A deeply private man, shut off even to those who worked closely with him, Abraham Lincoln often captured “his best thoughts,” as he called them, in short notes to himself. He would work out his personal stances on the biggest issues of the day, never expecting anyone to see these frank, unpolished pieces of writing, which he’d then keep close at hand, in desk drawers and even in his top hat. The profound importance of these notes has been overlooked, because the originals are scattered across several different archives and have never before been brought together and examined as a coherent whole. Renowned Lincoln historian Ronald C. White will walk us through some of Lincoln’s most important private notes, showcasing our greatest president’s brilliance and empathy, but also his very human anxieties and ambitions.
History Happy Hour is a biweekly virtual program hosted by the White House Historical Association. Join us as experts weigh in on a variety of historical topics, share their insights, answer audience questions, and enjoy presidential-inspired libations.
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