The Lincoln Autobiography
Despite his loss to Douglas in 1858,
Lincoln’s supporters did not give up on
him. In fact they began looking ahead
two years to the U.S. presidency.
Sharing Lincoln's Life Story
Jesse Fell suggested that Lincoln write an autobiographical sketch so newspaper editors back east could share his life’s story with voters. After all, there were early whispers of Lincoln as a long-shot candidate for president.
Lincoln’s “simple unadorned statement” (as Fell called the autobiography) was sent to Pennsylvania newspaperman Joseph Lewis, brother of a Bloomington newspaper editor.
Lewis used the autobiography to write an article on Lincoln in his weekly paper, the Chester County Times. Versions of Lewis’ article soon appeared in newspapers throughout the North where Lincoln was little known.
You can read a typewritten transcription of the autobiography here.
“Very frequently I have been asked: ‘Who is this man Lincoln, of your state, now campaigning in opposition to Senator Douglas?'”
Articles about Lincoln
Can you find the similarities and differences in each of these eastern newspaper articles about Lincoln?