The Library

Our American Holidays: Lincoln’s Birthday {Free eBook}

Our American Holidays: Lincoln's Birthday {Free eBook}

Just in time for Presidents Day, here is another free eBook in the Our American Holidays series. Our American Holidays: Lincoln’s Birthday edited by Robert Haven Schauffler includes a great deal of primary source information that will complement any Presidents Day study.

The subtitle gives you a clear idea of what you will find in the book: A Comprehensive View of Lincoln as Given in the Most Noteworthy Essays, Orations and Poems, in Fiction and in Lincoln’s Own Writings.

The present volume offers, in small compass, the most noteworthy essays, orations, fiction and poems on Lincoln, together with some fiction, with characteristic anecdotes and “yarns” and his most famous speeches and writings. Taken in conjunction with a good biography, it presents the first succinct yet comprehensive view of “the first American.” The Introduction gives some account of the celebration of Lincoln’s Birthday and of his principal biographers.

The readings are broken down into the following categories:

  • A summary of Lincoln’s life (including an autobiographical piece).
  • Boyhood.
  • Adulthood.
  • As president.
  • His death.
  • Tributes upon his death.
  • His character.
  • His legacy.
  • Quotations.
  • A sampling of his writings.

As you can see, an excellent sampling of material from writers that include:

  • Horace Greeley.
  • Walt Whitman.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe.
  • James Garfield.
  • Theodore Roosevelt.
  • William McKinley.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes.
  • James Russell Lowell.
  • William Cullen Bryant.
  • John Greenleaf Whittier.
  • Lincoln himself.

At the time of writing, Lincoln’s birthday was a legal holiday in several states. You can read how this holiday morphed into the Presidents Day we now celebrate in our Presidents Day Holiday Helps page.

In arranging exercises for Lincoln’s Birthday the teacher and parent should try not so much to teach the bare facts of his career as to give the children a sense of Lincoln’s actual personality through his own yarns and speeches and such accounts as are given here by Herndon, Bancroft, Mabie, Tarbell, Phillips Brooks and others. He should show them Lincoln’s greatest single act—Emancipation—through the eyes of Garfield and Whittier. He should try to reach the children with the thrill of an adoring sorrow-maddened country at the bier of its great preserver; with such a passion of love and patriotism as vibrates in the lines of Whitman, Brownell and Bryant, of Stoddard, Procter, Howe, Holmes, Lowell, and in the throbbing periods of Henry Ward Beecher. His main object should be to make his pupils love Lincoln. He should appeal to their national pride with the foreign tributes to Lincoln’s greatness; make them feel how his memory still works through the years upon such contemporary poets as Gilder, Thompson, Markham, Cheney and Dunbar; and finally through the eyes of Harrison, Whitman, Ingersoll, Newman and others, show them our hero set in his proud, rightful place in the long vista of the ages.

This is a wonderful addition to our Presidents Day resources along with our unit study on Lincoln — and it’s free!

Free eBook

 

Additional Resources

Abraham Lincoln: A Unit StudyAbraham Lincoln: A Unit Study
We have added this book to our Lincoln unit where you’ll find dozens of other resources including background information, interactives, printables, and more!

Presidents Day {Holiday Helps}Presidents Day {Holiday Helps}
Many other Lincoln resources in our Presidents Day unit.