Monday, February 6, 2017

Booknotes: Lincoln in Indiana

New Arrival:
Lincoln in Indiana by Brian Dirck (SIU Press, 2017).

This is the latest volume from SIUP's ever expanding Concise Lincoln Library series, which has 22 current or upcoming titles. "Abraham Lincoln, born in Kentucky in 1809, moved with his parents, Thomas and Nancy Lincoln, and his older sister, Sarah, to the Pigeon Creek area of southern Indiana in 1816. There Lincoln spent more than a quarter of his life." The source material available for this particular early period of Lincoln's life is the most dubious and fragmentary, nevertheless "Brian R. Dirck’s fascinating account of Lincoln’s boyhood sets what is known about the relationships, values, and environment that fundamentally shaped Lincoln’s character within the context of frontier and farm life in early nineteenth-century midwestern America."

Chapters explore the initial 1816 settlement of the Lincolns in Indiana, their family history, Lincoln's mother and stepmother, Thomas Lincoln and his relationship with his son, Abraham Lincoln's early ambitions and personal traits, and the family's reasons for ultimately leaving the state in 1830. The epilogue then describes the journeys the adult Lincoln made back to Indiana.

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