Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words

Book Connections & Activities In One Place

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on educational systems. Now that kids are learning remotely and educators are scrambling to adjust to online platforms, I want to make it as easy as possible for my books to be useful. To that end, I have compiled some of the most helpful book-specific connections in one place. * Please… Read more »

TLA, A book launch, school visits, Classes I’m Teaching, Oh My!

Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words Much has happened within the last month. The book launch trailer for Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words released, which makes me all kinds of giddy. Then, on April 1, the book itself hit bookstore shelves. I hope you will get your own copy from your favorite independent bookstore and share it with the young… Read more »

Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words is on Shelves today. Cue the thank yous

I’ve spent the last several weeks sharing extended content about writing and researching Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words. Now that the April 1, 2018 official launch date has arrived, I am reflecting on the people who have supported the book’s journey and my publishing endeavors.   Texas-sized thanks to: My family—Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words began in 2012 for… Read more »

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. In the mix was Lincoln, a Whig lawyer, and then-former legislator and Democratic state auditor James Shields. In 1842, James Shields, along with the… Read more »

Lincoln – Book Launch Event Planned

The launch event for my picture book biography, Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words, illustrated by the remarkable illustrator S.D. Schindler, is on the calendar. Believe it or not, tax day is a surprisingly fitting time to celebrate this book. We’ll have treats, bubbly drinks for all ages, and possibly a fencing demonstration. If you can’t join me in… Read more »

Lincoln—My working Timeline for Abraham Lincoln’s Dueling Words

For all books I work on, I compile a timeline during my research—one that ultimately shows the breadth of that research, though that’s not the reason for its creation. The timeline keeps me grounded in time and context and offers the quick reference I need while experimenting with different story approaches. As you peruse my… Read more »