Abraham Lincoln is, by tradition, one of American history's quintessential westerners. But Lincoln owed much of his national political success, not to mention his enshrinement in public memory, to his impact on the quintessentially eastern state of New York, and in turn, New York's profound impact on him. This constitutes virtually unexplored intellectual territory. That New York's publishers, business leaders, elected officials, writers, preachers, and editors were able convincingly to introduce successive images at the same time they promulgated a parallel, wholly negative Lincoln reputation-that of frontier hick, jokester, ruthless military leader, and heartless tyrant-constitutes one of the most astonishing episodes in the history of what Lincoln himself once called 'public sentiment'. Only in New York could such robust, and contradictory, public relations campaigns have been launched and sustained in tandem.