Book Review: Lincoln of Kentucky


by Lowell H. Harrison

Lexington, Ky.: The University Press of Kentucky, 2009. Pp. xi, 305. Illus., notes, biblio., index. $19.95 paper. ISBN: 9780813192437

Originally published in 2000, Lincoln of Kentucky by Lowell H. Harrison , author of The Civil War in Kentucky(2009), George Rogers Clark and the War in the West (2001), and many other works, takes a novel look the 16th president, focusing on the relationship between the "Blue Grass State" and her greatest son. 

Although Lincoln left Kentucky when he was only eight, he maintained strong ties to the state.  Most of his relatives were Kentuckians, as was his wife and her family, many of his neighbors in Illinois had migrated from south of the Ohio River, and, of course, particularly during the early part of the Civil War, Kentucky required his attention on a continuing basis, a challenge that he met with extraordinary skill.  Roughly half the volume is devoted to events prior to the outbreak of the Civil War in April of 1861, which not only gives the reader a look at Lincoln's early life and Kentucky's part in it, but also throws light on the settlement and the economic, cultural, and political development of the Ohio Valley states.  Much of the balance of the volume is taken up with the critical events of the "Secession Winter" and  the first year of the Civil War, during which Kentucky's governor tried to keep the state "neutral", a status Lincoln found useful, until the intervention of Confederate forces tipped the scales in the Union's favor

A good book for those interested in Lincoln, the Secession Crisis, the first year of the war, and domestic politics during the conflict, as well as for the general student of the Civil War.

Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

Buy it at



Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   Contribute   Close