John George Nicolay: The Man in Lincoln’s Shadow, by Allen Carden and Thomas J. Ebert (University of Tennessee Press, 2019) “is the story of an immigrant boy who through hard work, tenaciousness, and a good bit of luck rose to a central position in Abraham Lincoln’s administration.” Nicolay (1832-1901) was born in Essingen in the Rhineland-Palatinate, and came to America in 1837 with his parents. His family hoped for a better economic future in the “land of liberty”. From the port of Le Havre the family headed for New Orleans, and then to Cincinnati, already a German immigration center. When he was 14, the family moved to Illinois.

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