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Sharon McCoy <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 25 Jan 2015 22:54:12 +0000
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The original Lincoln pamphlet has been republished multiple times, and you can read the original online (see below).  I'd join Hal and Martin in caution about the CW discussion post's claims about Twain, though, as the posting is pretty clearly a puff piece for the new edition (the only one called "Vote Lincoln"), which is simply the newest of several over the decades, including a U of Indiana Press edition from 1961.  

As for reading the original Lincoln story, which John Locke Scripps is said to have based on an autobiographical sketch that Lincoln supplied, WorldCat shows several libraries owning a copy, and the Claremont College Libraries and the University of Illinois both have archival copies of the original pamphlet available for free reading (Claremont) or download as PDF (Illinois). 

Hoping that these URLs will come across without gobbledygook, but this is my first message to the Forum from this email account, so my fingers are crossed.


University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign:

You can also get the edition by Scripps's daughter, with printed documentation of its provenance.  She'd never heard of the book when asked about it in the 1890s, but after extensive searching and correspondence, eventually gained access to four copies of the pamphlet and reprinted it in 1900.  

1900 edition, Google books:

You can read as an ebook on a device, or download as a PDF.

The flatboat story was in general circulation in the 1890s, too, as McClure's Magazine talks about it in a piece on Lincoln (available on Project Gutenberg, at


Sharon D. McCoy, Ph.D.
Executive Coordinator, Mark Twain Circle of America
Editor, All Things Twain:  An Encyclopedia of Mark Twain's World
      (forthcoming, Greenwood/ABC-CLIO, 2016)
Contributing Editor, Humor in America (on hiatus)

Department of English
University of Georgia
254 Park Hall
Athens, GA  30602

Office:  Park 44
(706) 542-1261 (messages)

What is life but a satire of our own pretensions?
From: Mark Twain Forum [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Arianne [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2015 4:54 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Connection between Twain and Lincoln

It would be interesting to learn if there was a book on Lincoln in Mark
TWain's library.  Wouldn't surprise me to learn that Mark Twain indeed read
the account Lincoln wrote of a raft trip down the river.  If so, it surely
could be an influence.  I'd love to read the Lincoln story.

Appreciate the Kaplan comments, too!

On Sun, Jan 25, 2015 at 6:04 AM, Hal Bush <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> For the record, the assertions in that article are extremely tenuous at
> best.  It's always fun to speculate but there is evidently, in this case,
> no real evidence to support that Lincoln's stories are behind Huck Finn.
> If I missed the evidence please enlighten me.
> As far as somewhat less specific connections between AL & MT, now that is
> an interesting question.  Twain wrote about Lincoln on at least 2 occasions
> and also gave at least one speech about Lincoln, for example.  I tried to
> imagine the implications of that connection myself, in some of my work;  I
> figure them both, in Twain's words, as "men of the border," a phrase I like
> a lot.  But maybe my favorite formulation is by Fred Kaplan:  "Just as
> Howells has called Twain the Lincoln of our literature," Kaplan writes, "I
> could envision Lincoln as the Twain of our politics."  I like that!!
> On Sun, Jan 25, 2015 at 7:18 AM, Dave Davis <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> > That's pretty interesting. First I'd ever heard of this Vote Lincoln!
> book.
> >
> > SLC's (unpaid; maybe room & board, at best?) berth out West came through
> > Orion. I don't know how big brother was selected for his post-- he must
> > have had some connection to the territorial governor, James Nye? (Nye
> was,
> > of course, a Lincoln appointee.)
> >
> > DDD
> >
> --
> Prof. Harold K. Bush
> Professor of English
> 3800 Lindell
> Saint Louis University
> St. Louis, MO  63108
> 314-977-3616 (w); 314-771-6795 (h)
> <>

Arianne Laidlaw A '58