Abraham Lincoln’s Youth

Works from Indiana’s Lincoln Inquiry

This book (with a tentative title) is under contract with Indiana University Press and co-edited with William “Bill” Bartelt, widely considered the world’s greatest living scholar on Lincoln’s youth in Indiana.

Lincoln lived a quarter of his life, from age 7 to 21, in southwestern Indiana. In response to generally negative portrayals of the area at the turn of the century, a small but determined group of amateur historians set about shedding more light on Lincoln’s formative years, filling in gaps in the historical record, and attempting to address negative Indiana stereotypes through what they called the Lincoln Inquiry.

In the process the Lincoln Inquiry impacted the broader field of Lincoln history and what we now know about Lincoln’s Indiana youth, but nearly all of its work is out of print and has been unavailable since their first publication nearly 100 years ago. This new book unearths this vital primary source material and culls together the Lincoln Inquiry’s most historically rigorous and significant contributions. In each of the pieces the editors provide illuminating and insightful annotations offering context for the Inquiry’s findings.