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Abraham among the Yankees: Lincoln's 1848 Visit to Massachusetts
by William F. Hanna
foreword by Frank J. Williams
Southern Illinois University Press, 2020
Paper: 978-0-8093-3779-8 | eISBN: 978-0-8093-3780-4
Library of Congress Classification E457.4.H36 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 973.7092

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Filling in a portion of Lincoln’s political career that few are aware of, this engaging travelogue details Lincoln’s twelve-day trip through Massachusetts as a young, aspiring Illinois politician campaigning for Zachary Taylor, a slaveowner and the Whig candidate for president in 1848. Moving swiftly, William F. Hanna follows Lincoln from town to town, explaining why Lincoln supported a slaveholder and describing one of Lincoln’s earliest attempts to appeal to an audience beyond his home territory.

Hanna provides excellent context on the politics of the era, particularly the question of slavery, both in Massachusetts and nationwide, and he features the people Lincoln met and the cities or towns in which he spoke. Lincoln stumped for Taylor in Worcester, New Bedford, Boston, Lowell, Dorchester, Chelsea, Dedham, Cambridge, and Taunton. He gave twelve speeches in eleven days to audiences who responded with everything from catcalls to laughter to applause. Whatever they thought of Lincoln’s arguments, those who saw him were impressed by his unusual western style and remembered his style more than the substance of his talks.

Meticulously researched, Abraham among the Yankees invites readers to take an East Coast journey with a thirty-nine-year-old Lincoln during election season in 1848 to see how Massachusetts audiences responded to the humorous, informal approach that served Lincoln well during the rest of his political career.
 
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