Congressman Lincoln

CREATED Feb. 21, 2013

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Guest: Chris DeRose

A biography of the early years and personal struggles of the famous frontier politician who led the United States during its darkest hours, centering on his little-known congressional years. This the story of an Abraham Lincoln many Americans aren't at all familiar with. Lincoln as a reluctant husband in an abusive relationship; Lincoln who came within moments of fighting a duel with a political adversary; the first and only president to patent an invention; the first future president to argue before the Supreme Court.

Though remembered as a Republican, and even more as a figure that transcended partisan politics, Congressman Lincoln reveals Abraham Lincoln as a master political strategist and member of the Whig Party, the one to which he belonged for the majority of his career. Before he appealed to the America's purest instincts, he argued "The Whigs have fought long enough for principle and ought to begin to fight for success." Before "malice toward none," Lincoln bragged of his opponent "I've got the preacher by the balls."

Lincoln the policymaker is remembered for his conduct of the Civil War, and his handling of slavery. But even during his Presidency, Lincoln was concerned with a broad array of issues. As a party leader, candidate for Congress, and member of the House, Lincoln worked on stimulus spending, international trade, banking, and even the Post Office. And it would be in the Thirtieth Congress that Lincoln would first move to halt the expansion of slavery, carefully crafting a bill for gradual emancipation in the District of Columbia.

This is the story of America at a critical time. The tale of a Congress that ended a conflict, unsure of what they had gained aside from a seat strapped to a powderkeg, of a party aiming to win the Presidency at all costs, paving the path for its own extinction, and of a country charting an irreversible course toward Civil War. Moreover, it is the story of the man who lead the United States during its darkest hours and his role at the center of this gathering storm. This is the story of Congressman Abraham Lincoln.

Listen to Nick's interview with Chris.

This author was featured on KSGF Mornings with Nick Reed on Thursday, February 21st.