Winner, ISHS Superior Achievement Award, 2016
Although they inhabited different political, social, and cultural arenas, Abraham Lincoln and the pioneer generation of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, shared the same nineteenth-century world. Bryon C. Andreasen’s Looking for Lincoln in Illinois: Lincoln and Mormon Country relates more than thirty fascinating and surprising stories that show how the lives of Lincoln and the Mormons intersected.
This richly illustrated and carefully researched book expands on some of the storyboards found on the Looking for Lincoln Story Trail, from the Mormon capital of Nauvoo to the state capital of Springfield. Created by the Looking for Lincoln Heritage Coalition, this trail consists of wayside exhibits posted in sites of significance to Lincoln’s life and career across fifty-two communities in Illinois. The book’s keyed maps, historic photos, and descriptions of battles, Mormon expeditions, and events at inns, federal buildings, and even Lincoln’s first Illinois log cabin connect the stories to their physical locations.
Exploring the intriguing question of whether Lincoln and Mormon founder Joseph Smith ever met, the book reveals that they traveled the same routes and likely stayed at the same inns. The book also includes colorful and engaging looks at key figures such as Brigham Young, various Mormon apostles, and more. Anyone inspired by Lincoln, as well as Mormon and Illinois history enthusiasts, will appreciate this look back at a long-past, but not forgotten, landscape.