A Book that Influenced Lincoln...

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5fish

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This was one of three books Lincoln listed influenced him ...

51lh%2BLKMdHL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg


https://www.amazon.com/dp/1599212110/?tag=civilwartalkc-20

Amazon review:
In this classic tale of adventure, a young American sea captain named James Riley, shipwrecked off the western coast of North Africa in 1915, was captured by a band of nomadic Arabs, and sold into slavery. Thus begins an epic adventure of survival and a quest for freedom that takes him across the Sahara desert.

This dramatic account of Captain Riley's trials and sufferings sold more than 1,000,000 copies in his day, and was even read by a young and impressionable Abraham Lincoln. The degradations of a slave existence and the courage to survive under the most harrowing conditions have rarely been recorded with such painful honesty.

Sufferings in Africa is a classic travel-adventure narrative, and a fascinating testament of white Americans enslaved abroad - during a time when slavery flourished through the United States.

Wall Street Journal : https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB118073504137121925
Sufferings in Africa
By James Riley
1817

A 38-year-old Connecticut sea captain, James Riley, was shipwrecked off the Spanish Saharan coast in 1815 and captured by Arabs, who starved and tortured him. He nevertheless escaped and returned to write his memoirs, the final chapter of which contains an impassioned plea to outlaw the enslavement of Africans in America. The book became a national sensation and was especially popular among slavery's Abolitionist opponents. One of its most enthusiastic admirers was a young Indiana farm boy named Abraham Lincoln. Later, as president, Lincoln listed "Sufferings in Africa," along with the Bible and "The Pilgrim's Progress," as the books that most influenced his political thinking.

I found a site that listed books know to be read by Lincoln... and James Ripley's book was listed...

https://quod.lib.umich.edu/j/jala/2629860.0028.204/--what-abraham-lincoln-readan-evaluative-and-annotated-list?rgn=main;view=fulltext

A snippet...

Riley, James, An Authentic Narrative of the Loss of the American Brig Commerce [1817]

A snippet...

This bibliography attempts to list, in alphabetical order by author, all the books or parts of books that any serious scholar, biographer, or bibliographer has asserted that Abraham Lincoln read. In the interest of completeness, even dubious claims have been listed. Newspapers or magazines have been excluded unless they were the only available source of a text that Lincoln read. Texts published as songs, hymns, and popular ditties are listed, but only those that Lincoln is said to have sung or recited himself (thus, no "Dixie," although Lincoln referred to the song in one of his speeches). Likewise, included are only those plays that Lincoln was known to have read, though his fondness for the theater in the White House years led him to many performances of works he did not know as texts (thus no Our American Cousin). Because of the importance of poetry in Lincoln's reading, titles of anthologized individual poems do appear, along with bibliographical information concerning such compendia. But the remainder of the contents of these "preceptors" or "recitation books" that Lincoln used as a boy are not detailed here, the occasional exceptions being prose pieces that would have been of obvious importance in the formation of Lincoln's mature thought (for instance, Jefferson's "First Inaugural" or Washington's "Farewell Address" at the end of his second presidential term). For all books, the years of first publication noted are for printings in English, whether in Great Britain or the United States.
 

5fish

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The Bible.
And this is the other book listed... https://www.amazon.com/dp/1541072642/?tag=civilwartalkc-20

"The Pilgrim's Progress,"

The Pilgrim's Progress from This World to That Which Is to Come is a Christian allegory written by John Bunyan and published in February, 1678. It is regarded as one of the most significant works of English literature, has been translated into more than 200 languages, and has never been out of print.


5110B2KKEAL._SX384_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg


link to a brief but in-depth summary of this book... https://www.britannica.com/topic/The-Pilgrims-Progress

Here are some quotes by other people influenced by the book... https://selfeducatedamerican.com/2012/08/31/john-bunyans-pilgrims-progress-its-influence/

Snippets...

On April 14, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt referred to John Bunyan in his address laying of the Cornerstone of the office building of the House of Representatives:

“In Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ you may recall the description of the man with the muck-rake, the man who could look no way but downward, with the muck-rake in his hand, who was offered a celestial crown for his muck-rake, but who would neither look up nor regard the crown he was offered, but continued to rake to himself the filth of the floor.”


When Theodore Roosevelt died, the Secretary of his class at Harvard, in sending classmates a notice of his passing, added this quotation from ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’:

‘My sword I give to him that shall succeed me in my pilgrimage, and my courage and skill to him that can get it. My marks and scars I carry with me, to be a witness for me that I have fought His battles who now will be my rewarder.'”
 
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gary

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What military books did Abe read? I know he had a better grasp of strategy than most his generals.
 

5fish

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JAGwinn

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What military books did Abe read? I know he had a better grasp of strategy than most his generals.
Lincolns strategy was not in field maneuvers, he left that to his Generals; his success was in the study of people and putting the right person in the right place.
His appointments reflected his faith in his judgement of people as shown by some of his bitterest enemies were given cabinets and military and government positions not for their popularity to his party but for their abilities.
This is a Biblical concept. Lincoln prosecuted the war to success with this concept; not with military genius.
 
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Yankeedave

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Got to agree Gary. He definitely had a deep spirit. Shame that people feel that Bible wouldn't stimulate such growth or that Lincoln wouldn't be led by it. It was probably the first book he ever read. Probably glad to have it there just for some reading material. Seems we are passing thru a time when there is a goal to diminish the role the Bible held in these people's lives.
Interesting list. Can't go wrong with Scott.
 

gary

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I have a link all the books Lincoln read...
https://quod.lib.umich.edu/j/jala/2629860.0028.204/--what-abraham-lincoln-readan-evaluative-and-annotated-list?rgn=main;view=fulltext

If you look through the list a lot of bio's and history books...

Here a direct military book he read...
Scott, Winfield, Infantry Tactics [pre-185]

Thanks. I went through the list and saw Scott's as well as a book on Napoleon & Washington. No maxims of Napoleon, Jomini or Clausewitz. Abe had a mind that had the benefit of not being handicapped by formal military training. :tongue:
 

Yankeedave

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Thanks. I went through the list and saw Scott's as well as a book on Napoleon & Washington. No maxims of Napoleon, Jomini or Clausewitz. Abe had a mind that had the benefit of not being handicapped by formal military training. :tongue:
lol!
 
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wbull1

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What military books did Abe read? I know he had a better grasp of strategy than most his generals.
According to the Univerity of Michigan Library Digital Collection a partial list (I could not trace all of the ones that might be military) in addition to Winfield Scott's, HW Halleck's Military Arts & Sciences, John F. Callan's Military Laws, and William P. Strickland's Old Mackinaw, or the Fortress of the Lakes and its surroundings
 

Yankeedave

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According to the Univerity of Michigan Library Digital Collection a partial list (I could not trace all of the ones that might be military) in addition to Winfield Scott's, HW Halleck's Military Arts & Sciences, John F. Callan's Military Laws, and William P. Strickland's Old Mackinaw, or the Fortress of the Lakes and its surroundings
It's interesting the last book is in the list. If it is as the name suggest it would be on fortifying costal areas, no? :wink:
 
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Boonslick

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Five years ago I read the latest book on Captain James Riley's travails in Africa- Skeletons on the Zahara- A True Story of Survival by Dean King. I was transfixed reading of the sufferings that he and his men underwent. I highly recommend this book.

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KansasFreestater

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This was one of three books Lincoln listed influenced him ...

View attachment 215834

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1599212110/?tag=civilwartalkc-20

Amazon review:
In this classic tale of adventure, a young American sea captain named James Riley, shipwrecked off the western coast of North Africa in 1915, was captured by a band of nomadic Arabs, and sold into slavery. Thus begins an epic adventure of survival and a quest for freedom that takes him across the Sahara desert.

This dramatic account of Captain Riley's trials and sufferings sold more than 1,000,000 copies in his day, and was even read by a young and impressionable Abraham Lincoln. The degradations of a slave existence and the courage to survive under the most harrowing conditions have rarely been recorded with such painful honesty.

Sufferings in Africa is a classic travel-adventure narrative, and a fascinating testament of white Americans enslaved abroad - during a time when slavery flourished through the United States.

Wall Street Journal : https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB118073504137121925
Sufferings in Africa
By James Riley
1817

A 38-year-old Connecticut sea captain, James Riley, was shipwrecked off the Spanish Saharan coast in 1815 and captured by Arabs, who starved and tortured him. He nevertheless escaped and returned to write his memoirs, the final chapter of which contains an impassioned plea to outlaw the enslavement of Africans in America. The book became a national sensation and was especially popular among slavery's Abolitionist opponents. One of its most enthusiastic admirers was a young Indiana farm boy named Abraham Lincoln. Later, as president, Lincoln listed "Sufferings in Africa," along with the Bible and "The Pilgrim's Progress," as the books that most influenced his political thinking.


I found a site that listed books know to be read by Lincoln... and James Ripley's book was listed...

https://quod.lib.umich.edu/j/jala/2629860.0028.204/--what-abraham-lincoln-readan-evaluative-and-annotated-list?rgn=main;view=fulltext

A snippet...

Riley, James, An Authentic Narrative of the Loss of the American Brig Commerce [1817]

A snippet...

This bibliography attempts to list, in alphabetical order by author, all the books or parts of books that any serious scholar, biographer, or bibliographer has asserted that Abraham Lincoln read. In the interest of completeness, even dubious claims have been listed. Newspapers or magazines have been excluded unless they were the only available source of a text that Lincoln read. Texts published as songs, hymns, and popular ditties are listed, but only those that Lincoln is said to have sung or recited himself (thus, no "Dixie," although Lincoln referred to the song in one of his speeches). Likewise, included are only those plays that Lincoln was known to have read, though his fondness for the theater in the White House years led him to many performances of works he did not know as texts (thus no Our American Cousin). Because of the importance of poetry in Lincoln's reading, titles of anthologized individual poems do appear, along with bibliographical information concerning such compendia. But the remainder of the contents of these "preceptors" or "recitation books" that Lincoln used as a boy are not detailed here, the occasional exceptions being prose pieces that would have been of obvious importance in the formation of Lincoln's mature thought (for instance, Jefferson's "First Inaugural" or Washington's "Farewell Address" at the end of his second presidential term). For all books, the years of first publication noted are for printings in English, whether in Great Britain or the United States.
Thank you so much for telling us about that annotated list and sharing the link to it. What a priceless resource!!
 
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