Friday, March 1, 2013

Book Beginnings: Lincoln and Oregon Country

Please join me every Friday to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.

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MR. LINKY: Please leave a link to your post below. If you don't have a blog, but want to participate, please leave a comment with your Book Beginning.


The unexpected telegram from Washington, D. C., arrived in Springfield, Illinois, in mid-August 1849. Its message was direct and requested a quick answer: would the Honorable Abraham Lincoln, recently retired U.S. Congressman from Illinois, except appointment as secretary of the new Oregon Territory?

-- Lincoln and Oregon Country: Politics in the Civil War Era by Richard W. Etulain, published by OSU Press.

Did you know that Abraham Lincoln was asked to be the governor of the new Oregon territory? Just think how history would have been changed!

Etulain is a prolific author of lively, well-penned history books on a variety of subjects.  In this new book, he sets out to show how "men and women of the Oregon Country were personally and emotionally involved in the controversial ideas and events that inflamed the United States during the fractious era" of the Civil War.

Lincoln and Oregon Country would be a great gift for any Lincoln buff.  The book is already gathering praise:

Once again, historian Richard Etulain has provided a scholarly, lively, and definitive look at Lincoln and the Pacific Northwest. Lincoln himself thought the ‘Far Corner’ of Oregon simply too far to become his own home, but his close ties to many friends who did migrate there remained important in both elections and war. Etulain re-creates the pioneer spirit and political fractiousness of Oregon with a keen eye for both the sweep of history and the small anecdotes that make the best history books irresistible.
Harold Holzer, Lincoln scholar and Chairman of the Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation.

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