Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion

By Harold Holzer

“Lincoln believed that ‘with public sentiment not anything can fail; with no it, not anything can succeed.’ Harold Holzer makes an important contribution to our figuring out of Lincoln’s management by way of exhibiting us how deftly he controlled his kin with the click of his day to maneuver public opinion ahead to maintain the Union and abolish slavery.” —Doris Kearns Goodwin

From his earliest days, Lincoln wolfed newspapers. As he began in politics he wrote editorials and letters to argue his case. He spoke to the general public at once throughout the press. He even acquired a German-language newspaper to attract that turning out to be voters in his nation. Lincoln alternately pampered, battled, and manipulated the 3 strongest publishers of the day: Horace Greeley of the New York Tribune, James Gordon Bennett of the New York Herald, and Henry Raymond of the New York Times.

When conflict broke out and the country used to be tearing itself aside, Lincoln approved the main frequent censorship within the nation’s background, final down papers that have been “disloyal” or even jailing or exiling editors who antagonistic enlistment or sympathized with secession. The telegraph, the recent invention that made speedy reporting attainable, was once moved to the workplace of Secretary of battle Stanton to disclaim it to unfriendly newsmen.

Holzer indicates us an activist Lincoln via reporters who coated him from his commence via to the evening of his assassination—when one reporter ran to the field the place Lincoln used to be shot and emerged to put in writing the tale coated with blood. In a totally unique manner, Holzer exhibits us politicized newspaper editors fighting for energy, and a masterly president utilizing the clicking to talk on to the folk and form the nation.

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00 for that. ” As he retied the tape around the papers, Lincoln glanced up and responded virtually wistfully: “I want $10,000 a great deal yet he couldn't have it for lots of instances that. ”116 Horace Greeley could have been able to give up in 1861, yet Abraham Lincoln was once no longer; no longer even if federal forces continued one other humiliating defeat on the conflict of Ball’s Bluff, Virginia, on October 21. in basic terms forty-nine Union males died within the scuffling with, yet one of the casualties used to be Lincoln’s shut buddy Colonel Edward Dickinson Baker, for whom the longer term president had named his overdue son, Eddy.

The U.S. journal four (October 1865): 289–99. “Pick-Lock Journalism. ” ny Tribune, February 14, 1862. Poore, Ben: Perley. “Abraham Lincoln, recollections of an previous Newspaper Correspondent. ” Brooklyn Eagle, September 6, 1885. Poore, Ben: Perley. “Washington information. ” Harper’s New per month journal 26 (January 1874): 361–67. Pyle, Richard. “Dateline: Gettysburg. ” America’s Civil conflict (November 2010): 30–37. Randall, James G. “The Newspaper challenge in Its Bearing Upon army Secrecy through the Civil struggle.

30 Sangamo magazine, February 23, 1832; Van Meter, continuously My good friend, thirteen. 31 Van Meter, continuously My buddy, nine, thirteen. 32 John G. Nicolay and John Hay, Abraham Lincoln: A Biography, 10 vols. (New York: The Century Co. , 1890), 1:105. 33 Sangamo magazine, March 15, 1832; CW, 1:5–9. 34 CW, 1:8–9. 35 Speech in Congress, July 27, 1848, CW, 1:510. 36 Sangamo magazine, July 19, 1832. the writer is thankful to historian Matthew Pinsker for bringing this tale to his recognition. 37 No replica of the handbill has ever been positioned.

Knox, OR, sequence 1, vol. 17, half 2: 893. 99 William T. Sherman to Thomas W. Knox, April 7, 1863, OR, sequence 1, vol. 17, half 2, 894–95. 100 Thomas W. Knox, Camp-Fire and Cotton-Field . . . (New York: Blelock & Co. , 1865), 256, 260. 101 In addition to Richardson, see Junius Henri Browne, 4 Years in Secessia: Adventures inside of and past the Union Lines . . . (Hartford, Conn. : O. D. Case & Co. , 1865), esp. Chapters 33–46. an outstanding fresh booklet is Peter Carlson, Junius and Albert’s Adventures within the Confederacy: A Civil struggle Odyssey (New York: PublicAffairs, 2013).

Lawyer William A. Dart had complained to Secretary of country Seward that Flanders endured to post incendiary anti-Union editorials after the publish workplace attempted banning the paper from the mails. See OR, sequence 2, vol. 2: 938, 941. 59 New York instances, September 26, 1861. 60 For a 12 months, Van Evrie persisted to hunt reduction so he might put up freely. See Van Evrie Horton & Co. to William H. Seward, January 23, 1862, ALPLC. 61 Brooklyn Eagle, September 7, 1861. 62 American Annual Cyclopaedia . . . 1861, 330. 63 Allan Nevins, The night put up: A Century of Journalism (New York: Boni & Liveright, 1922), 301–2.

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