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Producer: WNET-grayscale


Funder: Booth Ferris Foundation-grayscale

Funding for this collection was provided by the Booth Ferris foundation.

Looking for Lincoln explores the life and legacy of the man widely considered one of our best and most enigmatic presidents. The PBS series, presented and written by Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (African American Lives, Oprah’s Roots), addresses many of the controversies surrounding Lincoln – race, equality, religion, politics, and depression – by carefully interpreting evidence from those who knew him and those who study him today.

Abraham Lincoln, Attorney at Law


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Abraham Lincoln, Attorney at Law

This video segment, excerpted from the PBS series Looking for Lincoln, explores Lincoln’s years as a "prairie" lawyer.

  • Grades: 1-12
  • Views: 441
  • Favorites: 52
Abraham Lincoln's Words


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Abraham Lincoln's Words

In this video excerpted from the PBS series Looking for Lincoln, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. cites several examples of Lincoln’s use of “seemingly simple but profoundly eloquent language to express and ennoble his cause.”

  • Grades: 4-12
  • Views: 479
  • Favorites: 34
All Things Lincoln


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All Things Lincoln

This video segment, excerpted from the PBS series Looking for Lincoln, explores the ongoing cultural fascination with physical artifacts of Abraham Lincoln’s life.

  • Grades: 1-12
  • Views: 369
  • Favorites: 48
Bush on Lincoln


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Bush on Lincoln

In this video from the PBS series Looking for Lincoln, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. interviews former president George W. Bush about Abraham Lincoln and the controversial choices they both faced as wartime leaders.

  • Grades: 9-12
  • Views: 188
  • Favorites: 15
The Civil War and Abolition


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The Civil War and Abolition

This video from the PBS series Looking for Lincoln examines how the unprecedented slaughter of the Civil War compelled President Abraham Lincoln to expand and elevate the justification of the war from a political ideal to a moral imperative.

  • Grades: 9-12
  • Views: 340
  • Favorites: 44
The Gettysburg Address


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The Gettysburg Address

In this video segment excerpted from the PBS series Looking for Lincoln, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and President Bill Clinton examine the context and content of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

  • Grades: 4-12
  • Views: 976
  • Favorites: 72
Lincoln's Early Views


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Lincoln's Early Views

In this video segment from the PBS series Looking for Lincoln, historians Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and David Blight shed light on the more complicated historical reality behind the romanticized myth of Abraham Lincoln.

  • Grades: 5-12
  • Views: 824
  • Favorites: 90
Lincoln's Growth and Change


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Lincoln's Growth and Change

In this video from the PBS series Looking for Lincoln, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. speculates on how different American history might have been had Lincoln lived and tributes to Lincoln’s enduring legacy culminate in Barack Obama's victory speech.

  • Grades: 5-12
  • Views: 342
  • Favorites: 25
Looking for Lincoln During the Civil War


Lesson Plan

Looking for Lincoln During the Civil War

This lesson explores the unique challenges Lincoln faced during the five years of bloody civil war which made him America’s ultimate but most controversial wartime leader.

  • Grades: 9-12
  • Views: 807
  • Favorites: 28
Looking for Lincoln Through his Words


Lesson Plan

Looking for Lincoln Through his Words

In this lesson from Looking for Lincoln students explore how Abraham Lincoln used the power of words in speeches, letters and other documents.

  • Grades: 5-7
  • Views: 453
  • Favorites: 33
Looking for Lincoln Throughout His Life


Lesson Plan

Looking for Lincoln Throughout His Life

In this interdisciplinary lesson, students gather different facts about Lincoln through a variety of hands-on activities.

  • Grades: 1-3
  • Views: 1034
  • Favorites: 67
Looking for Lincoln Views on Slavery


Lesson Plan

Looking for Lincoln Views on Slavery

Students examine Abraham Lincoln’s views on slavery and race in this lesson based on the PBS series Looking for Lincoln.

  • Grades: 5-8
  • Views: 1209
  • Favorites: 59
Proving Ground


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Proving Ground

In this video from the PBS series Looking for Lincoln, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. interviews historian Allan Guelzo about the unprecedented scale of the Civil War and President Lincoln’s own personal attitude toward the Confederacy.

  • Grades: 9-12
  • Views: 88
  • Favorites: 18
Quoting Abraham Lincoln


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Quoting Abraham Lincoln

In this video excerpted from the PBS series Looking for Lincoln, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. samples instances of today’s politicians quoting Lincoln in their speeches.

  • Grades: 4-12
  • Views: 328
  • Favorites: 23
The Road to Emancipation


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The Road to Emancipation

In this video from the PBS series Looking for Lincoln, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and historian David Blight examine how strategic calculations informed President Abraham Lincoln’s decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation.

  • Grades: 5-12
  • Views: 627
  • Favorites: 64
Was Lincoln a White Supremacist?


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Was Lincoln a White Supremacist?

In this video from the PBS series Looking for Lincoln, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. investigates Abraham Lincoln’s mixed legacy among African Americans, many of whom have grown disillusioned with the myth of a “Great Emancipator.” 

  • Grades: 5-12
  • Views: 1057
  • Favorites: 44