Releasing in Spring 2018: Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words
Coming in spring 2018. Peachtree Publishers. illustrated by S.D. Schindler
Long before he was our beloved president, Abraham Lincoln was known for his smarts and his knee-slapping humor. In 1842, that got him into a heap of trouble. When he clashed with James Shields, a political rival, Lincoln came up with a rascally plan.
It was silly.
It was clever.
It was a great big mistake.
Shields challenged Lincoln to a duel!
Lincoln would need his wit and a healthy dose of humility to save his career—and even his life.
A rare look at the more human side of Abraham Lincoln and how the lessons he learned made him a better man.
Stay tuned for the book trailer and curriculum guide!
Read the cover reveal post on Cynsations
How I found the story of Lincoln’s duel:
It always happens that, when I’m researching for one book, ideas for other books pop up. That’s what happened in 2012 when I came across a one-line mention of Abraham Lincoln’s duel. At first, my brain couldn’t register that our most revered, monumentalized American figure did something so controversial and dangerous. The research journey that followed revealed a great deal about the evolution of Lincoln’s character. He was a real, fallible, sometimes-naughty guy, just like the rest of us. How refreshing! Lincoln could have allowed his great big mistake to define him, but he chose instead to learn from them. Now that is something to admire, isn’t it? How lucky for our us that he survived his scrape with James Shields. Imagine what our country would be like if Abraham Lincoln had never been president!
Want to know more about the Lincoln-Shields Duel? In the months leading up to the book’s release, I will add new blog posts—linked from here— about the expanded story, including these topics:
- My working timeline for Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words
- A cautionary tale about inconsistencies encountered during research.
- The history of Bloody Island—the Mississippi River location of the Lincoln-Shields duel
- The Rules of Dueling & Lincoln’s terms for his duel with James Shields.
- The gentleman’s code of conduct. There was a reason for all that hat-tipping and formality.
- Two duels were sparked by the Lincoln-Shields affair of honor
- An abbreviated history of American currency and the Illinois banking crisis in 1842.Boy was it complicated!
- An abbreviated history of the Whig, Democrat, and Republican parties
- Conversation starters about character and integrity
- My physical and digital research journey
You won’t see a full bibliography in the back matter of Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words. Wanna know why?
Simply put, even my super-whittled-down select sources resulted in a book that was too long to fit the standard 32-page format. So my editor and I made the difficult decision to move the sources here, to the book page of my website. Click here to see the quotation sources and Select Sources. What does appear in the book’s back matter are the following three very cool links to primary sources: