there and will have copies signed with the book wink i showed you. i hope you will sign up by your e-mail and our website to notice for future events. ron, this book, i've been in the business 49 years now. this is among the finest book published onn lincoln which perhaps totals 17000 titles. an action that brings insight, this is a reference book as well of lincoln's verbiage, look at him psychologically, emotionally, it's a powerful book to read.
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i was taken aback for so long, it is powerful because we are reading lincoln in the raw, the power of this verbiage is extraordinary, not just going away and it's powerful because acting as greek to bees, giving context to lincoln's words explaining historical insight, a generosity into mystery in these. all the while in a manner lincoln pride. it covers numerous aspects of lincoln. very quickly i'll read the chapters have one, i'm going to call them fragments because they
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are fragments and notes. i'm calling them frag note. the baradar pendants of niagara falls, each one has a subtitle in the aspects of lincoln. republican, principal, outrage. unity lincoln and theological lincoln. covid in these ten chapters and then an appendix. when you dissect these ten or 11 notes in these ten chapters, will go to the appendix later on, car 111 fragments, fragments, what was your overriding consideration when choosing this separate chapter in the book?
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>> first choose aspects or did they just pop out at you? >> first of all, thank you for being part of your program once again, a real delight and privilege. this is a long story for me when i first encountered lincoln it was at the huntington library exhibitnk 1993 -- four teaching history at ucla and i had a choice of offering a seminar of my own. i was reading lincoln's word when i came to the second inaugural i was struck by it but i wanted to know, was the scene of this? document there was a at brown university, lincoln's young secretary titles, lincoln didn't title any of these so i traveled from socal to brown university to help this blue line paper in my hands, i had no
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idea at the time there were so many notes and i came to the conclusion most people didn't know this, some of these are biographiesme are of lincoln but i thought we need to see lincoln whole when i contacted daniel worthington, the editor of the lincoln papers he said we believe there's 111 of these notes that survived. i'm sure lincoln wrote hundreds of them but 111 survived. i put before people private lincoln behind the public lincoln. >> those aspects, the unity, is that how you first organized it sucks because i asked before, did the fragments pop out at you and give you those aspects? >> i think the fragments pop out at me. i didn't want to write a 700 page book so i made the decision
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to focus on ten chapters with 12 fragments and i have had the privilege, this surprised me narrating the audiobook usually only michelle obama or somebody like that get to but they let me do it and in the audiobook they said are there more fragments would like to read? then i read five more so 17 but there's many more i could have focus on but i wanted to have the time as you suggested, take the time for the reader to sense the context, the style, different styles of lincoln, miracle, very different kind of style. >> is book, one reason it's so important is it belongs on every lincoln bookshelf right next to the collective works because you have 111 that are not all in
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their. recollected words of abraham lincoln, one of the other two. they belong together as a reference book with it, why do you think they have been overlooked? portably resides that they have not used much before? >> they are spread across huge volumes of lincoln's b words, te first bicycle i and then in the 1950s so we've never seen them together until recently they would have been all kinds of different libraries, lincoln papers product springfield through previous years digitized them so they own 110 of the 111. for me, i knew the gentleman in
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dallas texas who owned of greatest fragments and they allowed me to use that in the book. >> one think that's wonderful about this book is you show them in chapters here in color and they become what they look like. they need to see materials as it affects, how did you get your publisher with illustrations in the middle of the book? >> my first shout out goes to my phenomenal editor, she advocated for this with random house as you are suggesting, to put
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things in color so at the center of the s book, 16 pages in color and as you suggest, you can see the real fragment, different polarizations on different kinds of paper you can see lincoln's handwriting so shout out to caitlin, she persuaded at random house and i think it's a distinctive part of the s book. >> positively we are going to show some of them. it's an impossibility to be here for hours which i'm ready for. you talk about lincoln's handwriting and the project was helpful, helps in understanding
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how lincoln's handwriting changes over time. i myself and over the years have seen the lincoln writings have identified five different k-uppercase-letter's he used that i look for. t one or two dots or forgets a.after that a.nt he doesn't cross his tease, they are crossed to above the word and not on the teeth. many times presidency he goes back to the earlier signatures in the 1850s or even 30s. what did she tell you about lincoln's handwriting? >> i asked her that because she'd been examining it for years and her observations which is general observation and his
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handwriting became smaller and more rounded learned as everyone in his generation would have her penmanship and been through the ears began to change and she could watch it changed through the years. >> when he signed what he had to do for every official document mostly as president i think the papers come up with something i think i've come up with 35000 out of the 100,000 plus in his hand he had to sign military commissions he signed large because he had no room for signature & has often been
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killed. also as mentioned in here how the fragments many timeson follw a book you just read or recently read so connections in the book he read, give us an idea about that. >> first of all, the traditional view of lincoln is that he didn't read many books, he read mostly newspapers. what i found interesting and the question i brought to my self, did these note make their way into these public speeches? most often they did not but for example, he reads this book, slavery ordained of god, a presbyterian minister in 1857. this is anhe interesting story because william. herndon encouraged him to subscribe to
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various antislavery newspapers, lincoln set but i m want to also subscribe to the richmond newspaper carlson courier, why would you do that? he said we need both sides of the table. one thing i think is important toi- understand he wanted both sides of the table so he read this slavery book bywh frederick ross, presbytery minister in alabama and although he didn't agree with it and finally offered a in many ways challenging it, he wanted to try to understand what he was saying and then he would respond and i think this was intellectual curiosity which also it was never in his speech, i think it was part of his thinking about how my going to tax slavery? >> that brings to question we started talking about already, the usage of these fragments.
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now he wrote, it's been brought up by numbers, that's what he was writing for. certainly the underlying on many of his words, our emphasis became, not just thinking and of course as you suggest, he's writing this to home his thoughts and study the other side of the issue so the main reasons n to give speeches even though he specifically didn't always make it into them? >> yes, you're right, he did this to hone his thought but also sort of debating within himself. this is part of what so
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understood important in understanding, any leader who want to vote for today is intellectual curiosity. it wasn't just that he arrived at the conclusion products the way he arrived at the conclusion. there's a logical lincoln, a very logical thinking, sometimes i can almost imagine him as a lawyer walking up and down the courtroom prosecuting the case against slavery advocates so it's a way of working out intellectually what he thinks about an issue. sometimes the notes are ahead of what he will say. he's a little more circumspect, they are not quite ready to say something in antislavery, we watched the development but you can see the foundation of that in these notes. >> i want to ask you about some of the commonalities they have. he delves into historical ways
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sometimes and others many times he begins with a challenge and with a call to action. are there otherer commonalities? is this comment in most of the speeches as well? >> you've determined or described it well, he's never talking about just to have an intellectual conversation but as you suggest, and i try to show off and there is a call to action at theos end you don't gt to that until you've taken the time to understand the issue so we can is wanting to do that. he is very concerned when he joins republicanen party that he doesn't think the party are quite aware of how much the party is being charged with sectionalism is a sectional
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party and he thinks we got to deal with this issue at the end of the two notes on the republican party i include, what are we there to do about this? he's always asking for early therefore about to do? >> we'll talk about that littleh bit more as we go on. we now have shut mouth lincoln was as his third law partner, so he earned it, he pointed it out, give us an example of how his inner feeling shows off in one of these fragments, a historian showsou believe it government. >> fell whole question feelings, you need to understand can born in kentucky in seven indiana
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grew up and what we would call the second great awakening of his parents attended baptist churches that were extremely emotional and from a young age, lincoln reacted against this emotionalism. in religion emotionalism generally so he was weary of feelings. he wanted to be a rational person, he was a thoughtful person so i found it remarkable when one he runs for the senate, elected by state legislatures, he's defeated in 1855 in leeds on the first seven ballots from the big issues is to act with slavery will be permitted to go west into the territories and even though they wanted him to stay in the race, he finally concludes he cannot win and withdraw so the democrat of a time who was anti- nebraska will hewin. lincoln is magnanimous and
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public, it's okay,t i am all right. in his remarkable note he talks about the fact that life is nothing but a failure, nothing but a flat failure. he would never have said that in public. he would never have expressed those deep-seated i feelings and that's what makes the notes so important. he never expected us to read them, we are not going to see them at the lincoln bookshelf in 2021. but he expresses this heartfelt feeling, my life is a failure. that just struck me. >> yet in that failure in chapter four you have that failure note, maybe we can see it. he spoke of that in 1856 but ends on a positive note.
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explain to us lincoln's character, he had that failure but he ends more positively so he can go on especially since he was a depressive character. >> i've had thele experience speaking to a lot of high school students starting 11th grade american history by often asked the question, how long do you think it took lincoln to write these notes? there was a two minutes, three minutes, four minutes and i said how about an hour or two or three? [laughter] i think what happened was lincoln writing this, and this note might have happened and then suddenly he pauses and almost says to himself, this is pretty self-feeding, it's pretty negative and then he turns it around as you suggest and he says i'm not jealous of stephen douglas for all the success he's
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achieved and on a very positive note that he wants what he calls the oppressed of my species to be lifted up. that's what michael is so he doesn't turn around. many times we could probably pause in writing these notes, oh my goodness and takes it in a different direction. >> when iy see lincoln's oppression and he had a number of them sometimes where it spreads to kuwait, bridges, they are fearful of him from taking his own life. why didn't he? becausee positively, he wanted o make a difference in the world before he left it so again, that shows positiveness that brought him out of melancholy that continues on with his work and not do away with it.
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another thing is each chapter has a purpose meaning in lincoln image that shows him at the time of the note what he looked like so that's another part people can see lincoln, a time of failure and what he looked like at that time. we are speaking of lincoln's character, he right that lincoln embodied the idea, please explain that and how it applied to lincoln. >> i tip my hat to my w fellow historian daniel walker, he argues persuasively that what it meant in the 19th century, a self-made man became very different in the 20thh century.
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that was not what it was meant in the 19th century. self constructive meant someone on a moral journey and whose moral life was a moral uplift and we can,ve almost like benjan franklin plus taking personal inventory of himself, he recognized as a young man he was sometimes given to bad humor to attack others the sarcasm, he was aware of those qualities in himself and he wanted to move beyond that and he did so this is what it means to be self constructive, lincoln is on a personal moral honesty in his life and he grows and changes in that's what i think makes him so attractive. >> you are listening read what
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we can decide in your mind from where not going to be able to go over everythinges here and there is such a way the greek chorus to help us along the journey of understanding it. with the niagara falls note he wrote as you say, it is surprisingly lyrical. you have to read it for yourself but you're right but is also crafty in the detail, he discovered the details such as where the water came in the water came through i do think he wrotee that down to remind himself why remember he was
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interested in reverse narrating in all that throughout his entire life, always interested in causation, what causes this phenomena but i try to stay in the context, understanding the context for the reader, america felt somewhat inferior to england and europe, could not match the cultural literary musical artistic but what could offer not be offered in europe was natural beauty. before yellowstone or yosemite, it was niagara falls i was a great attraction for americans of lincoln's generation so he goes and writes it down, surely he might bewa thinking maybe i will use this in a lecture but he's captivated by.
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what makes it interesting again is when he comes back and shares his experience, he been there himself and herndon makes this amazing common that lincoln would have no capacity of understanding the beauty of niagara falls, but not the man i know. herndon didn't know the man the fragment shows lincoln amazingly have the capacity for appreciating the beauty and i wanted to put this in, the coast chronologically for the beginning because we encounter the logical link but we encounter the lyrical poetic lincoln able to get into this, experience it and see it probably in terms of what is the causation of this. >> it's interesting, when i read through it got to the end, you had mentioned so, at the end as if he went on after this but i
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felt it was a very powerful ending and ended where i think it should have ended. maybe he put the, and said no, i'm done. i can't do anymore. it's a fabulous letter and i think lincoln had seen he had come to the end. everyone should read herndon's reaction from its learning more about william herndon than about lincoln and how he reacts to this particular think he uses in here is the word indefinite and he use thatni in his dream he td later, and indefinite sure so my question is more about digitization of lincoln's word,
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it's important, now we don't need it, we could get online i suppose but is there a digital concordance? would be useful of all lincoln's words and the number of times he used them? >> i never thought about that. you've made a connection here. >> that's your next book. [laughter] >> he gives a more famous frag note you have, longer than fragment, it's a budding lawyer, i wanted to show because we can, abraham lincoln bookshop, we have original artifacts, a note written by lincoln before logan and lincoln and he's writing it
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here in a case about the cost of it, that's what he looked like and there are many aspects and advice he gives here. it's an interesting thought and its on honesty. a federal lawyer and leader, guard lincoln and he needed to be but sent him off to richmond april 14 so he wasn't there but lincoln was a politician and lawyer and he said when he said this, lincoln talked about
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honesty so comment not only on this observation in this note, very important but also what you think the most gorgeous argument he made in this. >> he begins in a remarkable way its 1850, we remember lincoln served one term in congress, 1847 -- 49. he returned home and had taken a strong stand against president james and mexico and i think he thought if many agreed with him that perhaps his political career force was over so he returns to becoming a lawyer both traveling the eighth judicial service in central illinois so he dates the
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document as july 1850, i think it was probably a little later than that. they mexico lawyers right away, why did he write the lecture? i conjure was spending 175, 85, 90 days out on the circuit. becoming a lawyer was to become a clerk and lot of office and lincoln became a well-known lawyer, many would have wanted to serve within but he could not. he couldn't do that with his schedule so he offers this lecture to lawyers, aspiring lawyers and he begins, let's see if we can find that, i want to read this because this is important. i am not an accomplished lawyer. i find quite as much material for a lecture and those four
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points where i have failed, where i have been moderately successful. my goodness, he was an accomplished lawyer, already a famous lawyer. leader, lawyer, competition, business, president of the college or university saying i am not? this says so much about abraham lincoln thinks he is. he has same estimate himself and he is in essence defending the profession of law and although the lecture is directed at aspiring lawyers, i think it'sor the finest self-portrait we have. we have the wonderful lincoln a project done some years ago where we found all these papers in the 102 court houses of illinois, this is the best
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apprehension of who was lincoln. >> that's important, we find out the man. i think that's certainly what le was doing, he was thinking maybe of his career after the kansas weekend, maybe he was thinking that. with the show who he was as well. not a bad thing if you put yourself out. we talked briefly of a publican party sectionalism of parties that was one of the most interesting chapters where he is wrestling with partyno affiliatn
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to fragments that and the first reminded me just like we might questionon the opposite sex, we can question the party, the real section of the party. he speaks of the real power of the south staying silent and letting the north line for them, we getos the measures and you cn the there was great great fluidity. nonetheless, today some might wealth lincoln for not being in abolition being to moderate on the slavery issue but the first one from lincoln cut0s to the chase saying they, the
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abolitioniste, i'd rather be right then went. >> he had a context for saying that. his great mentor or full ideal was in mclean. henri clay ran for president three times. in one race way would have one if you could have captured new york but was denied that victory in new york because the liberty would have been the abolitionist party received more than 15000 votes so lincoln never forgot that election and he called these people the righteous, they would rather be right since you went so we seek lincoln, the very practical politician, we have to win, he's not always
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going to follow the person he completely agree with all of their i guess, he agreed with the ideas of play but he wants the republican party we might use the term to be a big tent party, hard for him at first because his dna was loyalty, he was a loyal way. he didn't he neatly joined the republican party but when he did, he wanted it to be opened to everyone, this is on a conversation but he was worried about that but in terms of anti- slavery, he didn't want to draw lines and he was worried about the abolitionist because sometimes he felt they were self-righteous about their cause. >> , here in illinois safe the land of lincoln on our license plate, where the ones, we had as
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a young man, they give the child, we have the adult but kentucky was on his mind a lot. he grew up illinois, a lot of kentuckians also a immigrated to central illinois, illinois being a border state like kentucky. right now he has no he put in an envelope, kentucky right there, it's now gone, it was a list of adjectives from the state of kentucky, recommended lincoln zero he wrote what was inside their, it's gone right now, i haven't looked at the papers yet but you have an unused speech
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and he was across the river from kentucky when he could have made this speech thinking about the slaves across the river from him as you stay particular fragment except for historian harold who we both know well, devoted three pages to this, it's been largely ignored and speech echoes most of his important policy, president-elect and beyond, not to allow slavery into the territory. i was one of the most important things he ever did, make sure he did not vary from that position. if he had,, nothing else may hae followed. give us a comment on this wonderful speech. >> one thoughts been ignored,
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when did he write it? he didn't write it on the train, he wrote it in springfield because we find it attached to a first draft of his first inaugural speech and you can tell from the speech and other factors that he had this great affinity for kentucky, perhaps overly optimistic beginning of 1861 but it's certainly divided so he keeps talking about my fellow kentuckians he's spoken in 1859 kentuckians across the ohio river so he has this great hope that somehow could give this speech. he never did, id. imagine as he took the train coming into cincinnati he would have gone
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for kentucky such fast-moving say what would he say his fellow kentuckians? the one hand he wanted to let them know he has great affection for the ferry on the other hand he wants them to know is awkward to step back and the ideas that he announced all through his life in public words and if they don't agree with them, that's the whole thing of elections to elect someone or defeat someone in the next election. it's been completely overlooked. >> are not credit report in itsi entirety. in the chapter you call the unity lincoln and the constitutionta, who talk about a
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letter from alexander stephens initially was against it, as you happen he's leaning toward. i'm wondering lincoln's disappointment in stephens was the reason why he didn't insert that why do you think he was on that slavery not going into the territory and the issue dividing the nation's republican party he said in another letter mentioned let's not talk about this contract so why do you think he
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was silent he and stephen served together in the congress and both were whigs and he was thinking about leaving that party, it had been a national party and he was impressed with stephen's, and thoughtful and intellectual party so when he heard stephens had given and addressed, he was interested in he wrote to stevens and said i would like to receive the address and i'm interested to know what you. think, some thought he perhaps was wanting to find a modern southerner to put in his cabinet so stephens sent him the address and he read itd and wrote back. in writing back, heme says to stevens we have different ideas
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about slavery so stephens writes to him, he asked why did he not replyut? this may have been the beginning of realizing it wasn't just the south mulberry savvy people like stevens who he thought of matter, people of intellectual substance also work so it might have been a turn not just against humans but beginning to realize what was really happeninghe but it gave the opportunity, i tip my hat to jonathan right, lincoln has this remarkable discussion about the declaration and the constitution which is primary and it argues the declaration is primary and
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is the foundation of the constitution. >> you write about that. >> is a wonderful first of proverbs about the apple of gold that stephens uses in here's another trait of megan, remarkable i bought taking someone else's words, stephen's words and digesting them and saying i think my friend is actually meeting this, not that. he was great in taking words and trying to understand empathetically and putting a different spin, that's the wrong word, a different interpretation on iten. >> did he use the words in this note, did he use them again? >> yes, he did.
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>> another interesting chapter, theological lincoln. those of us toiling in indiana have always admired his capacity -to grow especially in the 50s and also in the 60s. it doesn't seem we generally allow that same capacity on the theological side. could you talk about how this fragment and generally lincoln, especially with the numbers of men he had to send off until, how did the theological side of it go? >> we need to take a step back
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and understand his own biography growing up in thehe south becomg part of a baptist church, he did what many young adults do, he rejected his parents when he moves and we have this from several witnesses, he wrote a paper where he was w talking and witnesses t say he took it out f his hand and threw it into the five but when he comes in when it does ultimately in the death of willie in 1862 in the civil wartn lincoln must rethink this. you can't go back to his last day, too simple. i argue het gravitates to presbyterian church, most important in washington because it's a much more thoughtful and
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rational approach to christianity so we find in this meditation, he's thinking for himself the will of god prevails. each party claims to act in accordance with the will off go. you see the underlying maybe and one must be wrong god cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time. here's the logical link but this next sentence is profound. in present civil war, it's quite possible god's purpose is something different from the purpose of either party and yet uses the instruments just as they do for the best adaptation to affect his purpose. megan was being deceived by both
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ministers and politicians telling campgrounds on our side, he knew jefferson h davis was ao being deceived by politicians heand ministers saying god is on our side. about this photograph, it's a reflective thoughtful lincoln so he's working this out and he never thought anybody whatever see this document does he think about, he realizes the foundation of a second inaugural address. however dated, a year before or two and a half years before, lincoln is asking the question, where is god in the midst of the civil war? sometime i think it's misunderstood in a couple ways, we can doesn't know. we can is humble, to say i know but he does believe there is a force working in the civil war, offered historians use the term
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fatalism in that direction of lincoln's thinking but i discovered a book written by a minister 59 a man who would become one of the first professors of the episcopal seminary in massachusetts, fatalism was their variety of unbelief, not belief so i think we can is on his journey against fatalism to a god of providence and no one at the second lincoln hadt written thus. he didn't title it, john found it in desk drawer and a graduate of brown university there now, he gave it the title meditation, lincoln did not title it but it's a good title thinking out loud, what is the will of god in
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the civil war? >> you and i are not reading a lot of these fragments and note, that's up to the reader. have a co-author of this book, royalty. 166 -- 279. that's all lincoln. interactive try to understand questionnd, conceptualize what e were reading of lincoln, there were 111 of them it only goes through 11, 12, 13 and the rest is up to us as the reader so
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asked us to be interactive and analyze. the items that, because over the nature a number of times, a fragment of the house divided. the longest response i've seen for any autograph request, there it is. farewell to his troops rivals it but this is an autographed request and it fabulous. anmy favorite is when you can't find anywhere else, look into this. one of the fragments are note zachary taylor, if he has zachary taylor in front of c hi, were trying to get into power
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and what he ought to say about policy, i have asked others before the particular problems becoming a politician versus politician becoming commander-in-chief, so how did lincoln in this to taylor? was he saying to him how a soldier should look at? >> i almost includedmm this one because as you suggested, it is fascinating. zachary taylor was brought lincoln a logical election but not a persuasive one. he was a slaveholder, no one knew exactly what he thought, lincoln would have preferred to have had henri clay or someone like that but he said if we are going to win this election, i've
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got to admit that as a military hero so okay but three times lincoln w says were i president, were i president, were i president, i'm just imagining he's not necessarily totally thinking zachary taylor but he saying if i were president, this is what i would say that's what i found amazing, were i president so in a way, he's putting it in hisha mouth but in other ways, he's putting in his mouth and it's vested. >> another one written in october 185858 where he says a w words of myself, is that an anomaly himself in other contexts besides this one? >> he often spoke in the third
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person as he writes in his autobiographical contribution for the 1860 election. he writes in thirdon person is t unusual, that's the way he writes. so here again when an argument is a fragment, we never thought we'd see this is perfectly free to say is what i believe, what i feel. >> but he didn't generally do that. >> he did not generally do that. >> right. another fragment was speaking points, ohio in 1859, fascinating one of the most important things from that besides introducing himself from that is it resulted 1860 and
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that's one of the mainstays of how and why lincoln became president. 50000 copies sold or distributed and the photograph in my speech and speaking points are fascinating. >> some of the most important fragments were written during the seventhto race in 1858. your thinking is reading these various books same forgot to get prepared for the next debate to do this or that and before the debate, i argue that sometimes
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lincoln would hold fire, you would not immediately speak on the subject. he had to take the time to walk across the street from his law office to the state capitol where the library was. he is getting himself repaired in our day where everybody speaks immediately, the greatest speaker in american history quite often not speak until he felt fully prepared. i also argue when he argues in the lecture we need to learn to speak extemporaneously, that doesn't mean speak off the top your head, it means be fully prepared in a moment norbert's in a particular situation because your prepared, you're able to speak persuasively. >> you write about this in your epilogue, i write notes myself,
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sometimes not again, other times i'm thinking something through and later on i'll think back and say i was wrong on this or correct on that. you t also do that in your epilogue and as you said, it takes contemplation and time withoutt interruption so briefly comment on your reflections in the epilogue. >> i decided, here again i tip my hat to my editor who said kino writers and offers don't want to be personal, i say in the epilogue was a phd studentwe at princeton university a student asks the question that once what if a student asks about what i think or feel they said don't answer.
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[laughter] but caitlin mckenna said your own personal view part of that is i love to speak to high school students and i want to communicate to them, and i'm concerned and worried about screens in our life, we have learned through this pandemic and lots of young people spend even more time on their screens because they've been precluded from athletics or other things and lincoln who we know from gettysburg and second inaugural was willing to seclude himself in the white house state of secretary, i don't want any interruption. it takes time and contemplation to write this but the way i began the book to tell this story in 1863 the audience will
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know who the copperheads are, the end of democratic party who wanted to return the nation as it was and in ohio politician attacking lincoln, they felt lincoln was too critical so lincoln received albany result which were attacking him he did what he often did, respond to various protest movements. at that moment a congressman from iowa entered and he saw him writing out his response and said oh my goodness, it's remarkable you can sit down and write this response and set ono and he put it in an open part of his desk andnd said it's all in their. been there for a long time. i keep these notes so i'm arguing that we can have these
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notes but the notes have not been available to us and that's the whole thing of this book, this is the way we can operate and let and now we can see private lincoln. he didn't become lincoln ofha te gettysburg address without this devious contemplation himself. >> this would be a great way to end, my own epilogue briefly, you brought this up just now, contemplation, we were talking before the b program together about what was the happiest time in the can's life timeframe in the complex. i put down salem when he was discovered himself down the mississippi perhaps, i mentioned
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a brief time between surrender and is best, maybe as a congressman but i think the same as you, you say this in your book, i think it was a wonderful time for him to do what he loved best, think about politics, the law of bringing up the idea to comment on this from under the reasons he did not go home all the time, all the other lawyers went home for the weekend or even a holiday, he sometimes stayed out there all alone and i think that was important, the only time he had in his busy life to be alone to contemplate, to understand, what you think about that?
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i don't think he was not going home because he had about marriage. >> i completely agree. he did not not go home because he didn't want to be there. this was an important time, he was also politicking, gaining a future political career but judicial circuit, twice the size of the state of connecticut illinois, i tip my hat to mutual friends, the eighth judicial circuit, this allowed him the time, we know the story he memorized, the arms is on the eighth judicial circuit, i think is the happiest time of his life. he really enjoyed this time, he enjoyed the time to be alone and to write some of these notes.
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>> you bring up marion here, mary lincoln think about the time she was in an institution and i have some definite ideas, i happen to have a bible that i believe with her. he writes her name, the date is 1875, just more than a coincidence and i think this was with her and i want to ask you about mary and your thoughts because we have another host divided an omission in a moment
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that about her lawyer in illinoisn and her husband bring her out of there to her sister in springfield. people are not so happy with robert. personally i think, i want to ask what you think about this, robert and mary, his wife have her come into their home. he met somebody at the same time, i learned this from my mom, when she meet someone in her home, they fight tooth and nail. mary did the same. she didn't want anyone in her home. one car to robert, couldn't be alone and wouldn't have anybody
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there, elizabeth was ill and could not handle her at that time. there was nowhere for her to>> o so he went to the institution but myra, and also i think elizabeth herself allowed mary and robert to do it as soon as he could elizabeth's care and she was able to get out. what do you think about? was in there because there was nowhere else for her to go. >> i like that theory and some lost letters of marynt lincoln discovered in recent years substantiates the fact that it was easy in the past, pictures that guy in this but i don't think that's necessarily the case at all so the role getting
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mary released his remarkable. >> and you write about in e thi, fascinating story that is a sub story in here. thank you so much, we are going to get to questions from our audience but i want to say on a house divided here at the bookshop, the next one we have is michael with an american marriage, the untold story of abraham lincoln and mary todd, june 13:30 p.m. central and i hope you are all on facebook and we get e-mails to our website so you will know what's coming up, thus an american marriage, june 1. june 5, 4 days later smith will come back for the umpteenth time
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for his new book, campaign open on the mississippi river, a wonderful writer support for writing. any civil war buffalo right the pretty 3:30 p.m. central time june 5. i am so happy to be with you, thank you. with love some questions from our vast audience. >> there is a vast audience, seems to be one of our most popular programs so far so thank you, everybody, thank you for writing a great book. apologies upfront, we may not get to everyone's question, you
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cut yourself this time. it's good i had huge on this whole time otherwise he would have heard the bell every time someone ordered one of these books. thank you to those at home, this is one of our most productive programs in your by the book. i'm going to start with a few questions. ron if you can do your best here, also a lot of questions we're trying to get through, start with the question that has some f theology in it, my apologies to the customer who wrote this but i've done a bit of editing so it's a paraphrase but ron, president lincoln lost
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two of his four sons as a 1862. lincoln knew were sending out there death. we all heard about melancholy depression which is justified based on personal tragedies and the weight of the nation on shoulders here's the part, jesus based his ordeal, he asked his father three times may this cup pass in hishe notes, we can nevr seem to wonder my pass from him. >> that is a very profound observation question. i think we can has waited that, by the two sons but all of these others evident in their letters
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he writes to wives, daughters. my argument is that lincoln is much more than we have given him credit for, many traditional biographies say lincoln is quoting the bible like one might quote shakespeare but as for the second inaugural in the previous 18 inaugural addresses, bible was quoted only one time. "the bible four times and he doesn't quoted at the ende which find in inaugural addresses but he quotes all for verses substantively as part of his arguing for the idea that the almighty has his own purposes as lincoln suggests in his inaugural so whether he's asking
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the question you asked, me the cup pass from me, that's interesting, i have never faced that one quite before but i think he really is operating at a deep level he's not even sure who's going to winin the war. the war goes on, he supposed to be winning the war, his commander-in-chief but he is going to a higher power i how the war might come. >> i'm going to follow up in another question based on his methodology, jim wants to know, we've seen lincoln's logical methodology of demonstration by these principles discussed in other books. what have you synthesize from lincoln's notes that further identify methodology embedded in
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his thinking which leads us to a close understanding. >> one way for me the answer to your question is that we can, although he is logical, he is much broader than that and that's why the fragment of niagara falls which i call the lyrical lincoln, he's operating with a wider keyboard than i think we've given him credit for and what even his partner didn't fully understand. the notet demonstrate how he comes at an issue from various views phyllis olive philosophically, logically, the view of a lawyer, deductively, all of these are part of his personnel and to me it enlarges my personalities a and appreciation the way he approaches the issues of his
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time. >> i want to say from the first question i know who sent it, i want to shout outge to dale here buffalo, thank you for that question. >> let's move on -- i promise everybody ron has not seen your questions but keeps suggesting the next question. [laughter] such a great question but michelle wants to know, in regards to the destruction of correspondence, robert todd lincoln's alleged to the correspondence, we still believe any relationship to personal documents from private thoughts
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in the use of the book? >> thank you, michelle. that is a good comment, i do address that in the prologue, the question of how nicollet are asked to collect the papers and they come into possession of robert todd lincoln and the suggestion maybe he thought as he transported them back and forth, maybe even the fragments didn't seem important, they want official documents, maybe he didn't save them all. we know the story of the burn pile of mary lincoln burning correspondence and her papers as they moved to washington from presidency did lincoln participate in the burn pile? on the other hand, is evidence that i show in the book we can write a note in the 1840s and brings about 1861 so here's an example how lincoln saved these
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notes. i think he wrote hundreds of noble like you and i wouldn't save them all, i'm grateful we have 111, i wish we had 311th but there is no particular evidence robert did or did not, i think we might presume that perhaps he did. >> anddr mary did. >> the way one chief gave when she was released from the asylum so she gave it to myra. >> i would not be a slave, i would not be. >> one of the most important. >> mary kept it and maybe felt she was part of that. >> i suggest that, yes. >> we have built shepherd marchingad from here in illinoi. he wants to know, does the book contain all the fragments or
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frag notes of lincoln discovered in preserved? perhaps in the appendix of the book. >> it does include all of them, every single one of them credit to the lincoln papers project and i even put some symbols you can see for example maybe there is app place where editors cannt fully decipher a particular word, things like that all 111, this has never been done before i think it's part of the distinctiveness of the book. >> it is a valuable reference. >> to analyze them, be interactive with this. >> we are going toe do for question before you a shout out to everybody and i appreciate everybody who has questions daniel and i may jump on
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facebook after we are done answer a few questions if you address questions that didn't answer here but i do want to give a shout out here, dave bradley quiet believe is our uk dave so from over the pond, i think i'm right about this, dave asked, would you agree one of the can's greatest assets was pragmatism and the ability see things as they were enabled to deal with situations and people as effectively as he did? >> thank you, if you are from uk, a year end a half ago i had the privilege at oxford and that was wonderful. i like your suggestion lincoln was, i would make the distinction between idealist and ideal blogs. lincoln had ideals but was never an ideal block.
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who's going to encounter particular experience, a particular issue or problem and therefore change his mind, that didn't mean he didn't have firm ideals so i think part of his effectiveness is pragmatism. was what got his way through the civil war. i love the story when he's arguing i over slavery and emancipate the slaves and he says i'm operating on a different talk and part of pragmatism is answering the question, what time is it? we can have the unique ability to know what time was it to move on this issue are that issue, especially the issue of emancipation. >> all right, thank you very much. very quickly, i shot up to some of the peoplee watching as i sad
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before, this is easily one of our most popular programs, at least 40 people watching every second thato we have been on my facebook analytics tell us for every moment someone is watching, and other people coming so wee have had hundreds of people who have enjoyed this live program and i want to thank all. we do have some trends out there, dave bradley is from the [laughter] he's here, bill is here from illinois, jimmy from alabama, kevin from illinois, tom and brian from michigan, john from tennessee, hello, john so proud to have you joining us on the life.
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a new fan of abraham lincoln bookshop. daniel, i'm going to toss it over to you to take us out and if you have any last thoughts. >> as we go out of this, i just thought as we were listening to some of the questions coming through, the import of this book is also we are dealing with destroying lincoln statues for some reason of lincoln bailey. i think in this book is a quick answer to what actually lincoln is, who he is. the breath of who he is and i think all of us in this is
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powerful reasoning why we should not be taken down but building up more statues. he's one we should all be looking at as a moral exemplar. we all fail as a human being in 19th century, we all have fat but if we look at the plus side of him, i think it overwhelms any of the human family might have as we all do so i want to thank everyone from those who are live with us and those who are with us on c-span and all of you who have seen this on youtube, we put this up on youtube and you can see many of our pastho interviews there. appreciate you being with us. ron more than anything, we thank you for being who you are and historian you are and we look
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forward eagerly for the next. >> thanks to everyone who spent a part of the program, it has been very rich for me. >> thank you, if you will take us out. >> good afternoon, at about it and we will see next time on house divided. ♪♪ >> weekends on c-span2, intellectual peace. every saturday, american history tv documents american stories. sundays, tv brings the latest in nonfiction books and authors. funding for c-span2 comes from these television companies and more including charter communications. ♪♪ >> broadband is a force for empowerment. that's why charter invested billions, building infrastructure, upgrading technology, empowering opportunity in communities big and small. charter is connecting us. >> charter communications along with these television companies
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