CARLINVILLE - The history of Abraham Lincoln’s experiences and connections to Alton, as well as the history of Macoupin County, are the topics of interesting new books that are being released in time for the holidays.

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Researcher Tom Emery of Carlinville is releasing Abraham Lincoln in Alton, a full-length study of Lincoln’s connections to 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 175-page, fully illustrated, documented work.

“I don’t think many people realize how important Alton was to Lincoln’s career,” said Emery. “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 several 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 that 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 some lesser moments. Lincoln appointed a friend from Alton to a judicial post in Kansas, but the man was later impeached, one of only twenty individuals in American history to suffer that indignity. His near-duel near Alton also embarrassed him. Lincoln’s political and personal complexities are also analyzed in detail.

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).

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Emery is also releasing The Macoupin County History Reader, a collection of over eighty of his articles on a wide array of subjects relating to the history of Macoupin County.

The reader is different than any other book on county history, and looks at many fascinating aspects of the past in this area. Most towns in the county are covered in some fashion in the book, which is 180 pages long and fully illustrated.

Topics include the origins of the county, pioneer experiences in Macoupin’s earliest days, as well as the Civil War era and some of the remarkable women the county has produced. Farming and coal mining are also covered, along with celebrities and sports figures that hail from Macoupin County. Other topics include the world wars, natural and man-made disasters, Blackburn College, politics, and gangsters.

Like Emery’s other works, history of all kinds is covered in the reader – male and female, black and white, Union and Confederate, and Republican and Democrat.

The Macoupin County History Reader will be delivered in time for Christmas in December, and sells for $19.99 plus $1.25 tax and $3.76 postage ($25 total). Reserve copies are recommended.

In addition, Emery will release a third work, Lincoln in Macoupin, in February. This compact work will analyze the ties of Lincoln to Macoupin County, including his friendships, support of railroads, appearances in the county, court cases, connections to Blackburn College, and voting records.

The work is the most in-depth, well-rounded look at Abraham Lincoln in Macoupin County that has ever been attempted, and will surprise readers with the sixteenth President’s many connections to the county. Lincoln in Macoupin will be delivered in February, and sells for $15.95 plus $1 tax and $3.05 postage ($20 total).

The books are easy, convenient Christmas gifts. Orders may be placed with PayPal (use the e-mail 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.

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