Long before Abraham Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation and was immortalized in the annals of history for his famous Gettysburg Address, the sixteenth president of the United States made a name for himself as a lawyer in small-town Illinois. “Lincoln/Net,” from the Abraham Lincoln Historical Digitization Project at Northern Illinois University, is an online collection of early speeches and biographical materials chronicling Lincoln’s boyhood during the early years of Illinois’ statehood, his thoughts and experiences during the Indian and Mexican Wars, his law practice, and his campaign for president. Rather than simply document Lincoln’s career on a timeline, the site provides several historical documents and interactive features designed to help students explore and analyze the Civil War president’s social and political influence on American society. It focuses on eight major themes: frontier settlement; Native American relations; economic development; women’s experience and gender roles; African-Americans’ experience and American racial attitudes; law and society; religion and culture; and political development. A special section for teachers provides lessons plans pertaining to the Lincoln-Douglas campaign of 1858, the anti-slavery movement, the Dred Scott decision, slavery, the Black Hawk War, Indian conflicts, and more.

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