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Abraham Lincoln: A History (Volume 2)

By: John George Nicolay

Abraham Lincoln: A History is an 1890 ten-volume account of the life and times of Abraham Lincoln, written by John Nicolay and John Hay, who were his personal secretaries during the American Civil War. Volume 2 chronicles Lincoln's life from 1856-1860.

Sale of the serialization rights to The Century magazine, edited by Hay's friend Richard Watson Gilder, helped give Hay and Nicolay the impetus to bring what had become a massive project to a whole. Gilder, for his part, tried to keep the perspective from becoming too partisan in favor of the North, as The Century was a national magazine with a diverse readership.  

  

The published work, Abraham Lincoln: A History, has an alternation of parts in which Lincoln is at center, and discussions of contextual matters such as legislative events or battles. The first serial installment, published in November 1886, received positive reviews, though some, including Herndon, considered the contextual sections dull. Life magazine proposed a party game, to locate five references to Lincoln in a given installment, assuming there were any to be found. When the ten-volume set emerged in 1890, it was not sold in bookstores, but instead door-to-door, the practice followed then by noted authors like Twain. Despite a price of $50, and the fact that a good part of the work had been serialized, five thousand copies were quickly sold. 

 

Book Details

Language

English

Original Language

English

Published In

1890

Author

John George Nicolay

Germany, United States

John George Nicolay was a German-born American who served as private secretary to US President Abraham Lincoln and later co-authored a biography of the 16th President. He was a member of the German br...

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John Hay

United States

sman and official whose career in government stretched over almost half a century. Beginning as a private secretary and assistant to Abraham Lincoln, Hay's highest office was Unite...

More about John Hay

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