Book Review: Inside the White House in War Times: Memoirs and Reports of Lincoln's Secretary


by William O. Stoddard edited by Michael Burlingame

Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2000. Pp. xxi, 226. Notes, index. $25.00. ISBN:0-8032-9257-0

William O. Stoddard was a clerk in the White House, rather than one of the president’s secretaries. But in 1890 he published a memoir, which comprises the bulk of this new volume, to which editor Burlingame has added 13 “sketches” that Stoddard wrote in 1866 to Charles G. Halpine, editor of the New York Citizen. Stoddard’s reminiscences are wide ranging, and include word portraits of some notable – and not so notable – characters, commentary on the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln’s religious views, and more. To these the editor has added an abundance of useful clarificatory notes. Altogether a useful work for anyone interested in Lincoln or the management of the war.
Reviewer: A.A. Nofi   

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