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When Lincoln Came to Egypt

When Lincoln Came to Egypt

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George W. Smith, with a Foreword by Daniel W. Stowell


Paperback (Other formats: E-book)
202 pages, 6 x 9, 10 illustrations

Shawnee Classics


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About the Book

In When Lincoln Came to Egypt, George W. Smith provides a detailed record of Abraham Lincoln’s travel in the southernmost region of Illinois, commonly referred to as Egypt. These visits began in 1830, before Lincoln had held public office, and continued through 1858, when he debated Stephen A. Douglas in Jonesboro and Alton as they ran against each other for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Lincoln found in the southern third of Illinois a political climate very different from that of central Illinois, where his career had begun. Lincoln’s trips to Egypt thus broadened his experience and understanding of the state as well as the nation. Smith discusses the origins of the people of the region and Lincoln’s early public life and provides historical and political background for his detailed discussion of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. The culmination of fifty years of extensive research, When Lincoln Came to Egypt provides a glimpse into an often overlooked part of Lincoln’s development as a politician.


George Washington Smith served on the faculty of the History Department at Southern Illinois University from 1890 to 1935 and was a professor emeritus from 1935 until his death in 1945.

Paul M. Angle (introduction author), former director of the Chicago Historical Society, librarian of the Illinois Historical Library, and Illinois state historian, was a Lincoln expert and authored a number of books including Bloody Williamson: A Chapter in American Lawlessness. He died in 1975.
Daniel Stowell (foreword author) is the director (and editor) of The Papers of Abraham Lincoln and senior editor of The Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association. He also serves as the director of the Center for Digital Initiatives at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Florida and is the author, coauthor, or editor of six books, including In Tender Consideration: Women, Families, and the Law in Abraham Lincoln’s Illinois.