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Lincoln in American Memory$
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Merrill D. Peterson

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780195096453

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195096453.001.0001

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Lincoln in American Memory

Merrill D. Peterson

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the fame of Lincoln and the move of politicians to ascribe Lincoln's ideals to their own agendas. The question “What would Lincoln do?” was on everyone's lips. Political parties as well as politicians claimed to speak for him. The author also discusses the unveiling of the great collection of Abraham Lincoln's papers 21 years after the death of his son, Robert Todd Lincoln. Such documents caused quite a stir among historians as they sometimes portrayed an Abraham Lincoln which is somewhat different to that which is known by the American nation. This chapter touches on the continuing search for Lincoln's religion and its significance for American “civil religion”. The chapter also discusses the events that happened 150 years after the death of Abraham Lincoln.

Keywords:   fame, civil religion, Robert Todd Lincoln, American nation, religion

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