Abe Lincoln Goes to Washington 1837 - 1865
National Geographic Society, 1997
ISBN 0-7922-3736-6

On an April evening in 1837, a tall, lanky fellow swung down from his mud-splattered horse. He'd come 18 miles along the Sangamon River from the village of New Salem to the town of Springfield, Illinois.

The young man was a representative in the State Legislature where he had worked to make Springfield the new state capital. He was a new lawyer too, and he had the papers to prove it - tucked in his tall stovepipe hat. All of his books and clothes were stuffed in his saddlebags...28-year-old Abraham was settled in his new hometown, there to seek his fortune.

I thought: if I stared hard enough at those black-and-white pictures of a long-ago president, could I get those gloomy eyes to crinkle into a smile? People that knew him said that he was so funny that he could make a cat laugh. That's something! Human beings have figured out how to put people on the moon, but no one can - no one knows how to do what plenty of folks could do, once upon a time: hear the sound of Mr. Lincoln laughing and talking. See him stretching those long legs of his down a dusty road. I figured that books are as close as we can get to having a time machine. Words and pictures are the engine. Imagination's the fuel.

Find out about Lincoln's home in Springfield, IL
Mr. Lincoln's White House

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