In Illinois, and in this bicentennial year of our 16th president's birth, we can't help but take a deeper look at "Honest Abe." Author Julie Fenster delved into Lincoln's personal papers and honed in on his pre-presidential days here in the Prairie State. Her book, The Case of Abraham Lincoln… shows Lincoln in a setting that can feel strangely modern – from his involvement in a high profile murder trial, to his dealings with mudslinging political rivals.
Fenster says, in 1856, many factions opposing the expansion of slavery gathered under the new Republican banner. But she says it was Lincoln's oratory skills that inspired them.
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