Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2013

Department 1

Civil War Era Studies

Department 2



“The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty,” Abraham Lincoln said in 1864. And surely, from Lincoln of all people, that statement must come as a surprise, and for two reasons. In the first place, no one in American history might be said to have been a more shining example of liberty than Abraham Lincoln. Not only had he exercised liberty to its fullest extent, rising from poverty and obscurity to become the 16th president of the United States, but in the process he became the Great Emancipator of over three million slaves, and if anyone should have been in a position to know what liberty meant, it was Lincoln. [excerpt]

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