Lincoln's White House Secretary: The Adventurous Life of William O.Stoddard

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SIU Press, May 21, 2007 - Biography & Autobiography - 405 pages
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William Osborn Stoddard, Lincoln’s “third secretary” who worked alongside John G. Nicolay and John Hay in the White House from 1861 to 1865, completed his autobiography in 1907, one of more than one hundred books he wrote. An abridged version was published by his son in 1955 as “Lincoln’s Third Secretary: The Memoirs of William O. Stoddard.”  In this new, edited version, Lincoln’s White House Secretary: The Adventurous Life of William O. Stoddard, Harold Holzer provides an introduction, afterword, and annotations and includes comments by Stoddard’s granddaughter, Eleanor Stoddard. The elegantly written volume gives readers a window into the politics, life, and culture of the mid-nineteenth century.
  Stoddard’s bracing writing, eye for detail, and ear for conversation bring a novelistic excitement to a story of childhood observations, young friendships, hardscrabble frontier farming, early hints of the slavery crisis, the workings of the Lincoln administration, and the strange course of war and reunion in the southwest. More than a clerk, Stoddard was an adventurous explorer of American life, a farmer, editor, soldier, and politician.
Enhanced by seventeen illustrations, this narrative sympathetically draws the reader into the life and times of Lincoln’s third secretary, adding to our understanding of the events and the larger-than-life figures that shaped history.
 

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Lincoln's White House secretary: the adventurous life of William O. Stoddard

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As a young man in his early 20s, Stoddard served with Abe from 1861 to 1865 and released his remembrances of that tumultuous and dangerous time in 1907. The book is buttressed with photos from ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction I
2
The Stoddard Family Tree
16
Childhood in Rochester
22
Boyhood in Homer
27
The Old Garret and Other Wonders
38
In the Village
46
The River
51
The Hill and the Woods
57
Prairie Winter
173
Frontier Journalism
179
Forward
187
Suppers Characters and Incidents
194
Lincoln and a New Beginning
204
War
218
A New Life in Washington
234
The War City
239

The Academy and the Shop
62
The Young City
67
The Onondaga Street House
74
Hoyts School
79
The Bookstore
86
The New Garret
92
The Church
99
The Jerry Rescue Riot
105
Miscellaneous
112
Going to College
121
College Days
128
Junior Year
137
Grand Prairie
146
Log Cabin Home
158
Prairie Life
167
Guns and Things at the White House
247
A Very Busy Year
263
Wartime Enterprises
273
About Mr Lincoln
286
The Long Winter of 1862
292
Forward March
303
On Assignment by the President
314
Year of Decision 1864
325
Notes from the Southwest and the Death of Lincoln
341
Picturing Lincoln
347
Post Impressions by Eleanor Stoddard
361
Notes
369
Index
399
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Harold Holzer is the senior vice president for external affairs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Among the country's leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era, Holzer is the author, coauthor, or editor of twenty-six books—including The Lincoln Image, The Lincoln Family Album, and Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech that Made Abraham Lincoln President. He is a cochair of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

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