"I have been charmed, delighted, instructed, and a bit overwhelmed by this fascinating collection [The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition], which offers the first complete and comprehensive documentation of Abraham Lincoln's law practice. Its 5,100 cases, totaling 210,000 pages, make it possible to trace Lincoln's evolution from a small-town lawyer to one of the most influential attorneys in Illinois. Superbly arranged, indexed, and cross-referenced these easy-to-use records will be a major source for all future Lincoln studies. They are equally important to every legal historian as a unique record of a nineteenth-century law practice. I cannot recommend them too highly."

David Herbert Donald, Professor of History, Emeritus
Harvard University


"Using the eminently user-friendly interface, within minutes of loading the software researchers can be searching this database [The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition] by name, date, jurisdiction, and a wide variety of interesting and important subjects, from African Americans and Agriculture to Weapons and Women. Each case is admirably summarized, and just a click away are high-resolution reproductions of the documents themselves, in all their fascinating and messy detail. This is an incomparable resource for legal, social, and cultural history. The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln is the most extraordinary documentary collection I know for the history of young America."

John Mack Faragher, Professor of History
Yale University


"It is astonishing that unlike the case for other significant American presidents, no complete, modern edition of the writings of Abraham Lincoln presently exists.  The Papers of Abraham Lincoln promises to bring to light unknown documents related to our sixteenth president and will be welcomed by all those interested in his career and the Civil War era -- scholars, students, and the general public."

Eric Foner
DeWitt Clinton Professor of History
Columbia University


"The new edition of The Lincoln Legal Papers [The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition] is a vivid and welcome reminder of the power of electronic technology to transform and enhance the quality of scholarship. In this instance, the editors have summoned that technology to present the entire available record of Abraham Lincoln's legal practice, uniformly viewed by legal historians as of rare value in understanding the political, social, and economic dynamics of pre-Civil War America in general and Illinois in particular. What distinguishes this electronic edition, however, is the ease of access to the core issues raised by the legal materials, the ready way in which scholars can take major categories of Lincoln's law practice (such as property, contracts, and criminal law) and search them, and how easy to read the handwritten materials that are digitally reproduced. There is also a considerable body of non-legal materials included in the edition that brings context to the entire project. The editors have performed their tasks with obvious care and the result is a major breakthrough in the field of historical editing and a singular contribution to scholarship on Lincoln, the law, and American life in the mid-nineteenth century."

Kermit L. Hall, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Professor of History
North Carolina State University


"What a boon to scholars and Lincoln aficionados alike.   The Papers of Abraham Lincoln project has already become invaluable to anyone interested in nineteenth-century American history.  To have such widely scattered and important documents collected and readily accessible in one place makes this undertaking a national treasure."

George C. Rable, Charles Summersell Chair in Southern History
University of Alabama


"Good social historians have long recognized that there is gold to be mined in legal documents. However for years this meant plowing through dusty files in courthouse basements, taking painstaking notes, only occasionally being able to Xerox documents. Now the world is changing and a magnificent collection of legal papers reflecting all the years of Abraham Lincoln's law practice is available on DVD-ROM [The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln: Complete Documentary Edition], indexed so that any inquisitive social historian, historian of gender, historian of the family, can begin to mine gold at her own computer. The possibilities now available to such historians are vastly expanded by this Complete Documentary Edition.

Anne Firor Scott, W. K. Boyd Professor, Emerita, Department of History
Duke University