From The Gettysburg Battlefield To The Appomattox Courthouse


Orville J. Victor. The private and public life of Abraham Lincoln; comprising a full account of his early years, and a succinct record of his career as a statesman and president. New York: Beadle and Company, 1864.

This work on Lincoln was issued as number 14 of Beadle’s Dime Biographical Library.  The purpose of the biography was to use Lincoln’s rise from “obscurity to renown” as a moral lesson of what one could achieve through determination, hard work, and perseverance.  The cover and frontispiece of the volume, similar to Eastman Johnson’s homespun depiction shown earlier in this exhibit (see item 1), show the boy Lincoln practicing his reading skills by the light of the hearth fire.  Beadle and Company enjoyed tremendous success as a source of cheap publications for the general public. Although the Beadle firm was not the first to publish inexpensive, paper-bound books, it was the first to do so in a continuous serial format. The firm’s most successful and well known serial venture was Beadle Dime Novels, inaugurated in 1860, which included over 600 titles issued over the next twenty-five years.  Beadle’s Dime Biographical Library was begun during the Civil War and comprised works on prominent figures, including Garibaldi, Kit Carson, Anthony Wayne, Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, and Winfield Scott.  Orville J. Victor (1827-1910), the author of the Lincoln biography, worked as the main editor for the Beadle firm from 1861 to 1897.

Lin 2158.5   The William Whiting Nolen Collection of Lincolniana.