Albert J. Beveridge turned to the writing of history after the frustration of his ambitions to make history. After much soul-searching and testing of the political waters, he decided to make a bid for the Republican nomination for United States Senate in the 1922 primary against the incumbent Harry S. New. By that time, Beveridge had himself moved toward Marshall politically—attacking union “despotism,” investment-destroying soak-the-rich taxes, and “bureaucratic restrictions” on business. [8] Although he won the GOP nomination, he went down to defeat in the election to Democrat Samuel P. Ralston. With this last hurrah played out, Beveridge devoted his remaining years to the Lincoln biography.[9] He made repeated trips to Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois to track down sources. He was a familiar visitor to the Library of Congress and the American Antiquarian Society. He found the Lincoln biography a far more difficult undertaking than the Marshall. There was the problem of distinguishing fact from fancy in the mass of dubious and oft-times contradictory legends that had come to surround the martyred president. Aggravating the difficulty of separating the wheat from the chaff was the continuing force of Victorian prudery. “I am doubtful,” he lamented, “whether the Mid-Victorians will permit any truthful and scholarly life of Lincoln to be written.”

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Volume 3

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Volume 4

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