In December 1859, Abraham Lincoln drafted his first extensive autobiographical narrative, a roughly 600-word sketch prepared at the request of an old friend and Republican newspaper editor Jesse W. Fell, who was asking on behalf of a Republican newspaper from Chester County, Pennsylvania that was preparing a series of profiles on the leading contenders for the 1860 Republican presidential nomination. The brief summary became the starting point for subsequent newspaper articles and campaign biographies and illustrates how Lincoln wanted his own story presented to voters in 1860. (By Matthew Pinsker)
Abraham Lincoln to Jesse W. Fell, December 20, 1859, Springfield, IL, Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress, http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/alhtml/malhome.html.
Transcribed by the Lincoln Studies Center, Knox College, Galesburg, IL
Adapted by Don Sailer, Dickinson College