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The Leadership of Abraham Lincoln

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Thomas Warf

on 5 August 2014

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Transcript of The Leadership of Abraham Lincoln

The Leadership of Abraham Lincoln
By Thomas Warf
Purpose:
Rationale:
Target Audience:
Essential Question:
Was Abraham Lincoln the "Savior of the Union" or "the original gorilla?(1)"
To teach students about Abraham Lincoln's leadership abilities by examining a variety of primary sources written by Lincoln and Union generals.
The intended audience for this presentation is 8th grade students and their teachers. This presentation was created as a collection of resources that could be used to assign a student-centered project or as seven individual lesson plans. I created this Prezi with my own classes in mind. In order to facilitate a project using this Prezi I would create seven groups of 4 or 5 students. Each group would be assigned to use one part of the Prezi. They would be responsible for reading the introduction, watching the close reading video, examining any other materials provided, reading primary source documents and then answering document based questions. After this the groups of students would be responsible for creating something they could present to the class that would summarize their findings. The activity lends itself to differentiation both by choosing mixed ability levels groups to work together, and by assigning shorter primary sources like Lincoln's letter to McClellan to struggling students, and assigning longer or multi-part segments like Lincoln's letter to John Fremont to higher achievers. Advanced classes could be assigned to work through each of the documents in small groups over the course of seven days. I have my ideas of how I will use this Prezi, but fundamentally it is designed to function as a resource base to be used by the viewer in whatever capacity fits their needs.
In the minds of many of my students, American leaders like Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington are more like gods than people that actually lived. Student learn about the heroic exploits of Abraham Lincoln, see his likeness on monuments, posters, and money but lose touch with his humanity. It is my goal to show, through the use of primary sources, Lincoln as a real person whose greatness was contested while he was still living. This will make President Lincoln a more real, and therefore engaging historical figure.
(1) 1. Edwin Stanton on Lincoln, Herman Hattaway, "Lincoln's Presidential Example in Dealing With the Military
."
Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association 7, no. 1 (1985): 18-29
Fremont's Controversy
In 1856, John C. Fremont was the Republican Party's first presidential candidate. The status this nomination gave him caused Abraham Lincoln to make him a major general in May, 1861 (2). Fremont was one of Lincoln's troublesome, political generals, or generals appointed for political rather than military reasons. In August 1861 Fremont caused controversy by declaring martial law in Missouri and freeing slaves that belong to secessionist masters.
2. Brooks Simpson, "Lincoln and His Political Generals," Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association 21, no. 1 (Winter 2000): 63-77
General John C. Fremont
...In order, therefore, to suppress disorders, maintain the public peace, and give security to the persons and property of loyal citizens, I do hereby extend and declare established martial law throughout the State of Missouri. The lines of the army occupation in this State are for the present declared to extend from Leavenworth, by way of posts of Jefferson City, Rolla, and Ironton, to Cape Girardeau on the Mississippi River. All persons who shall be taken with arms in their hands within these lines shall be tried by court-martial, and if found guilty, will be shot. Real and personal property of those who shall take up arms against the United States, or who shall be directly proven to have taken an active part with their enemies in the field, is declared confiscated to public use, and their slaves, if any they have, are hereby declared free men... (3)
Excerpt: Fremont's Declaration of Martial Law in Missouri
Primary Source From: House Divided Project

Private and confidential.
Washington D.C. Sept. 2, 1861.

Major General Fremont

My dear Sir:
Two points in your proclamation of August 30th give me some anxiety. First, should you shoot a man, according to the proclamation, the Confederates would very certainly shoot our best man in their hands in retaliation; and so, man for man, indefinitely. It is therefore my order that you allow no man to be shot, under the proclamation, without first having my approbation or consent.

Secondly, I think there is great danger that the closing paragraph, in relation to the confiscation of property, and the liberating slaves of traiterous owners, will alarm our Southern Union friends, and turn them against us---perhaps ruin our rather fair prospect for Kentucky. Allow me therefore to ask, that you will as of your own motion, modify that paragraph so as to conform to the first and fourth sections of the act of Congress, entitled, ``An act to confiscate property used for insurrectionary purposes,'' approved August, 6th, 1861, and a copy of which act I herewith send you. This letter is written in a spirit of caution and not of censure.

I send it by a special messenger, in order that it may certainly and speedily reach you.

Yours very truly
A. LINCOLN
Lincoln wrote a letter to Fremont regarding his Declaration.
Primary Source from: House Divided Project
Lincoln received a letter from Orville Browning, a Republican Senator from Illinois, criticizing his treatment of Fremont. Lincoln replied with a stern letter explaining his reasoning.
Licoln to Browning
Part 2
Primary Source from: House Divided Project
Library of Congress: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/brh2003003558/pp/
Document Based Questions:
Close Reading: Thomas Warf:
Fremont Declares Martial Law in Missouri
General David Hunter
Hunter was originally appointed to the Department of the West as an aid to General Fremont. Lincoln was dissatisfied with Fremont and wanted Hunter to serve as an adviser to the incompetent general(3). By the end of 1861 Hunter was dissatisfied with his appointment. He wrote a letter complaining to Lincoln about his lack of power.
Lincoln wrote a forceful reply which included advice for his grumbling general.

Document Based Questions:
Close Reading: Thomas Warf
Hunter Complains About His Command
Image: The Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection
Joseph Hooker Takes Command of the Army of the Potomac
Image: House Divided Project
Reading: Professor Matthew Pinsker
General Joseph Hooker:
Hooker Responded to Lincoln's Letter by saying: “just such a letter as a father might write to a son. It is a beautiful letter, and although I think he was harder on me than I deserved, I will say that I love the man who wrote it.(5)”
5.
General Joseph Hooker
Document Based Questions
General William T. Sherman
By 1863, the Army of the Potomac, under a variety of generals, had repeatedly failed to achieve any meaningful success. Most recently General Ambrose Burnside led the army to an embarrassing defeat at the Battle of Fredericksburg. Lincoln turned to General Joseph Hooker who was known to be a hard drinker and rowdy character(4). Lincoln wrote Hooker a letter that both flattered and cautioned.
General Sherman
“While Hood was marching to destruction in Tennessee, Sherman was moving across Georgia in the fabled march to the sea. He aimed to emerge at some point on the coast like Savannah or Port Royal where the Navy could pick him up and carry him to Virginia to join Grant in a final crushing movement against Lee. At first, Sherman himself was not sure which coastal port he would go to, and until he decided Lincoln and Grant knew only the general objective of his movement. Discussing Sherman with the General’s brother, a United States Senator, Lincoln said: ‘I know what hole he went in at, but I can’t tell what hole he will come out of.’ Although Sherman was virtually unopposed and untroubled by supply difficulties because he lived off the country, Lincoln feared for his safety. The President worried that the Confederates would concentrate enough forces to trap Sherman in the interior of Georgia. Grant assured Lincoln that Sherman had a large enough army to protect himself against any attack and, as Grant expressed it, strike bottom on salt water. By December 10, Sherman was in front of Savannah and laid the city under siege and certain capture. The Confederates evacuated it on the twenty-first, and Sherman had his base on the ocean. In a dramatic telegram to the government, he presented Savannah to the nation as a Christmas present. Lincoln was delighted with Sherman’s success and his despatch. He wrote the General a letter of appreciation which was, at the same time, an admirable analysis of the effect of Sherman’s movement on Southern morale.”

–T. Harry Williams, Lincoln and His Generals (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1952), 345
Historian Interpretation
Close Reading: Rhonda Webb
Document Based Questions
Sherman's Christmas Present
William Sherman rose to prominence during the Civil War, however he wasn't always trusted by his superiors. Lincoln's confidence in Sherman grew toward the end of the war and was rewarded by his victory at the Battle of Atlanta and his March to the Sea. Sherman's March to the Sea culminated in his Christmas gift to President Lincoln featured here.
The Leadership of Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln Oversteps His Authority?
The Union's most successful general, Ulysses S. Grant, was eventually appointed to be the army's top commander. Months later, Lincoln wrote Grant to ask him a favor, he asked to have his son Robert serve in the army in a capacity that protected himself from danger.
Image: Library of Congress
Image: House Divided Project
http://housedivided.dickinson.edu/sites/lincoln/letter-to-ulysses-s-grant-january-19-1865/robert-todd-lincoln-2/
Image: House Divided Project
Close Reading - Professor Matthew Pinsker
Document Based Questions
General Meade and Lincoln's Varied Feedback
George McClellan's Resistance to Action
The Summer of 1863
During the summer of 1863 the Union army won two very significant battles. Lincoln's reaction to the victory at Vicksburg, as evidenced by his letter to Ulysses Grant, was very positive. Lincoln's feedback and reaction to General Meade's performance at Gettysburg was quite different. Lincoln proves himself to be critical and discerning in the following two letters.
Close Reading: Michael Van Wambeke (Lincoln to Grant)
Document Based Questions:
SOURCES
1. Edwin Stanton on Lincoln, Herman Hattaway, "Lincoln's Presidential Example in Dealing With the Military
."
Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association 7, no. 1 (1985): 18-29
2. Brooks Simpson, "Lincoln and His Political Generals," Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association 21, no. 1 (Winter 2000): 63-77
3. Abraham Lincoln, "Abraham Lincoln to David Hunter, December 31st, 1861," http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/mal:@field(DOCID+@lit(d1156900))
4. Michael Burlingame – Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 3281
5. Noah Brooks in Michael Burlingame – Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 3283-3284

-Primary Source Documents: House Divided Project or Library of Congress
-All close readings come from the House Divided Project, unless they are made by the author of this Prezi.
-Word Clouds created on Wordle.
Image: The Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection
Image Sources
1.) Emancipation Proclamation Postcard - Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection
2.) Abraham Lincoln - Library of Congress
3.) John C. Fremont - Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection
4.) Orville Browning - Library of Congress
5.) David Hunter - Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection
6.) David Hunter Letter- The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress.
7.) Joseph Hooker - House Divided Project
8.) Abraham Lincoln - House Divided Project
9.) Abraham Lincoln to Joseph Hooker (Letter) - House Divided Project
10.) William Sherman Telegraph - Library of Congress
11.) William Sherman - Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection
12.) Lincoln to Grant - Library of Congress
13.) Grant to Lincoln - Library of Congress
12.) Abraham Lincoln - House Divided Project
13.) Ulysses Grant - House Divided Project
14.) Robert Lincoln - House Divided Project
15.) Ulysses Grant - Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection
16.) George Meade - Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection
17.) Abraham Lincoln - House Divided Project
18.) George McClellan and Abraham Lincoln at Antietam - Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection
Image: The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress.
4. Michael Burlingame – Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 3281
Abraham Lincoln
Image: House Divided Project
Image: House Divided Project
William Sherman - Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection
Image: Library of Congress
Image: House Divided Project
Image: Library of Congress
Ulysses S. Grant
Image:Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection
Image: Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection
George Meade

Abraham Lincoln
Ulysses Grant
Robert Lincoln

As commander of The Army of the Potomac George McClellan had plenty of opportunities to disagree with President Lincoln. The most common disagreement was over McClellan's lack of action. In repeated communication between Lincoln and McClellan, Lincoln attempted to spur McClellan to action. Eventually McClellan would be removed from command and would run against Lincoln in the 1864 Presidential election. But first Lincoln wrote the following letter to McClellan.
Washington City, D.C., Oct. 24 [25], 1862.
Majr. Genl. McClellan

I have just read your despatch about sore tongued and fatiegued horses. Will you pardon me for asking what the horses of your army have done since the battle of Antietam that fatigue anything?
A. LINCOLN
Abraham Lincoln
Image: House Divided Project
Lincoln and McClellan at Antietam
Image: The Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection
Close Reading:
Document Based Questions:
Close Reading: Susan Segal (Lincoln to Meade)


3. 3. Abraham Lincoln, "Abraham Lincoln to David Hunter, December 31st, 1861," http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/mal:@field(DOCID+@lit(d1156900))
Primary Source from: Library of Congress
Primary Source from: House Divided Project
Primary Source from: House Divided Project
Primary Source from: Library of Congress
Primary Source from: House Divided Project
Primary Source from: House Divided Project
Primary Source from: Library of Congress
Primary Source from: House Divided Project
Primary Source from: House Divided Project
Primary Source: House Divided Project
Noah Brooks in Michael Burlingame – Abraham Lincoln: A Life (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), 3283-3284

Conclusions:
Whenever I design an activity for my students I make it open-ended and student-centered. My goal is to use primary sources to let students examine a topic and make their own conclusions. This Prezi is no different, I give students and essential question, and I frame a final response on each of the DBQ worksheets. By reading these documents students are going to be making conclusions about Lincoln as a leader. Most students will find that Lincoln was very good leader, but hopefully they will learn something about his personality and also some of the particular leadership qualities Lincoln featured. My essential question, Was Abraham Lincoln the "Savior of the Union" or "the original gorilla?" probably will not be all that controversial in the end. But my hope is that students who read about Lincoln and McClellan, Hunter, Meade and Fremont will see that to those men, Lincoln was not a venerated god, but an opposing force, and possibly even the original gorilla. Examination of primary sources by students is a key feature in my classroom. I will use this Prezi to further my use of primary source analysis in the coming years.
Word Cloud - Lincoln to Sherman
Word Cloud - Lincoln to Fremont
Word Cloud - Lincoln to Hunter
Word Cloud: Lincoln to Hooker
Word Cloud: Lincoln to Grant
Word Cloud: Lincoln to Meade
Word Cloud - Lincoln to McClellan
Full transcript