Lincoln of Kentucky

Author: Lowell H. Harrison

Though Abraham Lincoln only lived in Kentucky until age of eight, the Bluegrass state shaped his personality and continued to affect his life into adulthood. His relationship with the commonwealth particularly influenced his Civil War policy. Upon the outbreak of the war, Lincoln used his familiarity with the state to strike a fragile political balance with the intention of preserving the state as part of the Union. Lincoln of Kentucky emphasizes the particular skill and delicacy with which Lincoln handled the problem of a loyal slave state populated by a large number of Confederate sympathizers. He recognized Kentucky’s importance as the bellwether of the four loyal slave states, and accepted the commonwealth’s illegal neutrality until Unionist secured firm control of the state government. Lowell H. Harrison deftly explores the nation’s sixteenth president’s ties to the conflicted border state, providing detailed insight into its influence on his life as well as the outcome of the Civil War.