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THIS Volume does not profess to be, in any exact and important sense, a History of the Administration of President LINCOLN. Such a work would require access to sources of information which cannot, from the nature of the case, be open to the public for many years to come.

Its object is merely to collect and collate the speeches, messages, proclamations, and other documents in which the President has embodied, from time to time, his sentiments on the affairs of the country, and set forth the motives which have prompted the successive acts of his Administration. In the narrative which accompanies these papers the writer has sought only to record the circumstances essential to an appreciation of the papers themselves, and not by any means to give a complete history of the events by which this momentous period in the career of our country has been marked.

If the public shall find in this work any important aid in forming a judgment of the policy by which President LINCOLN is seeking to carry the Nation through the crisis of a civil war, its purpose will have been accomplished.

NEW YORK, May 5, 1864.

H. J. R.


ABRAHAM LINCOLN was born on the 12th of February, 1809, in Hardin county, Kentucky. His early life, like that of most of the great men whom our country has produced, was spent in poverty and in toil. At seven years of age he was sent to school to a Mr. Hazel, carrying with him an old copy of Dilworth's Spelling Book, one of the three books that formed the family library. His father keenly felt the disadvantages arising from his own lack of education, and determined, in spite of difficulties almost inconceivable, to give his son better facilities for study than he had himself enjoyed. His mother was a Christian woman, and desired earnestly that he should learn to read the Bible.

Thomas Lincoln, his father, finding a life in a Slave State a most unsatisfactory one for himself, and presenting only the prospect of a hopeless struggle in the future for his children, determined upon removal, and when Abraham was in the eighth year of his age, the plan was carried into execution. The old home was sold, their small stock of valuables placed upon a raft, and the little family took its way to a new home in the wilds of Indiana, where free labor would have no competition with slave labor, and the poor white man

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