Lincoln—Select Sources/Bibliography

You won’t see a full bibliography or quotation sources 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 direct readers here, to the book page of my website. Below, you will see the slightly-expanded Select Sources that would have appeared in the book if I’d had more space. What does appear in the book’s back matter are the following three very cool links that I encourage you to visit:

Illinois Digital Newspaper Collections, where you can see old issues of the Sangamo Journal and the actual Rebecca letters

Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln at the Abraham Lincoln Association, where you can see modern transcripts of the Rebecca letters

The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress, where you can see the only surviving note/letter related to the duel—Lincoln’s handwritten note to his “second,” Dr. E.H. Merryman, with terms for the duel.

For expanded information about the Lincoln-Shields duel, see my categorized blog posts on the book page here. 

Now, without further Ado…

Quotation Sources:

Title page: “It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.” Lincoln purportedly repeated this quote—either drawing from a conversation or borrowing from it.  McClure, Alexander K. Abe Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories (Chicago: The Educational Company, 1901) Also in Burlingame, Michael. Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2008), p. 575.

pg. 6 “That brings to mind…” Variations of quote appear in McClure, Abe Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories. Also see

pg. 6 “If I did not laugh…” Jennison, Keith W. The Humorous Mr. Lincoln (New York: Cromwell, 1965).

pg. 16 “You have made assumptions…” Wilson, Douglas. Honor’s Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln, (New York: Knopf, 1998). Earliest reproductions of the Lincoln & Shields letters can be found in Lamon, Ward. The Life of Abraham Lincoln, (Boston: James R. Osgood & Co, 1872) via

pg. 18 “I did not want to kill Shields…” Wilson, pg. 281. Also Linder, Usher P. Reminiscences of the Early Bench and Bar of Illinois (Chicago: Chicago Legal News, 1879).

pg. 20 Duel terms. See Lincoln’s letter to Merryman at

pg. 27 “I did write the Lost Township letter…” Wilson, pg. 281. Or Lamon at

pg. 31 “If all the good things I have ever done…” Burlingame—physical book and online at

Select Sources for Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words (please forgive formatting errors):

Abbatt, William. “The Lincoln-Shields Duel.” Magazine of History with Notes and Queries. New York, 1906.

Basler, Roy P. “The Authorship of the ‘Rebecca’ Letters.” Abraham Lincoln Quarterly, vol. 2, no. 2 (1942).

Burlingame, Michael. Abraham Lincoln: A Life. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013.

Callan, J. Sean. Courage and Country: James Shields. Bloomington, 2004.

Centennial History of Madison County, Illinois and Its People 1812-1912. Ed. Norton, William T. Alton: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1912.

Clay, Edward Williams. “Abraham Lincoln, Banking and the Panic of 1837 in Illinois.” Accessed August 20, 2017.

Clinton, Catherine. Mrs. Lincoln: A Life. New York: Harper Perennial, 2010.

Condon, William H. Life of Major-General James Shields: Hero of Three Wars and Senator From Three States. Chicago, 1900.

“Crack of the Pistol: Dueling in 19th Century Missouri.” Missouri State Archives. Accessed May 15, 2015.

Davidson, Alexander and Bernard Stuve. A Complete History of Illinios from 1673-1873. Springfield: D.L. Publisher, 1877. E-book.

Day, Charles W.M. Hints on Etiquette and the Usages of Society with a Glance at Bad Habits. Boston, 1843. E-book,

Epstein, Daniel Mark. Portrait of a Marriage. New York: Ballantine Books, 2008.

Herndon, William H. and Jesse William Weik. Springfield: Herndon’s Lincoln: The True Story of a Great Life. Herndon’s Lincoln Publishing Company, 1888.

Lincoln, Abraham. (original letter, in Lincoln’s hand, to Dr. Merryman re: terms of the duel). The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress.

“Lost Townships—Dear Printer.” Sangamo Journal, August 19, 1842.   (1st letter)

Houghton, Walter R. and James K. Beck and James A.Woodburn. Rules of Etiquette and Home Culture. New York, 1893. E-Book,

“Letter from the Lost Township.” Sangamo Journal, September 2, 1842. (2nd letter-A.L. wrote this)

“Letter(s) from the Lost Townships. Sangamo Journal, September 9, 1842. (3rd & 4thletter)

“Cathleen poem.” Sangamo Journal, September 16, 1842.

Merryman, E.H. “Communication—Gent…” (letter to the editor) Sangamo Journal.October 8,   1842.

Myers, James E. The Astonishing Saber Duel of Abraham Lincoln. Springfield: Lincoln-Herndon Building Publishers, 1968.

Nicolay, John G. and John Hay. Abraham Lincoln: A History. New York: The Century Co., 1890.

Sabine, Lorenzo. Notes on Duels and Duelling. Boston, 1855.

Saby, Rasmus S. and William Watts Folwell. “General James Shields, Soldier, Orator, Statesman.” Minnesota Historical Society Collections. 1915.

Strozier, Charles. Your Friend Forever, A. Lincoln: The Enduring Friendship of Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016.

Turner, Justin G. and Linda Levitt Turner. Mary Todd Lincoln: Her Life and Letters. New York: Knopf, 1972.

Whiteside, John D. “To the Editor of the Springfield Journal.” Sangamo Journal, October 14, 1842

Wilson, Douglas L. Honor’s Voice: The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998.

Wilson, John Lyde. “The Code of Honor or Rules for the Government in Duelling.” Charleston: James Phinney, printer, 1838. (includes Code Duello)