Tomorrow is Lincoln’s birthday; it is also the 200th anniversary of his birth, all of which calls for a special celebration of the life, works, and thought of such an inspiring individual. Our current President has said that he has found the thoughts and deeds of Abraham Lincoln to be a source of great inspiration. I too have been inspired by Lincoln’s words, his principles, his focus on justice, his focus on equality, and his strong belief in our nation and our constitutional democracy; but as a law librarian working in a court setting I will focus primarily on books about Lincoln and leave the other topics to historians and others.
Before leaving this section however, I want to commend the American Bar Association (ABA) for its efforts to help make this a banner year for the Lincoln Bicentennial. They have been working with many other organizations, including the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL), to incorporate a celebration of the legacy of Lincoln in various events nationwide throughout the year. In addition they have prepared a comprehensive planning guide, “A Legacy of Liberty: Celebrating Lincoln’s Bicentennial”, which is being distributed widely. The ABA has also devoted a significant part of the February 2009 issue of its journal, The ABA Journal to features about Abraham Lincoln including his practice of law and discussions of what that practice has in common with that of lawyers today.
Now back to the books. The list below is divided into two sections. The first section consists of a few books about Lincoln recommended by William Safire in his New York Times Book Review article,”Lincoln Monuments”. (February 8, 2009). The second list is of books devoted to Lincoln the lawyer. This list is based on books retreved through what we call bibliographic searching for materials about Lincoln as a lawyer. The listings will be brief and some abbreviated:
RECOMMENDED BOOKS (GENERAL)
McPherson, James M. ABRAHAM LINCOLN. (Oxford University).
White, Ronald C. Jr. A. LINCOLN: A Biography. Random House.
Burlingame, Michael. ABRAHAM LINCOLN: A Life. (Johns Hopkins University), 2 vols. 2000 pages.
Holzer, Harold and Joshua Wolf Shenk Eds. IN LINCOLN’S HAND: His Original Manuscripts With Commentary by Distinguished Americans, Bantam.
Holzer, Harold. THE LINCOLN ANTHOLOGY: Great writers on His Life and Legacy From 1860 to Now. (Library of America).
LINCOLN THE LAWYER: (These are listed in Books in Print format).
Lincoln the Lawyer
Author: Dirck, Brian Publisher: University of Illinois Press ISBN or UPC: 0-252-07614-1 (Active Record)
Format: Trade Paper Date: Dec 2008 Price: $19.95 Market: United States Availability: Readily Available
ISBN 13: 978-0-252-07614-5
Lincoln, Lee, Grant, and Other Biographical Addresses
Author: Speer, Emory Publisher: Read Books ISBN or UPC: 1-4086-8446-2 (Active Record)
Format: Trade Paper Date: Jul 2008 Price: $29.45 Market: United States Availability: Available for Order
ISBN 13: 978-1-4086-8446-7
The Papers of Abraham Lincoln: Legal Documents and Cases, Set
Author: Lincoln, Abraham et al. Publisher: University Press of Virginia ISBN or UPC: 0-8139-2606-8 (Active Record)
Format: Trade Cloth Date: Nov 2007 Price: $300.00 Market: United States Availability: Readily Available
LC Class #: KF213.L53S76 2007 Dewey#: 973.7092 B ISBN 13: 978-0-8139-2606-3
Lincoln the Lawyer
Author: Dirck, Brian R. Publisher: University of Illinois Press ISBN or UPC: 0-252-03181-4 (Active Record)
Format: Trade Cloth Date: Mar 2007 Price: $29.95 Market: United States Availability: Available for Order
LC Class #: E457.2.D575 2007 Dewey#: 973.7092 B ISBN 13: 978-0-252-03181-6
An Honest Calling: The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln
Author: Steiner, Mark E. Publisher: Northern Illinois University Press ISBN or UPC: 0-87580-358-X (Active Record)
Format: Trade Cloth Date: Aug 2006 Price: $42.00 Market: United States Availability: Available for Order
LC Class #: E457.2.S8 2006 Dewey#: 340.092 B ISBN 13: 978-0-87580-358-6
Courage and Country: James Shields
Author: Callan, J. Sean Publisher: Authorhouse ISBN or UPC: 1-4107-8895-4 (On Demand)
Format: Trade Paper Date: Jan 2004 Price: $24.95 Market: United States Availability: Available for Order
LC Class #: E403.1.S5C35 2004 Dewey#: 973/.049162/0092 B ISBN 13: 978-1-4107-8895-5
Lincoln, the Constitutional Lawyer 
Author: Zane, John Maxcy Publisher: Lawbook Exchange, Limited, The ISBN or UPC: 1-58477-257-3 (Active Record)
Format: Trade Cloth Date: Mar 2003 Price: $80.00 Market: United States Availability: Available for Order
LC Class #: KF368.L52Z36 2002 Dewey#: 973.7/092 B ISBN 13: 978-1-58477-257-6
Life on the Circuit with Lincoln: With Sketches of Generals Grant, Sherman and McClellan, Judge Davis, Leonard Swett and Other Contemporaries, 1892
Author: Whitney, Henry Clay Publisher: Lawbook Exchange, Limited, The ISBN or UPC: 1-58477-115-1 (Active Record)
Format: Trade Cloth Date: Jan 2001 Price: $110.00 Market: United States Availability: Available for Order
LC Class #: KF368.L52W48 2001 Dewey#: 973.7/092 B ISBN 13: 978-1-58477-115-9
Lincoln for the Defense: The Only Known Transcript of an Abraham Lincoln Criminal Jury Trial
Author: Plaetzer, Ross F. Publisher: High House Press, Incorporated ISBN or UPC: 0-9641176-0-6 (Active Record)
Format: Trade Paper Date: Sep 1994 Price: $15.95 Market: United States ISBN 13: 978-0-9641176-0-0
Lincoln the Lawyer
Author: Hill, Frederick Trevor Publisher: William S. Hein & Company, Incorporated ISBN or UPC: 0-8377-0711-0 (Active Record)
Format: Trade Cloth Date: 1986 Price: $45.00 Market: United States LC Class #: KF368.L52H55 1986 Dewey#: 349.73/092/4 B ISBN 13: 978-0-8377-0711-2
Lawyers Before the Warren Court: Civil Liberties and Civil Rights, 1957-66
Author: Casper, Jonathan D. Publisher: University of Illinois Press ISBN or UPC: 0-252-00244-X (Out of Print)
Format: Trade Cloth Date: Jun 1972 Price: $24.95 Market: United States Availability: Hard to Find
LC Class #: KF298.C27 Dewey#: 342/.73/0850269 ISBN 13: 978-0-252-00244-1
Abraham Lincoln, the Lawyer-Statesman
Author: Richards, John Thomas Publisher: Library Reprints, Inc. ISBN or UPC: 0-7222-8804-2 (Active Record)
Format: Trade Cloth Date: Not Supplied Price: $98.00 Market: United States ISBN 13: 978-0-7222-8804-7
SEE IMPORTANT ADDITIONAL INFORMATION BELOW:
IMPORTANT UPDATE; FEBRUARY 13, 2009.
Since posting the above material I have received interesting and useful additional information that needs to be added:
Donna Scheeder, Director of Law Library Servides at the Law Library of Congress has sent the following announcement regarding their special collection on “Lincoln and the Law”:
“The Law Library of Congress is pleased to present a newly digitized collection to celebrate the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. The collection covers three eras including nine items in the Lincoln the Lawyer collection, five on Habeas Corpus and the War Powers of the President, and eight covering The Assassination: Trials.
Lincoln’s effort to restore the Union and his contributions to American political thought and its ideals of freedom often obscure the fact that he had been a successful attorney. Lincoln himself admitted his ambition lay in politics and not in the law, ‘My forte is as a Statesman, rather than a Prosecutor.’ Even if the law was Lincoln’s ‘secondary’ avocation, it was indelibly linked to him in life… and death.
Visit our website to read more about Lincoln and the Law and view the newly digitized rare books from the Law Library of Congress.”
My colleague Philip Klingle writes:” http://thenostalgialeague.com/olmag/lincoln.html has a copy of Abraham Lincoln’s only attempt at a literary work along the lines of Edgar Allen Poe. …” See his complete message below under “Comments”.
_________________________________________________ Another colleague, Jonathan Stock, has submitted an informative comment you will find interesting.