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A Man of the People by Thomas Dixon

[Bookplate: EX LIBRIS

The books, and your capacity for understanding them, are just the same in all places.

A. Lincoln]

WILLIAM H. TOWNSEND

A MAN OF THE PEOPLE

A DRAMA OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN

BY

THOMAS DIXON

AUTHOR OF "THE BIRTH OF A NATION," "THE CLANSMAN," "THE LEOPARD'S SPOTS," ETC.

D. APPLETON AND COMPANY NEW YORK LONDON MCMXX

COPYRIGHT, 1920, BY THOMAS DIXON

PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

TO

WILLIAM HARRIS, JR.

WHOSE COURAGE AND HIGH IDEALS AS A PRODUCER GAVE TO THE AMERICAN STAGE THE EPOCH-MAKING PLAY

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

HISTORICAL NOTE

While the popular conception of Lincoln as the Liberator of the Slave is true historically, there is a deeper view of his life and character. He was the savior, if not the real creator, of the American Union of free Democratic States. His proclamation of emancipation was purely an incident of war. The first policy of his administration was to save the Union. To this fact we owe a united Nation to-day. It is this truth of history which I try to make a living reality in my play.

The scenes relating to the issues of our National life have been drawn from authentic records. The plot of the action is based on the letter of Colonel John Nicolay to Major Hay, dated August 25, 1864, in which the following opening paragraph is found:

"Hell is to pay. The New York politicians have got a stampede on that is about to swamp everything. Raymond and the National Committee are here to-day. R. thinks a Commission to Richmond is about the only salt to save us; while the President sees and says it would be utter ruination. The matter is now undergoing consultation. Weak-kneed damned fools are in the movement for a new candidate to supplant the President. Everything is darkness, doubt, and discouragement."

No liberty has been taken with an essential detail of history in the development of the action except to slightly shift the dates of two incidents for dramatic unity. In neither case does the change of date affect the validity of the scene as used.

THOMAS DIXON

DIVISION INTO ACTS

PROLOGUE: The Lincoln cabin in the woods of Indiana, 1820.

ACT I: In the President's room, the morning of August 23, 1864.

ACT II: The same, that evening.


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