Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

Programs for Citizens

Abe: A Novel of the Young Lincoln

by Richard Slotkin

Henry Holt and Company, LLC

478, January

Hardcover, 27.50

ISBN: 0805041230

The past Lincoln kept hidden: A novel that reveals the sources of his legendary compassion and brilliance

A stunning work of historical imagination, Abe immerses the reader in the isolating poverty and frontier violence that shaped Abraham Lincoln’s character. Marked by the death of his beloved mother and the struggle to keep reading and learning in the face of his father’s fierce disapproval. Abe perseveres, growing into the man who changed the course of American history.

Abe comes of age in the course of a dramatic flatboat journey down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans. Along the way, Abe and his companions encounter slavery firsthand and experience the violence—and the pleasures—of rough river towns, plantations, and the cities of Natchez and New Orleans. Numerous historical figures make appearances alongside the colorful characters of the Mississippi: preachers and vigilantes, planters and thieves, prostitutes and lady reformers. Transformed by what he has seen and done, Abe returns to make his final break with his father and to step out of the wilderness into New Salem—and history.

Richard Slotkin’s Abe draws deeply on historical scholarship, but it is not biography. Instead, it is a vivid, persuasive re-creation of the life as young Lincoln might have lived it, and of the people, scenes, and influences that helped produce the character and conscience of the man often called the greatest of all Americans.

Table of Contents

Book I: My Home is over Jordan
Chapter 1 “In Adam’s Fall…”
Chapter 2 Uncle Mordecai

Book II: The War Against the Trees
Chapter 3 The Clearing
Chapter 4 The Pigeon Massacre
Chapter 5 The Bear
Chapter 6 Milk-Sick

Book III: The Kingdom of Pap
Chapter 7 Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln
Chapter 8 Hiring Out
Chapter 9 Tom Lincoln’s Boy

Book IV: The Landing
Chapter 10 The Ark of Philanthropy
Chapter 11 The Judge

Book V: Father of Waters
Chapter 12 The Old Man
Chapter 13 Queen of the Nile
Chapter 14 The Greatest Actor in the English-Speaking World
Chapter 15 The Crossroads
Chapter 16 The Dead Reaches
Chapter 17 The Scrootch-Owl
Chapter 18 The Trial
Chapter 19 City upon a Hill
Chapter 20 Burning Bush
Chapter 21 Theatre d’Orleans
Chapter 22 The Bottom of the River
Chapter 23 Homecoming

Book VI: The Republic
Chapter 24 New Salem
Chapter 25 The Candidate


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