Photograph, [Abraham Lincoln: Before delivering his Cooper Union address, New York, N.Y.]

Abraham Lincoln and the Cooper Union Address

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Phone: (410) 260-6400
Internet: mdsa.net
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National History Standards

Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the following National History Standards for Grades 5-12:

Era 4: Expansion and Reform (1801-1861)

STANDARD 2: How the industrial revolution, increasing immigration, the rapid expansion of slavery, and the westward movement changed the lives of Americans and led toward regional tensions 

Standard 2D: The student understands the rapid growth of "the peculiar institution" after 1800 and the varied experiences of African Americans under slavery.

5-12: Explain how the cotton gin and the opening of new lands in the South and West led to the increased demand for slaves. [Analyze cause-and-effect relationships] 

STANDARD 3: The extension, restriction, and reorganization of political democracy after 1800.

Standard 3A: The student understands the changing character of American political life in "the age of the common man." 

7-12: Relate the increasing popular participation in state and national politics to the evolving democratic ideal that adult white males were entitled to political participation. [Identify relevant historical antecedents] 
5-12: Analyze the influence of the West on the heightened emphasis on equality in the political process. [Analyze cause-and-effect relationships] 

Standard 3B: The student understands how the debates over slavery influenced politics and sectionalism. 

7-12: Analyze how the debates over slavery--from agitation over the "gag rule" of the late 1830s through the war with Mexico--strained national cohesiveness and fostered rising sectionalism. [Compare and contrast differing sets of ideas] 

Era 5: Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877)

STANDARD 1: The causes of the Civil War 

Standard 1A: The student understands how the North and South differed and how politics and ideologies led to the Civil War. 

9-12: Analyze how the disruption of the second American party system frayed the durable bonds of union, leading to the ascent of the Republican party in the 1850s. [Analyze multiple causation] 
7-12: Explain how events after the Compromise of 1850 and the Dred Scott decision in 1857 contributed to increasing sectional polarization. [Analyze cause-and-effect relationships] 
5-12: Explain the causes of the Civil War and evaluate the importance of slavery as a principal cause of the conflict. [Compare competing historical narratives] 

Primary Resources

  1. DESCRIPTION: Letter, Charles C. Nott (New York City Young Republicans) to Abraham Lincoln. Invitation to speak at Cooper Union 
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: February 9, 1860
    REPRODUCTIONS: Ordering information 
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and other restrictions
    SOURCE: The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. Series 1. General Correspondence. 1833-1916.
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress, Washington, DC

  2. DESCRIPTION: Letter, James A. Briggs to Abraham Lincoln. Invitation to speak at Cooper Union
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: February 15, 1860
    REPRODUCTIONS: Ordering information 
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and other restrictions
    SOURCE: The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. Series 1. General Correspondence. 1833-1916.
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress, Washington, DC

  3. DESCRIPTION: Photograph, [Abraham Lincoln: Before delivering his Cooper Union address, New York, N.Y.]
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1860 February 27
    PHOTOGRAPHER: Matthew Brady (1823-ca. 1896)
    REPRODUCTIONS: Ordering information
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and other restrictions
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 

  4. DESCRIPTION: Transcription, Cooper Union Address. Includes excerpt of speech reenacted by actor Sam Waterston.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: Delivered February 27, 1860. New York
    NOTES: Transcription with printer friendly version also available at TeachingAmericanHistory.org
    SOURCE: American Rhetoric

  5. DESCRIPTION: Letter, James A. Briggs to Abraham Lincoln. Congratulates Lincoln on the success of his speech at Cooper Union. 
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: February 29, 1860
    REPRODUCTIONS: Ordering information 
    COPYRIGHT: Copyright and other restrictions
    SOURCE: The Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress. Series 1. General Correspondence. 1833-1916.
    REPOSITORY: Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Additional Media Resources

The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Association.

The Presidential Papers of Abraham Lincoln Online. A collaborative project of the Abraham Lincoln Association, the Lincoln Studies Center, the Library of Congress, the Lehrman Institute and the Lincoln Institute.

The Time of the Lincolns. From PBS.

BookTV Featured Program: Abraham Lincoln's Cooper Union Address Cooper Union, New York, New York (United States)
NOTE: This is a copyrighted VHS videotape copy of the program as it aired on C-SPAN. The tape can be purchased for viewing at home, education, or research. Any other use requires a license and permission from C-SPAN.

Additional Instructional Resources 

Resources on Incorporating Primary Sources and Historic Sites in Classroom Instruction

Lincoln's Campaign Manager.

Secondary Resources

Corry, John A. Lincoln at Cooper Union. Xlibris Corporation, 2003.

Finke, Gene. "The Cooper Union Address." From Lincoln Home National Historic Site

Holzer, Harold. Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech that Made Abraham Lincoln President. Simon & Schuster, 2004.

Holzer, Harold. "Still a Great Hall After All," American Heritage (May 1, 2004).

Leff, Michael C. and Gerald P. Mohrmann, Gerald. "Lincoln at Cooper Union: A Rhetorical Analysis of the Text" Quarterly Journal of Speech (October 1974): 346

Password Access to Journal Articles

Some journal articles linked to this site require password access due to copyright and other restrictions. Teachers participating in the Teaching American History in Maryland program with a valid University of Maryland (UMBC) Library card can access these materials through ResearchPort.

Copyright and Other Restrictions

Access to materials linked within these document packets is intended for educational and research purposes. The written permission of the copyright owners and/or holders of other rights (such as publicity and privacy rights) is required for distribution, reproduction, or other use beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions. The responsibility for making an independent legal assessment and independently securing any necessary rights rests with persons desiring to use particular items in the context of the intended use.

Password Access to Materials

The use of any user name and password to access materials on this web site constitutes an agreement by the user to abide by any and all copyright restrictions and is an acknowledgement that these materials will be used for personal and educational use only. In most instances, the username aaco and password aaco# will work. Contact ref@mdsa.net if you have any questions or have difficulty accessing files.

Credits

Teaching American History in Maryland is a collaborative partnership of the Maryland State Archives and the Center for History Education (CHE), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and the following sponsoring school systems: Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Baltimore City Public School System, Baltimore County Public Schools, and Howard County Public Schools.

Other program partners include the Martha Ross Center for Oral History, Maryland Historical Society, State Library Resource Center/Enoch Pratt Free Library, with assistance from the National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress. The program is funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

This document packet was researched and developed by Nancy Bramucci.

An Archives of Maryland Online Publication
© Copyright, Maryland State Archives, June 25, 2004