Blog/News

Lincoln—Character Education

As a teenager, Lincoln studied an arithmetic book that survives today and is now part of the Herndon-Weik Collection. In the bottom left corner of one page, there is a faded verse that Lincoln wrote. A reproduced enhanced version is below. It seems Lincoln recognized his rascally tendencies at a young age. What a great way to spark [Read More]


A reading of an 1890 Account of the Lincoln-Shields Duel

In 1890, John George Nicolay and John Hay— President Abraham Lincoln’s secretaries, published the ten-volume biography: Abraham Lincoln: A History, which you can see on Archive.org here.  You can hear a Librivox reading of the chapter related to the Lincoln-Shields duel and the two other challenges it sparked here.  Be aware that this reading is 18-minutes long. [Read More]


James Shields & His Working Relationship with Lincoln Before & During Civil War

To set up the events that later transpired between Lincoln and Shields, without turning this post into a tome, I hope you will forgive my necessary jumps in time and assumptions of knowledge below. Bear with me. James Shields- Where’d he come from? James Shields was born in Dungannon, Ireland. His 1840 U.S. Citizenship application [Read More]


Lincoln—Two Duels Sparked by the Lincoln-Shields Duel

Participating in duels in any role was a risky business in Lincoln’s day. Just as the tension between two opposing sides of a boxing match, a football game, a political debate today could lead to physical brawls, for the men acting as seconds to the dueling principals, the volatile and combative atmosphere could spell trouble. [Read More]


Lincoln — What Sparked Lincoln’s Duel & His Unusual Fight Terms

In the mid-nineteenth century, the state of Illinois was experiencing a financial crisis, and the two political parties—the Whigs and the Democrats—were in constant conflict about how to resolve the issues. Thrown into the mix was Lincoln, a Whig lawyer and then-former legislator, and Democratic state auditor James Shields. In 1842, James Shields, along with [Read More]