CLINTON — A book signing is scheduled December 17 at the DeWItt County Museum, and a portion of book sales will benefit the museum.
Landscape photographer Robert Shaw has teamed up with renowned Lincoln historian Dr. Michael Burlingame to produce a new book titled Abraham Lincoln Traveled This Way—The America Lincoln Knew. The book is a collection of captivating images and scholarly excellence which takes readers on a visual journey that is unique among books about Abraham Lincoln. Dr. Burlingame’s writing and Shaw’s images are woven together with Lincoln’s own words to create an elegant and exciting exploration of Lincoln’s life story.
The 276-page hardcover book is a culmination of five years of research and hundreds of days of photography in ten states and the District of Columbia. Shaw traveled over a hundred thousand miles in the making of the images for the book, which range from the Mississippi River to New Hampshire. The book begins at Lincoln’s birthplace in Kentucky, moves through his younger years in Indiana, offers a comprehensive view of his twenty-nine years in Illinois, travels to The White House and the years of the Civil War, and concludes with a poignant epilogue by Michael Burlingame.
The book includes a number of photographs made in the area. Robert Shaw is a Clinton native whose photography business, Wild Perceptions, is located near Heyworth. The book’s main editor, Carol McFeeters Thompson, is also a Clinton native. The project’s principal underwriter is John Warner IV and his company Moore-Warner Farm Management. Lincoln worked in the law office of Warner’s great, great grandfather, Clifton H. Moore. The two became good friends, Lincoln staying in Moore’s home when visiting Clinton.
Robert Shaw has worked as a professional landscape photographer for over twenty-five years. His previous books include Illinois — Seasons of Light and Windy City Wild—Chicago’s Natural Wonders. Dr. Burlingame is the author of the definitive biography Abraham Lincoln: A Life, The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln, and most recently Lincoln and the Civil War. Dr. Burlingame is currently the holder of the Chancellor Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies at the University of Illinois at Springfield.
Shaw’s and Burlingame’s collaborative portrait conveys Lincoln’s experience in a unique way. The photographs were made in a style free of most modern features. The images capture an ambiance, that in connection with Lincoln’s words and Burlingame’s masterful writing, takes readers back in time—revealing Lincoln as rarely seen. Turning through the pages, the images are connected to writings and statements by Lincoln which are often about the locations, and again connected by Burlingame’s insightful narrative—altogether a book that stimulates the senses more than traditional biographies.
Abraham Lincoln Traveled This Way takes readers to over seventy Lincoln historic sites and dozens of other locations Lincoln traveled, including eighteen National and State Historic Sites, two National Memorials, and a National Monument. Eighteen of these sites have been designated National Historic Landmarks. Though not a guide book, a complete list of locations will be helpful to travelers who want to discover many of these places on their own.
Robert Shaw was in the graduating class of 1978 at Clinton Community High School. According to Shaw, his decision to pursue this project was initially inspired by Clinton author Helen Stites. Shaw said, “After reading Helen’s book, Finding Lincoln in DeWitt County, in early 2006, I became fascinated with the history that took place in DeWitt County, that ultimately became a part of world history. This man who spent a lot of time in Clinton and had many friends here, changed not only the United States, but the world. He set the standard for leadership and integrity for this country.”
A book signing is scheduled at the C.H. Moore Homestead-DeWitt County Museum in Clinton on Saturday, December 17, from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. A portion of the sale of each book will benefit the museum.