“Memorial Address on the Life and Character of Abraham Lincoln is a book full of information on Abraham Lincoln and everything he accomplished in his life. The book has many disparate facts about President Lincoln. George Bancroft took his time to give every detail so that the reader will be able to learn a lot while reading. George Bancroft’s purpose of writing this memorial address often called a (farewell address) was to inform readers about everything Abraham Lincoln accomplished and the steps he took in order to do so.
The author’s main focus was on Abraham’s life. The book began with straight facts about Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809, in Kentucky and he died April 15, 1865. He will always be remembered, because of the things he achieved in his lifetime. The 16th president of the United States was Abraham Lincoln. Before going out on his own, Lincoln helped his father establish a farm. Lincoln had many different jobs when he was a teen. He worked as a store clerk, boatman, surveyor, and he then became a lawyer in Illinois. Lincoln worked pretty hard, ‘receiving ten dollars a month for his wages…’ (P. 17) From the year 1834 until late in the year 1840, Lincoln was a member of the Illinois legislature. During the year 1847, he was a member of the national Congress. George Bancroft began the book with simple yet known facts about President Lincoln, up until the middle of the Address where he began going deeply into detail about the things that Lincoln accomplished. Abraham Lincoln entered politics when Andrew Jackson was the president of the United States around the year of 1824. Lincoln ran for president and soon was elected in 1861. ‘…and now, in 1861,… Lincoln was elected President of America.’ (P. 18) He began with many different tasks and made it his business to complete every last one of them. Putting a stop to slavery was one of his main tasks. Even though many were against Lincoln’s idea, he stood tall and did what needed to be done, no matter the consequences. “I would rather be assassinated on the spot than surrender it. I have said nothing but what I am willing to live and die by.” (P.20)
In my opinion, George Bancroft was writing this Memorial Address to a general reader who is only interested in history, not a scholar who specializes in the field of history. If you want to know more about President Lincoln this Memorial Address will give you all the information that you will need. George’s work is not heavily footnoted with bibliography. Towards the end of this address, the author added an appendix which gives additional information on the topic discussed. In the appendix, George gave facts that he did not mention in the address. The detail and information given in the address do not even compare to the information that was given in the appendix. Even though the book was for a general reader needing information, I think the author gave a full account for someone such as a scholar or professor. The vocabulary used within this address was multiplexed. The author used contemporary documents. He did not use any illustrations, but they also were not needed. A timeline in the beginning or toward the end would have been helpful. It would have allowed the reader to follow along as the author gave important facts. He put everything in chronological order as well. The address began with Lincoln as a child, it covered his adolescent life, his adult life, then followed the years leading up to his death. This address was written in such a way as to grab one’s attention while giving them information that will stick with them for a lifetime.
George Bancroft is known as “the Father of American History.” He was a big deal when it came to knowing about politics. George attended Harvard University and he also attended different German Universities. George is not an abolitionist, but he was a supporter of the Republican Party during the time of slavery. Abraham Lincoln was a big help in ending slavery and for Bancroft to write a Memorial Address on Lincoln makes this very ironic. George was one of the first people to have a complete study of the past. He put a lot into the Memorial Address that he wrote about Lincoln. He is very skilled and he loves what he does. He has written over fifteen books all dealing with History and important individuals. One of Bancroft’s quotes were “Truth is not exciting enough to those who depend on the characters and lives of their neighbors for all their amusement.” Bancroft was simply saying that you can not tell the truth to someone who has never heard the truth. People who never ask for the truth only listen to others or go by what they say. This is relevant, because he did not go by what others said. Bancroft dug deep and was a primary source when it came to finding information. In this memorial address and so many others that he has written, George Bancroft was the main source and he told nothing but the truth in everything he has published. Some may not know the truth, but after reading books that he has written you will gain that truth and carry it a long way.
In the Memorial Address on the Life and Character of Abraham Lincoln, I learned a lot of information regarding our 16th president. I highly recommend that you read this book, not only because it is full of factual information, but it gives you insight on president Lincoln’s life. This address shows you who Lincoln was before and during his presidency. Abraham Lincoln was a magnificent man and Bancroft did an amazing job on displaying his life throughout the book. It really is a short read. In my opinion, the book is seventy-three percent readable with the highest being one hundred percent. If you decide on reading this book, I suggest that you create a quiet time and space to do so. The book has so many facts and dates that one may began to drift off into other thoughts. If the book had a timeline that mapped the book out for the reader it really would be an amazing read, but you have to manage to stay on task on your own, because that is one thing that Bancroft left out.
If you have a report, essay, powerpoint… etc dealing with Abraham Lincoln, this would be the perfect book for you. Instead of searching the World Wide Web, you can scan throughout the book and grab information needed or you can actually read the book to its entirety and be left with so many facts that your brain creates a folder to store them all. This memorial address was written during the early 1800’s but it still is very relevant. The strength of this address is that Bancroft was able to put so much into a book. There is tons of information, but it all goes together and it really is a short read. The relative value of this book is that it goes hand in hand with history. It relates to today, because Abraham Lincoln accomplished so much that still matters.
In conclusion, I recommend that you read this book. I recommend it simply because it is a good read, it has a lot of factual information, it is very interesting, it is not long, it is still relevant today, and Bancroft put so much into it. Bancroft said, “The public is wiser than the wisest critic.” George Bancroft is truly a wise man, but if you read the “Memorial address on the Life and Character of Abraham Lincoln,” you’ll be wise too.
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