1st Edition

The Life of Daniel Waldo Lincoln, 1784-1815 Letters from a Wayward Son

By Rebecca M. Dresser Copyright 2023
    216 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Placed within a comprehensive contextual historical narrative, The Life of Daniel Waldo Lincoln, 17841815 offers a compelling portrait of one brilliant but compromised man’s perspective of his changing times.

    Daniel Waldo Lincoln, the second son of Levi Lincoln, a prominent Massachusetts Democratic-Republican, was destined to become a man of influence. Born in 1784, equipped with wealth, prestige, a Harvard education, powerful friends, and a distinguished family name, Lincoln ranked high among the inheritors of the Revolution whose purpose was to protect the ideals of the nation’s founders. In over 250 private letters, essays, and poems beginning with his first day at Harvard in 1801 and ending just weeks before his death in 1815, Lincoln brings to readers a portrait of privilege as it careened into disappointment. A young man active in Republican circles, an orator and attorney in Worcester, Portland, Maine, and Boston, Lincoln comments on the politics, honor, religion, the War of 1812, and his struggles with romance and alcohol. Written for private eyes, his letters are an unusually candid eyewitness account of early-nineteenth-century Massachusetts interwoven with his personal agonies.

    This volume is of great use for students and scholars interested in life, society, and politics in nineteenth-century America.

    Introduction  1. The Patriarch Levi Lincoln 1729-1800  2. The Republican Levi Lincoln 1800-1803  3. The Early Education of Daniel Lincoln 1784-1803  4. Triumph Then Tragedy in Worcester 1803-1806  5. Promises and Portland 1806-1807  6. Love and the Embargo 1807-1810  7. Brahmins and Boston 1810-1811  8. Lawyering and Lassitude 1811-1812  9. War Zones 1812-1813  10. Providence Slept 1813-1815  11. Conclusion


    Rebecca M. Dresser holds a PhD from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She has been a psychotherapist and an adjunct professor of American history at Hunter College. She also teaches American history to incarcerated women in the Bedford Hills College Program through Marymount Manhattan College.