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They Knew Lincoln (Inscribed and Signed)

Washington, John E. (1880-1964) ; Introduction by Carl Sandburg Uncommon book capturing impressions of Abraham Lincoln by African Americans who personally knew and interacted with him. The historical record is weak in regard to Lincoln's personal relations with blacks and their perceptions of him and his attitudes toward them, and therefore this book fills a crucial gap in the Lincoln canon--particularly in light of today's revisionists who wish to cast Lincoln as a racist. Dr. John Washington, an African American dentist who grew up in the shadow of Ford's Theatre in the late 19th century, gathered these amazing stories through personal interviews with Lincoln's African American acquaintances or their children. Here are the testimonies of Lincoln's barbers in Illinois and Washington, white house servants, waiters, doorkeepers and others, all meticulously researched and verified while retaining their original vigor and color. There is a large section devoted to Mary Lincoln's seamstress and confidant Elizabeth Keckley, who was rendered much less enigmatic by Dr. Washington's groundbreaking research published here. The book includes previously unpublished photographs and Lincoln letters, including the first full transcript of an 1855 letter to Hon. George Robertson of Kentucky in which Lincoln speaks at length about his feelings on the issue of slavery. INSCRIBED and SIGNED by Dr. Washington on title page. Bound in dark blue cloth over boards with yellow stamped lettering and rule to spine and upper board, yellow topstain, illustrated endpapers. A few shallow bumps to spine ends, lower edges of boards. Jacket has an angular 2.5" tear at lower edge of front panel at spine with some associated creases, some other minor edge wear. Very nice overall. . Jacket in Mylar protector. Very good in a good dust jacket Full cloth. Octavo. 244 + appendix pages
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Our American Cousin: A Drama, in 3 Acts

Taylor, Tom (1817-1880) The first printed appearance of the popular play that Lincoln was watching when he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth in 1865. Laura Keene had acquired the rights to Tom Taylor's "Our American Cousin" in 1858, and opened it that year in her theatre in New York. The play was a great success and Ms. Keene was very careful to protect her property. Besides the original manuscript owned by Keene and one other manuscript copy found in the estate of Joshua Silsbee, the play only existed in the manuscript prompt books used by the actors until Ms. Keene finally allowed this version of the play to be printed in 1869. Even then, despite its tragic link to Lincoln's murder, the play retained enough popularity that Keene was careful to prominently state on the title page that the work was "Printed, but not published." Copyright law at the time was not very protective of dramatic works deemed to have been "published." (See Bryan, "The Great American Myth," p. 176; Taylor, "Our American Cousin: the Play that Changed History," p. 25). Original cast from the 1858 opening at Laura Keene's Theatre, New York, appears on verso of title page. A nice example of this scarce piece. Very Good. Bound in original plain unprinted light blue wrappers over a sewn binding. Heel of spine has some shallow chewing along last 3/4". Title and year lightly pencilled on front cover, title penned in contemporary ink on spine.