For the Union

About the Book 

This year marks the 160th anniversary of the first published biography of Abraham Lincoln. On this momentous anniversary, Lincoln’s rarely seen biography will be reprinted in a new book titled For The Union by local author Malcolm Johnstone. For the Union follows the extraordinary story of how Quaker abolition, a hanging, a slave riot, and a small newspaper in West Chester set the stage to launch Lincoln’s quest for the presidency.

The building where this historic publication took place is currently owned and operated by the Community Foundation. Net proceeds from the deluxe edition of For the Union will go towards preserving and protecting this historic structure as a time-capsule into our past. 

The deluxe edition is hardback, full-color and includes bonus visual elements that the soft cover (to be release spring 2020) will not include. All books will be signed and numbered by the author.

Order Your Copy

About the Author: Malcolm Johnstone

Malcolm Johnstone has been involved with downtown revitalization and historic preservation efforts for over 35 years. He was among the first to be Certified in Professional Downtown Management by the National Main Street Center. A regular speaker at local, regional, and national conferences, Malcolm enjoys sharing his knowledge of local history and downtown development.

Malcolm is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he studied classical guitar and composition. His passion for music has resulted in several guitar recordings and performances of his theatrical musicals.

Malcolm has authored numerous articles for the Main Line Today, County Lines Magazine, West Chester Fig, and WC Press, among others. He has also written a number of blog posts at on the rich history of Pennsylvania’s Brandywine Valley.

Malcolm was recently featured in County Lines Magazine. Read the article here.

If you are interested in having Malcolm speak at your event or meeting, please contact

Book Reviews

“I finished reading Malcolm’s book today and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I thought he did an excellent job of organizing the material so that someone like me, who knew very little of the story before reading the book, could follow it easily.  I felt transported back into those times while I was reading.  I also really liked all of the illustrations.  I found the ambrotype of Lincoln to be haunting, one of the best images I have seen of him.  Lincoln’s personality comes through in the book.  I had never read the biography, and that was quite interesting.  It was such a pleasure to learn so much of the history of our area.

My friend Carolyn was an American Studies major, and she is a history buff.  She is the one who is always doing genealogy.  Her family goes back to the Mayflower.  She has visited me many times from Rochester, and I took her to the Lincoln Room when you were there.  I will lend her the book when I see her, as I know she will want to read it.  Then we can walk around West Chester and look at some of the landmarks in the book.”

– Denise Carr

Order Your Copy

*Limited copies. Books will be restocked in April 2020.*

How would you like to receive your deluxe copy of “For the Union”?

(1) Pick up your copy at The Lincoln Building (28 West Market Street, West Chester). We are open Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. Please leave a comment in the below form AND contact  what day/time you will pick it up.

(3) If you do not indicate that you will be picking the book up, it will automatically be shipped – for FREE! Please allow 2-3 weeks for the book to arrive.

To order your copy, mail a check payable to: CCCF

28 West Market Street

West Chester, PA 19382