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Robert McNamara

Classic Early Lincoln Books

By November 11, 2012

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Instead of our usual Newspaper Sunday feature, this week we're going digging for books, vintage books on Abraham Lincoln that you can read on your computer or tablet.

In the late 19th century, a number of books on Lincoln were published, with some of the more remarkable ones being written by people who had known Lincoln and worked with him. These eyewitness accounts have been relied on by historians for generations, but the original texts have not always been available to the reading public.

Thanks to Google Books, rare copies of vintage books about Lincoln have been scanned and can be read online, or downloaded for free to read on computers or tablets.

A list of recommended Lincoln books includes an account of his work in the War Department telegraph office; a memoir by Elizabeth Keckley, Mary Todd Lincoln's dressmaker and friend; a recollection of months spent in Lincoln's White House by an artist who was gathering material for a classic painting; a biography written by his former law partner; and the wartime diaries of Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles.

If you're in the mood to read about Lincoln, you can't go wrong by diving into some of the best and earliest books published about him.

More: Classic Lincoln Books

Photograph: President Abraham Lincoln with his private secretaries John G. Hay (right) and John G. Nicolay, who would write a classic biography of Lincoln/Library of Congress

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