Hypertext essays

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The Lincoln Telegram Project

In this work, students in a graduate class at NC State University conducted analysis of the Lincoln Telegrams. They identified concepts that were regularly addressed by Lincoln in this collection of telegram correspondence and then conduct analysis of the telegrams related to these concepts. Driven by relevant questions, students developed interpretative essays and then transformed these essays into hypertext form. There work is presented below.

Traditional Essays and Transformed Hypertext

A collection of interpretative historical essays that addresses research questions and related hypertexts..

An essay on the duties of the President, by Cody Jackson and Aaron Johnson mines the telegrams for evidence support the claim that Lincoln was an effective manager. This essay is available here - Cody and Aaron Traditional Essay - A transformed hypertext essay is available here, Aaron and Cody's Hypertextual Essay

Jonathan List addressed Lincoln's mental health in this essay, titled Lincoln's Sadness - Jonathan List Traditional Essay. His hypertext transformation, on Google Sites, is available here - Jonathan's Prospects of Hypertextuality

This essay, based on analysis done by Zach Witt and Daniel Thayer, examines Lincoln and clemency. A hypertext version of this work is available here - Lincoln and clemency hypertext

Anna Burgess and Bridget Dix explored Lincoln's concerns for the lives of soldiers. In this essay, they explored Lincoln's intervention in the punishment of soldiers and in the general conditions for soliders. A hypertext essay titled Lincoln and the Lives of Soldiers presents this essay in 17 nodes or hypoertexted wiki pages.

Britney and Drew's Traditional Essay Britney and Drew's Hypertext

Celeste and Tyler's Traditional Essay Celeste and Tyler's Hypertext


Questions that prompt research using the telegrams. These questions emerge from or are relate to the concepts identified above.

Anna & Bridget: In what ways did Lincoln attempt to affect the lives of soldiers?

Brittany and Drew

To what degree was Lincoln involved in the non-military aspects of officer’s decisions?

Cody and Aaron

Did Abraham Lincoln fulfill his duties as President of the United States during the final years of the Civil War?

Celeste and Tyler

In what manner did Lincoln use Biblical/Christian principles to guide presidential decisions?

Zach (with an H) and Daniel

With the concepts the class has brought to light: pardoning, humanitarian, clemency, and compassion; was President Lincoln truly quick to forgive? Did Lincoln have the soft spot our class has seen in him?


Is there evidence of some kind of Depression (Uni-polar or Bi-polar) in the Lincoln Telegrams?

Concepts Informing the Analysis

A list of concepts or conceptual ideas that are relevant to the content of the Lincoln telegrams.

Zach and Daniel

Electoral Politics


Quick Decision Making

Chain of Command / Bureaucracy


Fog of War


Lincoln, the person behind the position


Job Assignments.

Andrew and Britney's group

Lincoln's Compassion

Seeking advice


Lincoln as a family man

Non-militaristic decisions

Value of Human Life

Lincoln as a judge of character

Lincoln's trust in his military officers

Lincoln's political military officers

Lincoln's political views during war

Anna & Bridget:

- Lincoln as father: Tad & the goats, relationship with Tad

- Lincoln as husband: Mary's illness, frequent communications

- Lincoln as cheerleader/promoter: speeches, rallies/fairs, affirmations/encouragement, etc...

- Lincoln as politician/diplomat: 13th Amendment, campaigning, avoiding impropriety, etc...

- Military planning/strategy: military go-between, appointments, reassignments, tracking whereabouts, etc...

- Concern for soldiers: inquiries into imprisonments and executions, trouble with impressments, treatment of black soldiers, etc...

- Contact with Andrew Johnson: after election in 1864, instructions and suggestions, etc..

- Visits to military instillation: Fort Monroe, visits to Grant in the field, etc...

- Compassion: stalling executions, concern for soldiers, civilians in Missouri, Sherman & civilians, etc...

- Prisoner exchanges: numerous instances of attempts to exchange prisoners

Cody and Aaron Concepts

- Federalism

- Clemency

- Confidence in Grant's abilities

- Lincoln as Commander in Chief

- Destruction of Private Property

- Time Constraints of Presidency

- Secure Communication Lines

- Lincoln's Concern for Jutice

- Lincoln as Chief of Party

- Provisional Governments

Celeste and Tyler Concepts

- Lincoln as writer

- Lincoln as humanitarian

- Lincoln as prophetic visionary

- Lincoln the linguist

- Lincoln's practice of Christian principles

- Lincoln the peacemaker

-Lincoln's use of the pardon

-Lincoln the strategist (political)

-Lincoln's communication with southern politicians

-Lincoln and his secretary


-Lincoln's concern with secrecy in some instances (cypher) (Role of cryptography)

-Setting Precedents with political dissidents during a time of war

-Political timing; when to release documents and which documents can be released or referenced

-Lincoln's approach to the responsibilities of being the President (expectations of social conduct; dinners, etc)

-Dissemination of news - sending a telegram to find election news (March 16).