The Diary of a Public Man and Abraham Lincoln

Time Period
1861 to 1876
Media Type
Civil War
Politics & Government
Daniel Crofts

On March 3, 2011, Daniel Crofts delivered a Banner Lecture entitled "The Diary of a Public Man and Abraham Lincoln."

"The Diary of a Public Man," published anonymously in several installments in the North American Review in 1879, claimed to offer verbatim accounts of secret conversations with Abraham Lincoln, William H. Seward, and Stephen A. Douglas—among others—in the weeks just before the start of the Civil War. Despite repeated attempts to decipher the diary, historians never have been able to pinpoint its author or determine its authenticity. Part detective story, part biography, and part a detailed narrative of events in early 1861, A Secession Crisis Enigma presents a compelling answer to an enduring mystery.

Dr. Crofts is a professor of history at The College of New Jersey.

The content and opinions expressed in these presentations are solely those of the speaker and not necessarily of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.

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