Lincoln’s Clemency: The Policy Limits

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Abraham Lincoln has a well-deserved reputation as a merciful man who liberally exercised his presidential pardoning power. John Hay was “amused at the eagerness with which the President caught at any fact which would justify him in saving the life” of a condemned man.[1] Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt, his chief advisor on military trials, […]

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An Interview with Richard Striner

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An Interview with Richard Striner regarding His New Book: Summoned to Glory: The Audacious Life of Abraham Lincoln (Rowman & Littlefield, 2020) Sara Gabbard: The obvious first question should be about your use of the word Audacious in the title.  When did you first realize that this word represented the conclusions of your study? Richard […]

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Lincoln, The Founders, and the Rights of Human Nature

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If they had bumper stickers for carriages back in Lincoln’s day, his would say: “I ❤ the American Founding.” It’s true that one can see the influences of the Bible, Shakespeare, and later political examples like John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, and Henry Clay in Lincoln’s speeches.  But there was no greater influence on Abraham […]

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The Intellectual Milieu of Abraham Lincoln

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The Intellectual Milieu of Abraham Lincoln By Allen C. Guelzo Abraham Lincoln was not a philosopher, or even what we might today call an intellectual. “Politics were Lincoln’s life,” William Henry Herndon told Jesse Weik in 1887, “and newspapers were his food.” Yet, in almost the same breath, Herndon acknowledged that “we used to discuss […]

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An Interview with Alfred J. Zacher

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Sara Gabbard: Which presidents do you believe showed the great­est leadership skills.   Al Zacher: Strong presidential leader­ship might be defined as the ability of a president to pursue major objectives to fulfillment. This requires persever­ance, support of the public and of Con­gress if their approval is required. This is an understatement, but it provides […]

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