The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery Short Essay - Answer Key

Eric Foner
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Short Essay Questions Key

1. What intention does the author state in the Preface of "The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery"?

In the Preface, the author expresses his intention with this book. Rather than write a biography of Lincoln, a man most Americans believe they know well, the author's intention is to show the reader Lincoln's growing and changing opinions of slavery throughout his life.

2. What does the author relate of Lincoln's early childhood in Chapter 1? Where was Lincoln born?

Chapter 1 shows that Lincoln was born in Kentucky in 1809. When Lincoln was seven, his family moved to southwestern Indiana, where he would live until he was twenty-one. The family would then move to northern Illinois where Lincoln would live until he assumed the presidency in 1861.

3. What contact with slavery did Lincoln have in his youth, as discussed in Chapter 1?

It is unknown how often or in what capacity Lincoln came into contact with the institution of slavery as a child. However, there are well documented trips Lincoln made down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers in both 1828 and 1831, during which he saw and commented on slaves.

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