Henry Adams on Lincoln

John Y. Simon, Harold Holzer and Dawn Vogel

in Lincoln Revisited

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780823227365
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240869 | DOI:
Henry Adams on Lincoln

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Henry Adams rarely referred to Abraham Lincoln in his public writings. He was in Rome when news reached him of the president's assassination, and his attitude was distant, hardly grief-stricken. This coldness is especially puzzling because Adams had many reasons for being attentive to Lincoln. It seems odd for Adams to have remained so aloof from Lincoln in these circumstances. However, a careful reading of his whole work, private as well as public, shows that Adams did have an initial hostility to Lincoln, one not entirely dispelled by the time of his assassination, though he gradually softened and altered his view after that. He did not mark the stages of this development, partly because he did not want to rehash his own first views, and partly because he did not want to quarrel openly with his father and brother, Charles Francis Adams Jr., who retained their animus against Lincoln.

Keywords: Henry Adams; Abraham Lincoln; public writings; president; assassination; Charles Francis Adams Jr.

Chapter.  4532 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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