Also the author of The Madness of Mary Lincoln, Jason Emerson here shows us a side of our 16th president that few people consider or even remember. In 1831, when Abraham Lincoln was a young man working on the river, his flatboat got stuck on a shoal, prompting him to invent a device to buoy stuck vessels. Emerson argues that Lincoln's inventive nature was part of his larger political belief in internal improvements and free labor principles, and explains how Lincoln, as president, encouraged and even contributed to new technologies for the Union during the Civil War.
"You will come away from Lincoln the Inventor the wiser for understanding how the mind that devised a patent for floating grounded river boats could also be the same mind that turned out the perfectly-balanced phrases of the Gettysburg Address, labored to promote transportation as the keystone to economic mobility, and piloted emancipation through the shoals of war."—Allen C. Guelzo