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Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States, with the current flag of the United States of America.

An easy-to-read, fact-filled new book that details Abraham Lincoln’s connections to Alton is being released in time for the holidays.

Researcher Tom Emery of Carlinville is releasing "Abraham Lincoln in Alton," a full-length study of Lincoln’s experiences in the Riverbend. Lincoln’s appearances in Alton, his professional and personal relationships, and the city’s importance in his political stardom will be covered in this 225-page, fully illustrated, documented work.

“I don’t think many people realize how important Alton was to Lincoln’s career,” Emery said. “It goes beyond the Lincoln-Douglas debate in Alton, or the duel that he almost fought near there. Lincoln had a number of friends in Alton, and he kept a close eye on the politics and progress of the city. There aren’t too many cities in Illinois that have more connections to Lincoln than Alton does.”

Lincoln played a key role in the economic development of Alton with his staunch support of railroads to the city, and he was involved in fascinating legal cases in the area, including one with a New York actress who fell into an open cellar door on an Alton sidewalk. There are also many connections of Lincoln to Shurtleff College, a fixture in Upper Alton for decades.

Many have speculated Lincoln was attracted to a young woman from Alton, which may have threatened his engagement to Mary Todd. Other topics include the Alton prison and the Lovejoy brothers.

While Lincoln had many highlights in Alton, he also had lesser moments. Lincoln appointed a friend from Alton to a judicial post in Kansas, but the man was later impeached, one of only 20 individuals in American history to suffer that indignity. His near-duel near Alton also embarrassed him. Lincoln’s political and personal complexities are analyzed in detail in the work, which is the most in-depth study of Lincoln in Alton that has ever been attempted.

Emery is familiar to Alton area history enthusiasts, as his articles have appeared in various newspapers and magazines in the Riverbend, and he has been a featured interview by Alton-area media. Emery has also delivered a string of lectures to libraries, historical groups, and civic organizations in the Alton area.

Delivery of "Abraham Lincoln in Alton" is expected in December, in time for Christmas, and readers are urged to reserve copies in advance. The book sells for $19.99 plus $1.25 tax and $3.76 postage ($25 total).

The books are easy, convenient Christmas gifts. Orders may be placed with PayPal (use the email or by mail by sending your name, address, phone, and check or money order to History in Print, 337 E. Second South, Carlinville, IL  62626. For more information, call (217) 710-8392 or email

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