Abraham Lincoln In Illinois 1830-1860


In the Declaration All Men Are Created Equal: Abraham Lincoln in Illinois, 1830 to 1860 is the first film production in the Witnessing History Education Foundation, Inc’s PAGEANT OF AMERICA series. At ninety minutes in length, it is perfectly gorgeous. It covers Lincoln’s life from 1830 to 1860, beginning with his arrival at the log village of New Salem, Illinois, appearing, in his words, “like a piece of floating driftwood,” and ends with his election to the presidency thirty years later. The production has two themes: one, that hard work and study (Lincoln is shown in the film laboring, repeatedly, to educate himself) is the path to achievement, and two, that Lincoln’s use of the Declaration of Independence and its phrase “all men are created equal,” to confront the expansion of slavery in the 1850’s, made that foundational document a true American “creed,” as its framers intended. It was ultimately used to free four million African Americans from bondage and must be understood as a “living” American creed today.