Lincoln's Confidant

The Life of Noah Brooks
Author: Wayne C. TempleEdited by Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis
Introduction by Michael Burlingame
The unknown story of one of Lincoln's closest friendships
Cloth – $34.95
eBook – $14.95
Publication Date
Cloth: 02/25/2019
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About the Book

From the legendary Lincoln scholar Wayne C. Temple comes the long-awaited full-length biography of Noah Brooks, the influential Illinois journalist who championed Abraham Lincoln in Illinois state politics and became his almost daily companion at the White House.

Best remembered as one of the president's few true intimates, Brooks was also a nationally recognized man of letters, who mingled with the likes of Mark Twain and Bret Harte. Temple draws on archives and papers long thought lost to re-create Brooks's colorful life and relationship with Lincoln. Brooks's closeness to the president made him privy to Lincoln's thoughts on everything from literature to spirituality. Their frank conversations contributed to the wealth of journalism and personal observations that would make Brooks's writings a much-quoted source for historians and biographers of Lincoln.

A carefully researched and well-documented scholarly resource, Lincoln's Confidant is the story of an extraordinary friendship by one of the luminaries of Lincoln scholarship.

About the Author

Wayne C. Temple worked at the Illinois State Archives from 1964 to 2016. The latest in his long list of Lincoln publications is Lincoln's Surgeons at His Assassination. Douglas L. Wilson is the director of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College, in Galesburg, Illinois. Rodney O. Davis (d. 2019) was co-director of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College. They are coeditors of Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements about Abraham Lincoln; Herndon on Lincoln: Letters; The Lincoln-Douglas Debates; and Herndon's Lincoln.


"The complete story of a reporter's interesting life . . . with dutiful attention to detail." --Wall Street Journal

"Lincoln's Confidant is the work of a rigorous scholar. Temple excels at describing the friendship between Lincoln and Brooks." --Annals of Iowa

"Temple presents a fascinating story about Brooks and California patronage." --H-Net Reviews


"By getting to know Noah Brooks, readers will learn a great deal about Abraham Lincoln, thanks to the careful attention of the devoted scholar, Wayne C. Temple."--Samuel Wheeler, Illinois State Historian

"Temple's biography of Brooks is first-rate. The density and breadth of his primary source research is unmatched. Nobody else has presented as thorough a portrait of Brooks from such a wide array of sources."--Matthew Pinsker, author of Lincoln's Sanctuary: Abraham Lincoln and the Soldiers' Home