Dispatches from Lincoln's White House


Dispatches from Lincoln's White House

The Anonymous Civil War Journalism of Presidential Secretary William O. Stoddard

William O.Stoddard
Edited by Michael Burlingame

287 pages


May 2002


$39.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

William O. Stoddard's memoirs as President Abraham Lincoln's third secretary reveal a perspective of the president rarely viewed. In this collection of 120 weekly dispatches submitted to the New York Examiner under the pseudonym "Illinois," Stoddard sheds new light on Lincoln and his era.
These documents provide commentary on Lincoln's personal circumstances as well as events in Washington and on military, diplomatic, economic, and political developments. Although historians at times differ with Stoddard's accounts, he offers valuable descriptions of Lincoln, insight into the president's thoughts, and commentary on contemporary opinion.

Author Bio

Michael Burlingame is Sadowski Professor of History Emeritus at Connecticut College and the editor of Inside the White House in War Times (Nebraska 2000) and A Reporter's Lincoln (Nebraska 1998).


"Editor Burlingame is a Lincoln authority. . . . In his research, Burlingame discovered that editors of Lincoln books had failed to include valuable material or ignored important sources; hence the present work. . . . [A] treasure trove of information, interpretation, speculation, and Washington gossip, often about cabinet changes. The tone is optimistic, highly favorable to blacks and Lincoln."—Choice

"A useful source for historians wanting to understand the connections between the diverse actors who sought to influence the conduct and outcome of the conflict. Dispatches from Lincoln's White House continues Michael's Burlingame's valuable work of editing primary sources related to the Lincoln administration. . . . A comprehensive expression of the Lincoln administration's vision, this carefully annotated collection of dispatches will be useful to both Lincoln scholars and to social and political historians of the Civil War."—Silvana Siddali, The Journal of Southern History

"In our never-ending quest to interpret Lincoln, writings of his contemporaries are most valuable. They saw and observed Lincoln, sometimes on a daily basis, and thus their musings are noteworthy. Loyal to Lincoln, writing for a partisan newspaper, and a product of his time, Stoddard's declarations are a meaningful contribution to Lincolnian literature."—Patricia Owens, Journal of Illinois History

“The book reads much like a diary and it provides a vivid sense of the changing quality of life in the city as the war wore on.”—Christopher H. Sterling, H-Net Reviews

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