American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Reason

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Education through Reading

English Grammar in Familiar Lectures
Samuel Kirkham
English Grammar in Familiar Lectures.
Cincinnati: N. & G. Guilford, 1828
Rare Book & Special Collections Division
Gift of Jane Hamand, 1932 (107.8)

Although Abraham Lincoln considered his formal education to be "defective," during his twenties he compensated by devoting intense effort to self-education through reading. While serving as New Salem postmaster and a member of the Illinois state assembly, Lincoln studied the law and taught himself surveying. After mastering Kirkham's Grammar, he gave this copy to his beloved Ann Rutledge (1813-1835), inscribing it: "Ann M. Rutledge is now learning grammer [sic]."

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