Abraham Lincoln (Morse books)

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Abraham Lincoln
Author John T. Morse
Country United States
Genre Biography
Publication date

Abraham Lincoln is a 2-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln written by John Torrey Morse[1][2] (1840-1937).[3]

Originally published in 1893, the New York times found it to be "for its scope, admirable. It will even stand up and appear respectable in the most distinguished company of Lincoln biographies that might be assembled." The author is "a sane biographer, who brings to the task of writing about Lincoln a mind that aspires to see clear and think straight, instead of one held slavishly subject to a heart's desire to make Lincoln out a hero without fault or blemish."[4] The Atlantic Monthly noted that Morse had "attempted a bit of scientific painting and not a portraiture to the life. The book is a criticism, consequently, rather than an appreciation." They also noted that Morse concentrates mostly on the five years that Lincoln was in office.[5]

At least one reviewer mentioned several errors that were found in the 1899 publication.[6]

In 1987, Gabor Boritt noted that Morse was the first biographer to have "fully exemplified as well as diagnosed the above ailment [the schism between the self-serving, not very admirable politician that Lincoln was up until 1860 versus the later "unparalleled greatness"]." Morse has written of "the insoluble problem of two men - two lives - one following the other with no visible link... we have physically one creature, morally and mentally two beings."[7]


  1. ^ Morse, John T. (1893). Abraham Lincoln, Volume 1. American Statesmen. Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 978-0-554-33701-2. Retrieved 8 September 2009. 
  2. ^ Morse, John T. (1899). Abraham Lincoln, Volume 2. American Statesmen. Houghton Mifflin Company. ISBN 978-1-4264-6417-1. Retrieved 8 September 2009. 
  3. ^ "JOHN T. MORSE JR., AUTHOR, DIES AT 97". The New York Times (subscription required). 28 March 1937. p. 8. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  4. ^ "Morse's Life of Lincoln" (PDF). The New York Times. 1 May 1893. p. 3. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  5. ^ "Anti-Slavery History and Biography". The Atlantic Monthly. Boston: Atlantic Monthly Co. 430: 268–269. August 1893. Retrieved 8 September 2009. 
  6. ^ Roberts, James G (19 May 1900). "Errors in John T. Morse's "Lincoln."" (PDF). SATURDAY REVIEW OF BOOKS AND ART. The New York Times. pp. BR16. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 
  7. ^ Boritt, Gabor S. (1994). Lincoln and the Economics of the American Dream. University of Illinois Press. p. 298. ISBN 978-0-252-06445-6. Retrieved 8 September 2009. 

External links[edit]

Project Gutenberg eTexts