A Second Shot or a Mulligan?
Another year of Lincoln activities and publications has drawn to a close. But what is there to make of this year? To some, it will be remembered as the year in which the “memoirs” of Mariah Vance, servant to the Lincolns in Springfield, were almost purchased by a publisher as the “insider’s” story. The first-ever teachers’ institute on approaching Lincoln in the classroom was held at Louisiana State University-Shreveport, and the largest exhibition of manuscripts and items relating to Abraham Lincoln began at the Huntington Library in October.
To others, the year represented tragedy with the continued attacks against Lincoln biographer Stephen B. Oates by the American Historical Association and others not content with a prior AHA decision, the lessening of the jovial cordiality between Lincoln students and scholars, and increased mayhem in Lincoln collecting, with prices far outpacing the ability of most to purchase, thus driving further the wedge between collectors and scholars. It was the year of thirty-nine books published or reprinted on Lincoln. It was also the year when Lincoln continued to be used and abused, with one supermarket tabloid reporting that he was resurrected for ninety-five seconds.
To steal from Dickens, it was a year so unlike every other as to be almost the same as every other. As we approach a new Lincoln year, many of us long for a mulligan—a second shot, a chance to do it all over again, a bonus time to avoid looking at what has gone before and to look forward to a revival of the convivial spirit among Lincoln students, a friendly competition among Lincoln collectors, a closer collaboration between Lincoln collectors and Lincoln scholars, and the hope that all the pent-up energy heretofore used in a demeaning way be rechanneled to the more positive endeavors of research and publication.
The nit-picking and attempts to create scandal where none exists can wait. This is the time to enjoy all of the positive things that have been done and to look forward to new works on Lincoln. [End Page 45]
The Spoken Word: Lincoln Group Activities
William D. Pederson spoke on “The Character of Franklin and Lincoln” for the Tarshar Society in Shreveport on January 22. The society is patterned after Benjamin Franklin’s Junto, whose members gathered on convivial occasions to discuss the affairs of the day.
Gabor S. Boritt delivered “Black, White and Lincoln: British Caricatures” for the second meeting of the fifty-fourth season of the Lincoln Group of Boston on February 6. At the April 10 meeting, Terry Alford presented “John Wilkes Booth and George A. Townsend: A Marriage Made in Hell,” and Michael Burlingame presented “A New Look at the Lyceum Speech.” Thomas R. Turner analyzed the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations on October 16.
“‘And the War Came’: Lincoln and the Question of Individual Responsibility” was the topic of Gabor S. Boritt’s paper presented at the February 9 meeting of the Lincoln Group of New York. On April 13, the group heard Charles B. Strozier’s “Lincoln and the Apocalyptic at Mid-Century.”
The Lincoln Club of Delaware heard Calvin Skaggs, producer and director of “Lincoln and the War Within,” at its annual Lincoln Dinner on February 11.
On February 9, I spoke on “Collecting Lincolniana” before the Rhode Island Civil War Round Table. Michael Burlingame presented “The Lincoln Marriage” on September 16, and at the annual dinner meeting on November 9, Richard N. Current delivered “Lincoln’s Loyalists: Union Soldiers from the Confederacy.”
The Associates of Saint Louis Libraries heard Mark E. Neely, Jr., recipient of the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for history, discuss “Abraham Lincoln as a Literary Figure” on February 11.
Ralph Geoffrey Newman reviewed his “Sixty Years on the Lincoln Trail” before the New Salem Lincoln League on February 13.
On January 19, Philip B. Kunhardt III, coproducer of the ABC-TV production “Lincoln” and coauthor of the accompanying book, Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography, addressed the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia. On February 12, the group heard Kentucky attorney Kent Masterson Brown’s “Lincoln as a Lawyer,” following a selection of Civil War-era music by folksinger Joe Hickerson. L. Terry Oggel spoke on “The ‘Other’ Booth: Edwin Booth and the Making of Myth” on April 20.
The Lincoln Memorial Association of the Lincoln Shrine in Redlands, California, heard James M. McPherson at its sixty-first annual Watchorn Lincoln Dinner on April 18. In “Who Freed the Slaves? Lincoln and Emancipation,” McPherson gave due credit to the pro- [End Page 46] ponents of “self-emancipation”; he pointed out that there would have been no freedom without the war and victory. McPherson spoke before the Union League Club of Chicago and Civil War Round Table on September 24. The speech has been published by the Lincoln Memorial Shrine.
The twentieth annual Abraham Lincoln Symposium was held on February 12 in the Old State Capitol, Springfield, opened by its protector, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, for only one day while undergoing extensive environmental repairs. “Abraham Lincoln and the Whig Party” included papers by Daniel Walker Howe (“Why Abraham Lincoln Was a Whig”), Major L. Wilson (“Lincoln on the Perpetuation of Republican Institutions: Whig and Republican Strategies”), and Drew R. McCoy (“Lincoln and the Founding Fathers: A Reconsideration”). Comments were by John Niven. The traditional banquet was held that evening, with an address by Garry Wills, author of Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America. In an interview with Doug Pokorski of the State Journal-Register (Springfield) that appeared on February 13, Wills observed, “Many people believe Lincoln was a good man despite the fact that he was a politician. Actually, he was a great man because he was a politician. He accomplished a lot that way.” According to Wills, leaders in a democracy must be effective politicians, and Lincoln put a lot of effort into being effective.
Brooks Davis delivered “Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln as Commanders-in-Chief” to the Civil War Round Table (Chicago) on January 8 and to the St. Louis Civil War Round Table on January 26. 15
The North Louisiana Civil War Round Table heard William D. Pederson’s “Abraham Lincoln and Leadership” at its February 16 meeting.
The Lincoln Group of Florida heard William Hanchett’s “The Rise, Fall, and Revival of Lincoln’s Assassination as a Confederate Conspiracy” on February 27. He was preceded by the third annual Basler Memorial Lincoln Symposium, with speakers Margaret Bearden and David Long. Hanchett also presented “John Wilkes Booth and the Terrible Truth about the Civil War” at the fifty-third annual meeting of the Lincoln Fellowship of Wisconsin on April 18.
The sixth annual Harman Memorial Lincoln Lecture was held on March 11 at Washburn University, along with the monthly meeting of the Lincoln Club of Topeka. Peter Knupfer presented “Lincoln and the Old Fogies—The Struggle over Henry Clay’s Legacy,” which explored how Lincoln adopted parts of Clay’s political philosophy to forge his own political development. Members of the Lincoln [End Page 47] Club of Topeka heard Robert Payne’s “Abraham Lincoln and the Russians” on September 9.
The Stephen A. Douglas Association commemorated the 180th anniversary of Douglas’s birth on April 23 at the Harold Washington Library, Chicago. A dramatic performance of “Lincoln and Douglas in Chicago” was followed by an address by Harold Holzer, “The Lincoln-Douglas Debates: What They Really Said.”
Thomas F. Schwartz presented the second Thomas J. Dyba Annual Lecture, “A Curator’s Perspective on Collecting,” at the annual meeting of the Lincoln Group of Illinois on June 12. Jack Smith offered remarks on collecting, with examples from his collection of Lincoln images.
Senator Paul Simon spoke to the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia on May 18 about “Elijah Lovejoy and Abraham Lincoln.” On August 20, the group commemorated the centennial of the Lincoln statue in the Old Calton Burial Ground in Edinburgh. Ferenc Szasz spoke on “The Scotts and Abraham Lincoln” at lunch, and Lloyd Longford spoke at the rededication of the Lincoln statue. Harold Holzer discussed his Lincoln-Douglas Debates: The First, Complete Unexpurgated Text on September 21.
The second annual Frank L. Klement Lecture was held at Marquette University on October 11; Richard N. Current delivered “What Is an American? Abraham Lincoln and Multiculturalism.” Marquette University Press has published the lecture.
To commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the march on Washington held at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, Scott A. Sandage presented a slide lecture on the significance of the monument in the civil rights movement at the National Archives on August 28.
The Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania heard John Sellers’s “Dear Therena: Letters from the Lincoln White House” on November 19.
The speaker at the Gettysburg Soldiers’ National Cemetery was Shelby Foote, who reminded the crowd that Lincoln spoke there of reconciliation as well as sustaining the Union: “Lincoln did not come here or exercise his craft to cast aspersions on those who are doing their best to tear the fabric of the Union, even as he spoke…. He did not think they were wicked. He simply thought they were wrong.”
The Lincoln Legal Papers Project
Herbert Mitgang, cultural correspondent for the New York Times, wrote on February 15, “Documents Search Shows Lincoln the Rail- [End Page 48] splitter as a Polished Lawyer.” The article indicates that far from being the country boy who wove homespun tails before juries, Lincoln was an extremely sophisticated lawyer with a significant appellant practice and so respected by judges that he was asked from time to time to sit as a judge. Cullom Davis, director of the Lincoln Legal Papers Project, was quoted as saying, “His peers considered him a lawyer’s lawyer.” The search throughout seventy-one Illinois county courthouses indicates that Lincoln’s law practice was larger and more active than anyone had previously estimated. As historian Robert V. Bruce said, “He could split hairs as well as rails.” One of the finds in the search for pleadings was an answer Lincoln erroneously filed as “Lincoln and Lincoln” in the matter of Robert B. Courtney, et al. v. Nelson Madison. There never was a firm, partnership, or relationship called “Lincoln and Lincoln.” Lincoln may have accidentally substituted his own name for that of Ward Hill Lamon in one of their joint cases in Vermilion County, where the matter was heard. The January–March Lincoln Legal Briefs points out that there is no record of a lawyer named Lincoln practicing in the county.
The project has issued a new descriptive brochure, “The Lincoln Legal Papers: A Documentary History of the Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln, 1836–1861,” which features the “tombstone” advertisements of the three Lincoln partnerships: J. T. Stewart and A. Lincoln, Logan and Lincoln, and Lincoln and Herndon.
At the Lincoln Legal Papers Advisory Board meeting on February 12, Richard E. Hart, chair of the fundraising committee of the Abraham Lincoln Association for the project, indicated that the project’s budget was now $244,000, with 8 percent provided by the fundraising efforts of the association, 21 percent from corporate or foundation grants, 18 percent from federal grants, and 53 percent from the state of Illinois. During 1992, the association raised $20,976.30.
In May, the James S. Copley Foundation awarded a grant of $16,140 to assist in the search for evidence of Lincoln’s law practice in Sangamon, Logan, and Montgomery counties. A revised timetable for the book edition publication was also announced in May. The first and second volumes are scheduled for 1998, and volumes three to five are anticipated by 2002.
Davis described “The Lincoln Legal Papers” in the May OAH Newsletter and presented “A Tarnished Lawyer Is a Homeless Man” at the annual convention of the American Inns of Court held in June.
The April–June Lincoln Legal Briefs reported the staff’s discovery of forty-nine legal documents from 1842 to 1855 in Lincoln’s handwriting in the Tazewell Circuit Court. In October, Davis reported [End Page 49] that the project was on schedule, having completed searches in fifty counties and reaching a document tally of 75,000, with Lincoln’s caseload reaching 5,300.
Cameron McWhirter of the Chicago Tribune profiled the project on September 19 in his widely syndicated “Honest Abe: Unique project lifts veil on early life of Lincoln, tackles cherished myths.” Doug Pokorski’s profile of Lincoln Legals researcher Michael Duncan, “An Eye For Abe’s Hand,” appeared in the July 6 State Journal-Register (Springfield).
William D. Pederson conducted “Abraham Lincoln and Leadership: A Comparative and Historical Perspective, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute for Teachers” from June 8 to July 2 at Louisiana State University-Shreveport. The institute, the first-ever such event, was cosponsored by the university and the Abraham Lincoln Association. During the four-week meeting, twenty-five secondary school teachers explored the sixteenth president’s leadership style and contemporary relevance. Lecturers included Pederson, David Long, Jody Potts, Marguerite R. Plummer, Brenda J. Cox, and myself.
The Lincoln Family Symposium, “From Log Cabin to Hildene,” was held in Manchester, Vermont. Speakers for the July 29–31 event included Harold Holzer (“The Lincoln Family Album” and “The Image of the Lincoln Family”), James T. Hickey (“Photographic Memories of the Lincolns”), John S. Goff (“The Boyhood of Robert Todd Lincoln” and “The Pullman Company”), Thomas F. Schwartz (“Robert Todd Lincoln’s Life at Exeter and Harvard”), Douglas Wilson (“The Herndon Papers”), Thomas D. Visser (“The Architecture of Hildene”), and my “Robert Todd Lincoln and John Hay, Fellow Travelers.” A panel discussion moderated by Albert C. Jerman, Hildene historian, capped the conference.
The eighth annual Lincoln Colloquium of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, directed by George Painter, was held at Sangamon State University on October 23 with the theme “Abraham Lincoln in the American Mind.” Harold Holzer and Mark E. Neely, Jr., discussed Civil War art and their new book Mines Eyes Have Seen the Glory; Richard W. Sellars analyzed “Remembering Abraham Lincoln: History and Myth at Historic Sites”; Douglas L. Wilson discussed “William H. Herndon and the ‘Necessary Trust'”; William Hanchett spoke on “When the Bells Tolled: The Misunderstood [End Page 50] Aftermath of Lincoln’s Assassination”; and I presented, with slides, “The Crisis in Lincoln Collecting: Mayhem and Beyond.”
As part of the Smithsonian Institution lecture series “The Civil War and Washington,” Bob Bridges offered “Abraham Lincoln’s Washington” on May 5.
The theme of the June 27-July 3 Gettysburg Civil War Institute was “Lincoln and His Lieutenants: Command Relations.” Included were papers by Tom Wicker (“Thinking of Manassas”), Stephen Sears (“Lincoln, McClellan and the Goals of the War: Command Relations”), Harold Holzer and Mark E. Neely, Jr. (“Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: The Civil War in Art”), Mark E. Neely, Jr. (“Lincoln, Hooker, Halleck, and Defeat”), Gabor S. Boritt (“Meade and Gettysburg”), Michael Fellman (“Lincoln and Sherman”), and John Y. Simon (“Lincoln, Grant, and Victory”). Boritt presented the tribute “Remembering a Friend: Michael Shaara.”
The Huntington Library and Museum sponsored “‘The Last Best Hope of Earth’: Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America” on October 16–17, with papers by Jean Baker (“Lincoln’s Narrative of American Exceptionalism”), William Gienapp (“The Presidential Leadership of Lincoln”), Mark E. Neely, Jr. (“Lincoln, War and the Two Party System”), Phillip S. Paludan (“Emancipating the Republic: Lincoln and the Means and Ends of Antislavery”), Merrill Peterson (“The International Lincoln”), Kenneth Stampp (“Lincoln’s History”), Harold Holzer (“Avoid Saying Foolish Things: The Legacy of Lincoln’s Impromptu Oratory”), and my “Abraham Lincoln: Our Ever-Present Contemporary.” Richard N. Current delivered the keynote, “Abraham Lincoln and ‘Multiculturalism.'”
The Lincoln and Gettysburg Symposium commemorating the 130th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address was held in Gettysburg on November 19–20, with Jerry L. Russell as chair. Speakers were Ralph G. Newman (“Thoughts on Mr. Lincoln”), Harold Holzer (“Hope to the World: Lincoln on Democracy”), Allen Guelzo (“Lincoln and the Declaration of Independence”), Brooks D. Simpson (“Lincoln Finds His General”), Archie McDonald (“‘That Reminds Me of a Story’: Lincoln and His Use of Humor and Anecdote”), Lloyd Ostendorf (“Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address”), Terry Winschel (“The Meaning of the Gettysburg Address”), Gary Laderman (“Abraham Lincoln’s Hallowed and Hallowed Body: Shaping the Symbolism of Death, National Collective Memory, and the Funeral Industry in Nineteenth-Century America”), David E. Long (“Wartime Democracy: The 1864 Presidential Election”), Michael Vorenberg (“Beyond the ‘New Birth of Freedom’: Lincoln’s and the National Vision of the Future of African-Americans”), John Mason Glen (“Lincoln, the [End Page 51] Great Emancipator”), John Y. Simon (“Lincoln a Year after Gettysburg”), William C. Harris (“Lincoln on Amnesty and Reconstruction”), Thomas D. Matijasic (“Thomas Masaryk’s Visit to Gettysburg”), Glen La Fantasie (“Lincoln and the Gettysburg Awakening”), and my “Abraham Lincoln: Our Ever-Present Contemporary.”
On August 27–28, the second annual Lincoln-Douglas Debates Celebration, “Practices of Democracy: The Lincoln-Douglas Debates in Perspective,” was held in Ottawa, Illinois, with presentations by Kay Carr (“Reaching the People in Early Illinois: Railroads, the Telegraph, and Local Newspapers and the Transition to Modern Politics”), Phillip Paludan (“Lincoln’s Prewar Constitutional Vision”), Harry V. Jaffa (“The Speech That Changed the World”), and David Zarefsky (“‘Public Sentiment Is Everything’: Lincoln’s View of Political Persuasion”). Comments were by Michael Burlingame and Robert Bray. “An Evening with Abe and Mary Todd Lincoln” and debate reenactments were also presented.
Michael Maione, site historian, directed the symposium “Ford’s Theatre: A Stage in History” on September 13–15. Among the presenters were William Hanchett (“Myths of the Lincoln Assassination”), James Hall (“Who Was John Wilkes Booth and Why Did He Kill Mr. Lincoln?”), Michael Kauffman (“Eyewitness Accounts of April 14, 1865”), Harold Holzer (“Mr. Lincoln’s Mail”), Gabor Boritt (“Black/White and Mr. Lincoln: British Cartoons of the American Civil War”), Michael Burlingame (“Mary Lincoln”), Clark Evans (“Mr. Lincoln and the Performing Arts”), Gayle Harris (“John Thompson Ford and His Theatre”), Gary Scott (“The U.S. Government, National Park Service and Ford’s Theatre since 1865”), and I (“Mr. Lincoln and the Road to Mythdom”). There were also two panel discussions: “The Case for, the Case against, Dr. Samuel Mudd” by John McHale and Richard Sloan, and “The Case for and against Mary Surratt” by Joan Chaconas and Laurie Verge.
The fourteenth annual Illinois History Symposium, held on December 3–4 in Springfield, included “Lincoln’s Wartime Meetings with General Duff Green” by David Woodard, “The New York Herald and the Lincoln Message: Was the Source Mary Todd Lincoln?” by Robert L. Spellman, “Lawyer Lincoln as Judge on the Eighth Circuit” by Martha L. Benner, “Lincoln and Speed: Attorney and Client” by Susan Krause, and “How Good an Oral Historian Was Billy Herndon?” by Rodney O. Davis. [End Page 52]
In the January–February Lincolnian, departing editor Paul H. Verduin bemoans the lack of a newsletter that would serve as a clearinghouse to announce Lincoln activities.
David E. Rosenbaum’s “Clinton’s Bright Ideas Get to Meet the Ugly Facts” (New York Times, January 10) points out that although President-elect Clinton seemed to be backing off from a campaign pledge to cut the federal budget deficit in half during his first term, George Bush also broke a campaign promise, as had Lincoln. Bush promised not to raise taxes, and Lincoln promised not to abolish slavery.
Edward Sorel’s cover for the January 25 New Yorker depicts President Clinton delivering his Inaugural Address surrounded by all past presidents. Lincoln sits behind Clinton’s right shoulder.
Cartoonist Deering of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette portrays a compassionate Lincoln for the February 12 editorial page, with the first paragraph of Lincoln’s House Divided speech in a sidebar. Editorials in the Gazette on the 184th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth included Paul Greenberg’s “Lincoln and the power of myth.” He calls Lincoln a “moral realist” and the genesis for myth, “a truth greater than fact.” Lincoln had faith and moral courage and so is summoned continuously as a myth. For example, when Fannie Burdock, a ninety-one-year-old former slave of Valdosta, Georgia, was interviewed by the Federal Writers Project, she recalled, “We been picking in the field when my brother he point to the road and then we see Marse Abe coming all dusty and on foot. We run right to the fence and had the oak bucket and the dipper. When he draw up to us, he so tall, black eyes so sad. Didn’t say not one word, just looked hard at all us, ever one us crying. We give him nice cool water from the dipper. Then he nodded and set off and we just stood there till he get to being dust then nothing. After, didn’t our owner or nobody credit it, but me and all my kin, we knowed, I still got the dipper to prove it.” Of course, the event could not have happened in any world except that of spirit and symbol. Another Gazette editorial, “Lincoln’s Birthday, 1993. He would be right at home,” indicates that Lincoln always knew his country was changing and had to change. He would compromise anything but a principle, the editorial writer points out, and Lincoln’s greatness lay in knowing what a principle was, in knowing what could and could not be compromised without losing all. There was a great contrast between Stephen A. Douglas and Lincoln. Douglas was one of the perennial champions of public life who can glide over every issue, whereas [End Page 53] Lincoln troubled his listeners more than he soothed them. The debate between the Little Giant and the Railsplitter did not end in 1858; it resumes at every “faithful juncture of modern history. Mr. Lincoln would understand our world; would we understand him?” The Gazette also reprinted the Gettysburg Address and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural.
The annual Lincoln editorial from the State Journal-Register (Springfield), “Through words, Lincoln left unforgettable legacy,” appeared on February 12 and reported that the record auction prices paid for an autograph quotation of the first paragraph of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address and an early fragment of Lincoln’s House Divided speech reinforced the importance of Lincoln’s words in the nation’s legacy. Lincoln’s ability to put words to use in a “poignant and powerful way continues to fascinate, especially in a day when pictorial images often seem to supplant the written word.”
On Inauguration Day, January 20, the New York Times observed in “Mr. Clinton’s Day, and America’s” that columnist Russell Baker may have only been half jesting when he wrote the day before that Hillary Rodham Clinton had tried to persuade her husband to delete eleven thousand words from his text and admonished the president-elect that he might be better served by looking at the shorter inaugural addresses like Lincoln’s “conciliatory second inaugural.”
William Safire’s “On Language” article, “The Man in the Big White Jail” for the January 24 New York Times Magazine, cites Lincoln’s first inaugural address, in which he told secessionists, “You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to ‘preserve, protect and defend it.'” Always one to try to count angels on the heads of pins, Safire argues that Lincoln was really stretching the point, as his “it” referred to the government although the oath’s verbs referred to the Constitution, not necessarily the same thing. Safire believes that nowhere in the Constitution is there a prohibition of a state’s power to secede, and he claims that Lincoln “creatively” used the oath of office as a method for making it impossible for the states to secede without war, thus placing the burden for the decision on the Confederacy.
Bob Sampson’s “Opinion” article in the February 11 Illinois Times warns against “puffing Lincoln to a higher station than other political figures.” By doing so, we risk discounting the good he did, causing a loss of his reputation. Sampson points to a paper given at the December 1992 Illinois History Symposium attempting to place Lincoln in the mainstream of twentieth-century economic theory critical of capitalism. He correctly points out that Lincoln spent his entire political career opposing the methods of the theory’s adherents. [End Page 54] Lincoln was a friend of capitalists, “not the son of God or a prophet of democracy but simply a politician who served his ambition, made his mistakes and, yes, sometimes achieved greatness.”
In “Connecticut Comment” in the Greenwich Times Ira Joe Fisher discusses how “in dead of winter, thoughts of Lincoln enliven imagination.” Fisher remembers the month of February as a four-week “pageant” honoring Lincoln. He recalls his third-grade teacher and class as Mrs. Remington asked students to “carefully” cut out the silhouette of Lincoln. Fisher remembers being able to draw Lincoln before he could write his own name. George Washington’s birthday was an anticlimax. Although Washington was a good man and a great general, Fisher’s imagination remained with log cabins, a speech at Gettysburg, and the Emancipation Proclamation.
“Don’t feel bad, Mr. President, Lincoln had his problems, too” by Steven Stark appeared in the February 15 Boston Globe. With the bumps that President Clinton received during his first month in office, Stark, taking some liberties, indicates how the press might have covered Lincoln’s presidency: “Washington, Oct. 23, 1862.—Abraham Lincoln continues to come under fire from friends and foes alike for his plan to free the slaves unilaterally by an executive order he would call ‘the Emancipation Proclamation.’ With the war going badly, critics are charging that Lincoln has been diverted from the issues that won him the presidency in order to focus attention on a cultural ‘fringe cause.’ ‘Don’t they remember the sign in campaign headquarters?’ asked one Republican recently. ‘It’s preserving the union, Stupid.'”
Cartoonist Don Wright of the Palm Beach Post depicted, on February 20, Lincoln standing by his desk and telling his handlers, “According to TV town meetings and radio talk shows, it’s 1,736 for and 3,332 against, that settles it—we don’t free the slaves!”
On December 14, 1992, Wiley’s non sequitur of the Washington Post Writers Group depicted a person making the traditional snowman while a child places the finishing touches on a full-scale Mount Rushmore in snow with the heads of Lincoln, Roosevelt, Jefferson, and Washington.
According to B.C. for the New York Times in February, “Washington was a very great man. Lincoln was one, too! Put them together and you get a three day weekend.”
The February Harper’s Magazine contained an extract of “President’s Day: A Descent” by Roy Lincoln Karp, an editorial that appeared originally in the February 1992 Free Spirit, the student journal at LaGuardia High School in New York City, the editorial indicates that a tyrant would like the idea of President’s Day, “As it is a step [End Page 55] towards the worship of all presidents—even those who do not deserve it.” Based on the premise that all leaders should be praised simply because they are leaders, “It steals from the glory of the true heroes of this country, like Washington and Lincoln, as well as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and redistributes it equally among all presidents, including the nearly impeached Richard M. Nixon.”
Cartoonist Marlette satirizes the failure of President Clinton’s nominees to achieve higher office for not paying Social Security taxes in his syndicated June 21 cartoon that appeared in the Sun (Westerly, R.I.): a vacant chair in the Lincoln Memorial with the legend, “They found out he forgot to pay social security taxes on his housekeeper!”
William D. Pederson’s June 13 op-ed piece for the Shreveport Times pointed out that “Lincoln understood better than most the essentials of modern democratic leadership … he maneuvered his vision through ‘ideologues’ on the left (abolitionists and radical republicans) and those ‘on the right’ who advocated neither moral nor objective equality.”
Richard Nilsen for the Arizona Republic on April 25 continued the thought that although Lincoln will always be known as the Great Emancipator, he in fact freed no slaves in the North and had no power to free slaves in the Confederacy. Nilsen points out: “It is Lincoln’s intention and rhetoric of manumission that we recall. The practicality of action is less important.” Joseph J. Semenza observes in a May 21 rebuttal letter that slaves were indeed freed as Union armies occupied Confederate territory and as slaves, upon hearing of the proclamation, freed themselves by walking into Union lines. Semenza correctly notes that Lincoln had certain constitutional limitations in freeing slaves.
Gary Larson’s The Far Side, syndicated on June 8, portrayed a tour guide speaking to tourists in front of a giant log home, “Of course, one of the more popular myths is that our sixteenth president was born in a little log cabin.”
In a discussion of the military’s fear of the presence of gays in uniform, Robert Bly, in “What the Mayans Could Teach the Joint Chiefs” for the July 23 New York Times, describes that culture’s four stages of man: boy, warrior, community man, and “echo” man. To Bly, the “echo” man “is not exactly man or woman but a person who hears … is all ears, all grief, all intuition, all response to sound … does not act but rather listens … and tries to figure out to whom our debt for living is to be paid.” Bly believes that Lincoln was a true “echo” man because in the Gettysburg Address he spoke [End Page 56] of our debt to the country’s founders as well as to the living and the soldiers who had died in battle.
In a letter to the Washington Post on June 22, Sandra L. Whittington questioned whether Lincoln was truly the Great Emancipator. She says that his purpose was to preserve the Union “with or without slavery.” In a response that appeared in the Post on July 1, Simon Henshaw discussed Lincoln’s life-long opposition to slavery and how he changed his government’s policy to include African-American liberation. In the same issue, Stanley Kober cites Lincoln’s Cooper Union speech as proof that Lincoln “was not willing to initiate war to exterminate slavery where it existed, but he was willing to accept war to prevent its spread.”
Rube’s cartoon syndicated on November 3 has a line of “Lincolns” entering Ford’s Theatre under a sign “Abraham Lincoln Look-Alike Contest Tonight,” with John Wilkes Booth off to the side holding a pistol and scratching his head. The caption reads “John Wilkes Booth’s plan hits an unexpected snag.”
“Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom,” produced by Bill Jersey and Judith Leonard and originally telecast on the Public Broadcasting System during December 1992, was shown in the Chicago area in January. The documentary features interviews with John Y. Simon, James M. McPherson, Harold Holzer, and Mario Cuomo. Mead Data Central, Inc., sponsored a benefit screening on April 29 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, with proceeds going to the Legal Clinic Programs at Georgetown University Law Center.
James Earl Jones narrated Aaron Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” for the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, with Gerard Swartz conducting (Delos). Roscoe Lee Browne narrated the patriotic piece for the Boston Pops Orchestra, John Williams conducting, on January 18. The Juilliard Orchestra performed the piece with narration by David N. Dinkins at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, on February 12. K. Robert Schwarz believed that some of the innumerable versions of “Lincoln Portrait” have been “truly execrable,” mentioning those by Margaret Thatcher and H. Norman Schwarzkopf as representative of the “height of perversity.” To him, the recording by James Earl Jones in Portraits of Freedom gave the “old chestnut one more chance” because the actor was “equal to its musical merits” (New York Times, July 11). George J. Friedman, in an August 8 letter to the Times, reminded [End Page 57] the reviewer that earlier versions by Henry Fonda, Charlton Heston, and Adlai Stevenson were also worthy.
The Providence Journal-Bulletin reported on January 5 that “Emancipation Proclamation draws large crowds in D.C.” Last displayed in 1979, the fragile document signed by Lincoln 130 years ago, was exhibited in the National Archives for only a few days at the end of 1992. Each day, about six thousand visitors passed by the proclamation. Joseph Fowlkes, president of the Providence chapter of the NAACP, said that the proclamation “was almost bogus, a lot of sound and fury, but there was no real enforcement power behind it,” but Ted Wells, a lawyer who waited in line to view the document, argued that the proclamation “changed the whole fabric and tenor of the war … [and] took the war to a whole new moral plane.”
Jay Wertz, director of the Smithsonian’s Great Battles of the Civil War, a seven-videocassette presentation released by Master Vision, said “our hearts stopped” when he heard that a similar series, “The Civil War,” would be released before his own. Thinking that the two projects would result in a “head-on confrontation,” Wertz realized that the two programs complemented each other, “Burns is more the ambiance of the era. We’re the nitty-gritty.” Although Burns’s series uses photographs, letters, and other recollections to create a haunting and grim evocation of the struggle, Wertz has produced a brisk description of the battles, complemented by maps, photographs, and readings by Charlton Heston as Lincoln and Richard Dreyfuss as Grant.
PBS aired “Lincoln and the War Within,” with Christ Carandon, Tom Aldridge, and Will Patton. It was produced by Calvin Skaggs.
Lew Mallow (2814 Clark Place, Eau Claire, WI 54701) has prepared five one-hour slide programs with narration on cassette: “The Life of Abraham Lincoln”; “The Life of Mary Todd Lincoln”; “Gettysburg: The Battle and the Speech”; “Abraham Lincoln: A Contrast in Time”; and “The Assassination of President Lincoln and the Aftermath.”
Woodmere China (Box 5305, New Castle, PA 16105) offers the White House Dessert Collection, with twelve patterns that are reproductions of dinnerware designed for and used by U.S. presidents, including Lincoln, Grant, and Taylor. The National Archives (Trust Fund Board, Washington, DC 20408) is also offering dinnerware.
The House of Tyrol is offering for sale a Lincoln ceramic relief beer stein and a porcelain plate. The Bradford Exchange also has available a porcelain plate of Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address.
W. S. Gilman’s “Chelsea Grist” describes “The Smiling Abe Lincoln” for the February Behind the Times (Bradford, Vt.). The paper [End Page 58] reproduced a copy of the original life portrait of Lincoln painted in autumn 1860 by Alban Jasper Conant, a native of Chelsea, Vermont, where the original hangs in the public library.
Woodcuts by the late Charles Turzak, an early member of the Lincoln Group of Florida, were displayed at the Maitland Art Center (Florida) through April 18. The retrospective “Charles Turzak: Graphics” was described in the February 19 Orlando Sentinel.
Dove Audio (301 N. Cannon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210) has produced an abridged Lincoln at Gettysburg read by the author, Garry Wills, in four audiocassette tapes.
An average audience of 11.4 million viewed the two-night documentary “Lincoln,” which aired on ABC on December 26–27, 1992.
The June 10 Blue and Gray describes the “Art of Alexander Lawrie,” which hangs in McArthur Hall at the Indiana Veterans Home, West Lafayette. Included is a pre-presidential Lincoln.
A Lincoln statuette created by Grossman Designs, Inc., and based on the Norman Rockwell painting of attorney Lincoln representing Duff Armstrong is available from Milton Seltzer (1263 Jonathan Ln., Wantagh, NY 11793).
Theatreworks/USA Corp., in its fifth summer, presented a new musical, Young Abe Lincoln, at New York City’s Promenade Theatre for a month beginning June 28. A national tour is planned for the United States. John Allen wrote the book and lyrics, and Jeffrey Lodin wrote the music. Ted Pappas directed. In the review for the July 7 New York Times, Lawrence Van Gelder asked, “What’s better than a lively musical with a love story?” His answer was “a lively musical with two love stories,” and he praised the ill-fated romance between Lincoln and Ann Rutledge as “the deeper, more substantive love story … of a young man impassioned by the tenets of the United States: exhilarated by the concepts of liberty and equality and exalted by the realization that such ideas, expressed in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and books of law can be applied to the lives of ordinary people…. ‘Young Abe Lincoln’ offers good theatre and good education.”
John and Rose Buckner Ahart, directors of the Great American People Show at Lincoln’s New Salem, presented a new Lincoln work, Mr. Lincoln and the Fourth of July, from July 23 through August 15. In a review for Illinois Times (July 22–28), William Furry called it “A Fourth That Fizzles,” indicating that “while the play was crammed with volatile history, it fails to ignite, fizzling out like a soggy firecracker.” But Margaret Boswell reported in the State Journal-Register (Springfield): “As a dramatic device, it is breath taking in its presentation and execution. Time was, time is. Scenes flow from the [End Page 59] present to the past until it is all one in our nation.” Furry points out that there are more than 150 plays about Lincoln in the Illinois State Historical Library, not counting television and radio scripts.
Sam Waterston portrayed Lincoln in Robert E. Sherwood’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Abe Lincoln in Illinois at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre, Lincoln Center, New York. The play, with forty-nine actors, ran from November 24 through January 2, 1994.
David Margolick’s “The Cinematic Law Firm of Greedy, Vain and Immoral” for the New York Times on July 4, indicates that times have changed the image of lawyer heroes of yesteryear. If America had a love-hate relationship with its lawyers, the focus for awhile was on “love.” Even though Walter Matthau in The Fortune Cookie may have given “short shrift to Lincoln as legal counsel —’Great President, lousy lawyer,’ … in many of the finest lawyer movies, the heroes had a Lincolnesque cast: noble, earnest, handsome, plain-spoken, impeccably ethical. They are exemplified by Atticus Finch in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and Paul Biegler, … ‘Anatomy of a Murder.'”
Allan Kozinn, in “Nonesuch Makes a Deal with Glass That Looks Ahead and into the Past” for the New York Times on September 14, reported that Phillip Glass’s music for Robert Wilson’s Civil Wars will be recorded by Nonesuch Records.
The Dramatic Publishing Company has produced a new drama about Mary Todd Lincoln by Vaughn McBride, Pass My Imperfections Lightly By.
David L. Wells, who attended the teachers institute on Abraham Lincoln at LSU-Shreveport in June, produced the rap lyrics “The Greatest” for his final classroom report (see page 41 of this issue).
The September-October Civil War Times Illustrated contained a special book excerpt of Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory by Harold Holzer and Mark E. Neely, Jr., the definitive work on interpreting the Civil War through the paintings of the era.
Fido Productions (P.O. Box 7075, Beverly Hills, CA 90212) has available a new videocassette narrated by Walter Matthau describing “The Making of ‘The Last Best Hope of Earth’: Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America.”
Sculptor Richard Mallon has created a statue, in stone, of a full-figured Lincoln (4813 S. 26th, Fort Smith, AR 72901). The Civil War artist Francis J. Barnum has produced a limited pewter edition Lincoln bust (Tiara Gifts, Wheaton Plaza, Wheaton, MD 20902).
Business Boutiques Specialties of 908-A W. Broad Street, Dunn, NC 28334, is selling a set of Christmas ornaments featuring Lincoln and Jefferson Davis. [End Page 60]
The University of Illinois Press has produced a cassette recording of Caroline Moseley’s lectures and performance, “The Blue and the Gray: Popular Songs of the Civil War.”
Robin Cembalest’s “Clinton and the Arts: ‘He Never Stops Learning'” appeared in the January ARTnews, pointing out that an original print of Lincoln (by Garry Simmons, an artist from Hot Springs) hung in Bill Clinton’s statehouse office. Those who saw the president deliver his first telecast from the White House on February 15 saw the Berke bust of Lincoln behind the president’s left shoulder.
The Library of Congress exhibit “‘I Do Solemnly Swear’: Presidential Inaugurations, 1789–1993” ran from January 20 through February 21 in the Madison Building. The exhibit was the subject of an article by Guy Lamolinara in the January 25 Library of Congress Information Bulletin. Lincoln’s second inauguration, in 1865, was the first one in which blacks participated. A battalion of black soldiers marched in the parade from the Capitol to the White House. The exhibit featured a photograph from the 1865 inaugural ball (Lincoln had not attended the 1861 ball) and also included manuscripts for Lincoln’s first and second inaugural addresses, delivered from the East Portico of the Capitol. His second “is probably the most famous of all inaugural addresses,” says Andrew J. Cosentino. “The power of its sentiment is deepened even further when it is read as a counter point to the first inaugural address, perhaps as Lincoln meant it to be.”
A rare Lincoln photograph, taken in Springfield on May 20, 1860, was displayed on March 25 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. The picture, a beautiful salt print, was part of the exhibit “The Waking Dream: Photography’s First Century. Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection.” The Lincoln photograph was taken at the gallery of William Marsh, whose studio was just a few doors from Lincoln’s law offices in Springfield. Lincoln’s right hand is partially hidden in the photo so that the swelling he incurred from shaking hands does not show. The same day that the photograph was taken, the sculptor Leonard Wells Volk made a plaster cast of Lincoln’s hands to serve as a model for a proposed life-sized statue. The exhibit’s catalog, The Waking Dream: Photography’s First Century was produced by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Abrams, with a preface by Howard Gilman, foreword by [End Page 61] Philippe de Montebello, and an introduction by Maria Morris Hambourg.
An exhibition including papers in Lincoln’s hand referring to Lincoln’s 1858 House Divided speech about slavery was mounted through February 28 at the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York City.
The traveling exhibition “The White House 1792–1992: Image and Architecture” was shown at the Lincoln Home Visitors Center from January 18 through March 1. A special exhibit focusing on Lincoln’s 1860 election and the family’s preparation for travel to Washington opened in conjunction with the White House exhibit.
Drew Bailey in a February issue of the Chicago Tribune wrote about the “Exhibit to Retrace Lincoln’s Return by Train.” A fourteen-foot exhibit consisting of a miniature locomotive and two cars was scheduled to stop in ten cities during the summer of 1994 before arriving in Springfield on May 3, 1995. Called the “Lincoln Train Project,” it is being sponsored by Illinois Benedictine College.
An exhibit of siblings who were also rivals, “The Borglums of Fairfield County,” sponsored by Frank Mercede and Sons, was on display at the Rich Forum in Stamford, Connecticut, in July. A life-sized “seated Lincoln,” a copy of the “Children’s Lincoln” in Newark, was located outside of the exhibit hall so people can sit and “visit” with the president. Solon Borglum, unlike his brother Gutzon (who helped carve Mount Rushmore), was a romantic who made sculptures that dealt with the Old West.
Suzanne Muchnic on June 25 and Aileen Cho on October 14 described the exhibit at the Huntington Library, “‘The Last Best Hope of Earth’: Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America,” for the Los Angeles Times. The exhibit opened on October 12 and runs through August 30, 1994. With 175 original letters, documents, and artifacts, it is the largest exhibit of original Lincoln material mounted and the biggest show ever presented at the Huntington. Included is the Edward Everett copy of the Gettysburg Address, a printed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Abraham Lincoln, one of Lincoln’s stovepipe hats, and the pair of white gloves worn by the president the night he was assassinated. John Rhodehamel, who organized the exhibition with Thomas F. Schwartz, credits Louise Taper with the idea of initiating the event. The handsome exhibit catalog, prepared in part by support from Nestle, U.S.A., was written by Rhodehamel and Schwartz, with a foreword by James M. McPherson (Huntington Library Press, 1151 Oxford, San Marino, CA 91108).
The only statue of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln [End Page 62] together was rededicated in Racine, Wisconsin, on November 26. Steven Rogstad delivered the dedicatory remarks.
A walking tour of sites associated with Lincoln in Lower Manhattan, including St. Paul’s Chapel and City Hall, was conducted on February 12.
Lee C. Moorehead’s annual Lincoln Seminar and tour of Lincoln sites in Springfield, New Salem, and Petersburg was held July 16–18.
A “Fragment on Slavery,” written by Lincoln on a leaf of unruled, blue paper in Springfield between 1857 and 1859, was sold at Sotheby’s on May 21 for $992,500, with a prebid estimate of $300,000–$500,000. This was one of the Lincoln documents purportedly preserved in a trunk left in Springfield with Mary Todd Lincoln’s cousin and friend Elizabeth Todd Grimsley when the Lincoln family moved to Washington.
A Lincoln letter dated March 7, 1843, discussing his unsuccessful 1843 campaign for the Whig nomination for the seventh congressional seat, sold at Christie’s on June 9 for $72,900.
On April 7, Swann Galleries auctioned a W. L. Germon albumin print of an oval portrait of Abraham Lincoln and Tad. Estimated between $500 and $750, it brought $1,045.
Monika Half wrote “Lincoln: The Most Photographed President” for the September–October Auction News from Christie’s.
For the benefit of its art acquisition fund, the J. B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, sold at a Sotheby’s auction on November 1, the most famous signed photograph of Lincoln, the celebrated Lincoln-Speed portrait. It bears the longest inscription ever written by the Sixteenth President for a photograph: “For Mrs. Lucy G. Speed, from whose pious hands I ax-/cept the present of an Oxford Bible twenty years ago” (October 3, 1861). Prebid estimate was between $100,000 and $150,000; it sold for $178,500.
A letter from Abraham Lincoln consoling Robert Lincoln’s friend on his failure to get into Harvard University sold at Christie’s on December 9 in the amount of $728,500. [End Page 63]
Awards and Prizes
The Abraham Lincoln Association and Southern Illinois University Press continues its call for manuscripts for the Abraham Lincoln Association Prize, which awards $1,000 and publication. Manuscripts are due on September 1 of each year and will be judged by a panel of Lincoln scholars, including Richard N. Current, Robert W. Johannsen, and Mark E. Neely, Jr. The panel is chaired by John Y. Simon.
Georgia L. Northrup, longtime membership chair of the Abraham Lincoln Association, received the third annual Abraham Lincoln Association Award of Achievement on February 12.
The 1993 Barondess-Lincoln Award of the Civil War Round Table of New York went to Garry Wills on February 10 for Lincoln at Gettysburg. On February 28, Wills also received the 1992 Book Critic Circle Award in the criticism category and the 1993 Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction. Wills believes that in 272 words, Lincoln, “through slight of hand, recast the tradition of oration, the Civil War, and the history of American political thought.” Lincoln’s words were meant to end the war in ideological as well as military terms. The New York Times reported the honors on April 14 under the heading “Pulitzer Honors for Lincoln, Truman and Courage: Big Winner is Jefferson.” This is the second Lincoln book in as many years to receive the Pulitzer, with last year’s going to Mark E. Neely, Jr., for The Fate of Liberty, now available in paper from Oxford.
The Civil War Round Table of New York announced that Jeremiah Barondess, the descendant of Benjamin Barondess for whom the Barondess-Lincoln award was created, will no longer continue to support the award, as he expected the Round Table to receive outside financial backing. The board voted to continue the Barondess-Lincoln award until a new prize designation could be made.
Stephen B. Oates received the 1993 Civil War Round Table (Chicago) Nevins-Freeman Award.
Kenneth M. Stampp, author of The Peculiar Institution (1956), was the recipient of the 1993 Lincoln Prize presented by the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College ($40,000). He shared the prize with Albert Castel for Decision in the West: The Atlanta Campaign of 1864 ($10,000). A new sticker, “Lincoln Prize” and “Lincoln and Soldiers Institute Gettysburg College,” with a full profile of Lincoln, has been developed and will be placed on the books of future Lincoln Prize laureates. In a book review for the Washington Post on February 28 David Streitfeld complained about the prize going to non-Lincoln books, especially one twenty-seven years old, and the 1991 prize [End Page 64] going for the PBS series The Civil War, calling it “television as scholarship.” Gabor Boritt called such complaints unfair in the Post on April 25.
The Springfield (Illinois) Renaissance Hotel has initiated a Lincoln Award to recognize businesses and organizations that have contributed to the city’s cultural and human services. The February honoree was the Ronald McDonald House, which provides a place for families whose children are receiving medical treatment at hospitals or clinics.
Josephine Miller (Brookwood Junior High School, Brookwood, Ill.) won first prize in the seventh annual Lincoln Essay Competition Awards presented by the Lincoln Home National Historic Site for “Lincoln Legacy.” Second prize went to Emily Kiang (St. Michael School, Orland Park, Ill.), and third prize to Meredith Buamlet (Malan Junior High School, Harrisburg, Ill.). Winning essays were published in the February, March, and April issues of Historico of the Sangamon County Historical Society.
On April 1, the New York Times announced that Herbert Mitgang was the winner of the George Polk Career Award.
On April 17, Harold Holzer received the Award of Superior Achievement in the category of scholarly publications from the Illinois State Historical Society for editing the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, as did John Hoffmann for Guide to the History of Illinois. The society presented George L. Painter, historian of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, a Certificate of Excellence “for encouraging an increasing awareness of Abraham Lincoln” and “raising the level of the Lincoln site as a center for scholarly interaction and intellectual inquiry.”
On May 4, Stefan Lorant, who, like Meserve before him and Ostendorf after him, produced seminal work on Lincoln in photographs, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Center of Photography. 117
Wayne C. Temple was awarded the Silver Good Citizenship Medal by the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution on May 8.
The History Book Club’s winning essay went to Robert A. Warrner of Munsey, Indiana, whose essay discusses how Lincoln’s assassination could have been prevented. The club indicates that such a fantasy is the most common among its entrants.
Rodney O. Davis received the Emma Lou and Gayle Thornbrough Prize for the best essay in the Indiana Magazine of History for his article “William Herndon’s Indiana Oral History Project, 1865.”
Gore Vidal won a National Book Award for United States: Essays, 1952–1992. [End Page 65] 121
Lincoln Home National Historic Site
“Abraham Lincoln: A Biography in Words and Music,” re-creating an 1865 political rally with Fritz Klein playing the part of Lincoln, was presented at the Visitors’ Center on February 6 and 7.
The Lincoln Heritage Lectures, held on February 12, featured Harold Holzer (“The Lincoln-Douglas Debates: The First Complete Unexpurgated Text: What They Really Said”) and Douglas L. Wilson (“Editing the Herndon Papers”).
The February 13 State Journal-Register (Springfield) reported that planning continues for an Abraham Lincoln Interpretive Center in Springfield. Norman Hellmers, site superintendent, indicated that a contract was being drafted for an architectural firm to prepare construction plans for the center. Congressman Richard Durbin reintroduced legislation in Congress to authorize up to $18 million for the center, which is intended to provide a comprehensive overview of Lincoln’s life. The House Appropriations Committee approved $3 million for the center and $1.4 million for restoration work at the site. Formerly called the “Abraham Lincoln Interpretive Center,” the project has been renamed the “Abraham Lincoln Presidential Center.” On November 23, the House passed a bill authorizing $18 million to establish the center.
The State Journal-Register (Springfield) reported on December 14 that the National Park Service had completed a draft version of the environmental assessment for the location of the center and that such a center could attract more than half a million visitors annually by 2001 (“Report: Lincoln Center, a Big Draw” by Doug Pokorski). The site preferred by the Park Service is a downtown block just north of the Illinois Executive Mansion and bounded by Capitol, Fourth, Jackson, and Fifth streets.
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial Lincoln City, Indiana
The memorial, with the Lincoln Club of Southern Indiana, held its annual Lincoln Day Program on February 7, with Carolyn E. Link, superintendent of the Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site, as speaker. [End Page 66]
Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site Hodgenville, Kentucky
A sampling of the seven hundred framed images of Lincoln in the collection of Jack and Pat Smith of South Bend, Indiana, was on exhibit at the Visitors’ Center. Tina Kunkler, in “‘Picturing Lincoln’ Comes to Hodgenville,” profiled the exhibit for the Larue County Herald News (Hodgenville) on June 16.
Eric Niderost wrote “The Great Debate” for the May America’s Civil War.
Harold Holzer’s nineteenth annual article for Antique Trader appeared on February 10 (“Lincoln’s Incredible Season”). “A Picture’s Worth,” in which Holzer answers questions about Lincoln prints, paintings, and photographs, also appeared, as did Roy Nuhn’s “The Lincoln Memorial—An American Landmark.”
Bruce Tap’s “Race, Rhetoric and Emancipation: The Election of 1862 in Illinois” and James Marten’s “For the Army, the People and Abraham Lincoln: A Yankee Newspaper in Occupied Texas” were published in the June Civil War History.
The spring Commentaries, edited by Dan W. Bannister, briefed Lincoln’s representation of an insurance company in McConnell v. The Delaware Mutual Safety Insurance Company et al. heard before the Illinois supreme court’s December term in 1856. In the summer issue, Bannister discussed Seeley v. Peters, a significant 1848 case because of Lincoln’s involvement in upholding English common law as the law of Illinois. The autumn issue contained a discussion of Lincoln’s representation of railroads, Amplified Illinois Central RR Co. v. Morrison & Crabtree, and discussed colleagues of Lincoln in his appellate practice.
Michael Burlingame wrote “New Light on Lincoln” for the January–February Connecticut College Magazine.
The winter Dispatch (Illinois State Historical Society) reported the “David Davis Mansion Restored” and the presentation to the society of a framed etching of Lincoln as a young militiaman by Lloyd Efflandt and Dorothy Pate. Eleanor Jontry Brown’s profile of Lincoln’s friend and supporter Jesse W. Fell, “The Man Who Planted Trees,” appeared in the spring issue.
“Lincoln’s Legal Legacy” was the theme of the December 1992 [End Page 67] Documentary Editing (Association for Documentary Editing), with articles by William D. Beard (“‘American Justinian or Prairie Pettifogger?’—Lincoln’s Legal Legacy: Documenting the Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln”), Shirley J. Burton (“Lincoln in the Federal Courts: Preserving the Archival Record”), and Kellee Green (“Lincoln’s Legal Legacy: Educational and Public Programs”).
Candace Fleming’s “Abraham Lincoln Is Not Buried Here” was published in the February Elks.
The winter 1992 Illinois Historical Journal included William D. Beard’s “‘I Have Labored Hard to Find the Law’: Abraham Lincoln and the Alton and Sangamon Railroad.” Richard F. Hamm’s “The Prohibitionists’ Lincoln” appeared in the summer issue. David B. Chesebrough’s “‘His Own Fault’: Rev. Charles H. Ellis of Bloomington Sermonizes on the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln” was in the autumn issue.
Articles in the February Illinois History: A Magazine for Young People, published by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, related to David Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, and Lyman Trumbull. John Y. Simon wrote the feature article, “Grant of Illinois.”
The June Indiana Magazine of History contained Rodney O. Davis’s “William Herndon’s Indiana Oral History Project, 1865.”
The June Journal of American History contained Scott A. Sandage’s “A Marble House Divided: The Lincoln Memorial, the Civil Rights Movement, and the Politics of Memory, 1939–1963.”
The May Journal of Southern History contained “Southern History in Periodicals, 1992: A Selected Bibliography.”
The 1990 yearbook of the Supreme Court Historical Society, Journal of Supreme Court History, included Robert L. Stern’s “Chief Justice Taney and the Shadow of Dred Scott.”
Lester I. Vogel wrote “‘To See a Promised Land’: LC Specialist Users Collection for Books on Americans in Holy Land” for the October 18 Library of Congress Information Bulletin. He describes how Lincoln “dreamed of a trip to the Holy Land” on the very day he was assassinated—Friday, April 14, 1865. Such ambition was no idle fancy because the Holy Land was a travel destination for many Americans. U. S. Grant, who was supposed to join Lincoln on April 14, changed his plans and eventually made the pilgrimage. Secretary of State William H. Seward, also attacked on the night of the assassination, recovered and also made the trip.
Dan Bassuk’s “A Lincoln Portrait of Benjamin Chapin (1874–1918)” appeared in the spring Lincarnations, the newsletter of the Association of Lincoln Presenters. The fall issue contained Dan Bassuk’s “A Lincoln Portrait of Judge Charles E. Bull (1881–1971)” and [End Page 68] “Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt’s Hero” by Ted Zalewski, who impersonates Roosevelt.
The May 27 Lincoln Chronicle contained George L. Painter’s “From Springfield to the Civil War,” also reprinted in the July–August Lincolnian.
The September Lincoln Group of Florida Newsletter contained Gary R. Planck’s useful compilation of Lincoln-related organizations and publications.
The summer 1992 Lincoln Herald contained articles by Mark H. Dunkelman (“Alas! He Is Gone”), Daniel McDonough (“Abraham Lincoln, Ambrose E. Burnside and the Fredericksburg Crisis”), and Stephen L. Hansen and Paul D. Nygard (“Abraham Lincoln and the Know-Nothing Question 1854–1859”). Gary R. Planck continues “Lincoln News Digest.” The fall issue included Wayne C. Temple’s “The Linguistic Lincolns: A New Lincoln Letter” and Planck’s “Friends, Heroes, and the American Elegance.” In the winter issue were Joseph George, Jr.’s “Henry Von Steinaecker and the Lincoln Conspiracy Trial,” Alan Peskin’s “Two White House Visits,” and Planck’s “The Inspiration and the Inspired.” David E. Long wrote “The Race Issue in the 1864 Election” for the winter, spring, and summer issues. The spring issue included Mark E. Steiner’s “Lincoln’s Continuing Legal Education” and Westmore Peyton’s “A Noble Army of Women.” The summer issue contained Richard Sloan’s memorial to Arnold Gates, Harold Holzer’s “The Waking Dream: Photography’s First Century,” and David A. Seddelmeyer’s “Lincoln’s ‘Red Letter’ Day.” Articles by Brooks D. Simpson (“Alexander McClure on Lincoln and Grant”), Wayne C. Temple (“Lincoln in Trenton, N.J.”), and Larry E. Burgess (“Lincoln Collections in Southern California”) were in the fall issue.
The February Lincoln Ledger (Lincoln Fellowship of Wisconsin) contained Kristine Adams Wendt’s “Mary Todd Lincoln: ‘Great Sorrows’ and the Healing Waters of Waukesha” and the first “cumulative bibliography” compiled by Daniel Pearson, which follows the format of the bibliographies that appeared in Lincoln Lore until discontinued with the February 1990 issue. The new bibliography is intended to be more inclusive and is continued in the May issue. Frank L. Klement’s “Thirteen and Three Tidbits Concerning Lincoln’s Address and the Dedication of the Gettysburg Soldiers’ Cemetery” appeared in the November issue.
The October, November, and December 1991 issues of Lincoln Lore contained Matthew Noah Vosmeier’s “‘Election-Time in America’: An Englishman’s View of Popular Politics during the 1860 Campaign.” Vosmeier discusses the view of a British traveler who had [End Page 69] toured the United States in 1860 and reported his observations in Charles Dickens’s weekly All the Year Round. The February 1992 issue included Harold Holzer’s “News from the Abraham Lincoln Association,” with a description of the February 12 banquet.
Larry E. Burgess wrote “Simon Cameron: Lincoln’s Corrupt Secretary of War” for the winter 1992 Lincoln Memorial Association (Lincoln Shrine, Redlands, Calif.).
The spring Lincoln Newsletter contained articles by Barbara Hughett (“‘The Hall of the Presidents’ at the Lincoln College Museum”), George L. Painter (“Restoring the Historic Arnold House”), and William D. Beard (“The Ever-changing Law: A Lincoln Railroad Case”). The summer issue included a memorial to the late Raymond N. Dooley, “Lincoln the Student: The Story of the Statue” and Hughett’s “Illinois Benedictine College Launches Lincoln Train Project.” The fall issue contained Dan W. Bannister’s “A Fight on a Train Ride to Lincoln, Illinois and Abraham Lincoln’s Defense of the Victim” and Norman F. Boas’s “Leonard Grover’s Association with Abraham Lincoln and His Account as ‘Special Attendant to the President’ at Gettysburg.” The winter issue included Hughett’s “1860 ‘Wide-Awake’ Banners in the Lincoln College Museum,” Dennis E. Suttles’s “Lincoln Speaks Out on the Kansas-Nebraska Act: Winchester, Illinois, 1854,” Edward F. Finch’s “Historical Images and Public Art: Reflections on Freeport’s ‘Lincoln and Douglas Debate,'” and “‘Abraham Lincoln and Leadership’: A Summer Institute for Secondary Teachers” by William T. Pederson and me.
Clark Evans wrote “This Summer’s Edinburgh Lincoln Festivities Spur Memories of Britain’s Lord Charnwood” for the January–February Lincolnian (Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia). The group also distributed a 1993 membership directory with a copy of the program for its annual Lincoln Day Dinner on February 12. The March–April issue contained Paul Kallina’s “Lincoln in Scotland Forever,” Clark Evans’s “Kunhardt Family Profile of the Great Emancipator Highlighted Lincoln Events for 1992,” and Gayle T. Harris’s “Members” page. The May–June issue featured Evans’s “Kirkham’s Grammar: A Key to Lincoln’s Mastery of the English Language?” and Harris’s “Members” page. “The Lincoln Group Remembers Fred Schwengel” appeared in the July–August issue. Harris wrote about LGDC member Frank D. Rich, Jr.’s beneficence in endowing a new Center for the Arts in Stamford, Connecticut. At his initiative, the Gutzon Borglum seated Lincoln, which is in Newark, New Jersey, was reproduced to be placed before the Rich Forum in Stamford.
The January Little Giant (Stephen A. Douglas Association) featured Barbara Hughett’s “Astrological Journal Predicted a Douglas Victory [End Page 70] in 1860.” Lloyd Ostendorf and R. Bruce Duncan wrote “Douglas’s Triumphal Return to Chicago—1858” for the April issue.
In “The President Speaks,” Fred Reilly erred when he ironically “improved” Lincoln’s Second Inaugural, “with malice toward none, with clarity [sic] for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right” (LSE Magazine, London School of Economics, autumn–winter 1992).
Greg Bailey’s “Searching for a Legend” appeared in the winter Midwest Today; Bailey’s “Abraham Lincoln, Dreaded Abe Wins Case” appeared in the June 8, 1991, Economist.
The January–March International Lincoln Association Newsletter, edited by the association’s president Wallace H. Best, contained a review of the exhibit “The Waking Dream: Photography’s First Century” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
John Hope Franklin’s “The Emancipation Proclamation: An Act of Justice,” delivered on the occasion of the 1992–1993 exhibit of the proclamation at the National Archives, appeared in the summer Prologue.
The Providence Journal-Bulletin of February 15 included Bill Tammeus’s “Insults to the Chief from One President to Another,” in which James A. Garfield says of Lincoln, “He has been raising a respectable pair of dark brown whiskers, which decidedly improve his looks, but no appendage can ever render him remarkable for beauty.” Margaret Carlin asked in the same issue, “Will Clinton Be the New Abe Lincoln?”
The February 7 San Francisco Examiner Image featured “Lincoln’s Legacy,” with Leon Litwack, Gore Vidal, and Noah Griffin.
Garry Wills’s “Dishonest Abe” appeared in the October 5 Time. Wills describes how America’s most revered politician “dissembled, waffled, told racist stories and consorted with corrupt politicians—all in his noble effort to free the slaves and save the Union.”
The Scotsman (Edinburgh) reported the rededication of the Lincoln Monument in the Old Calton cemetery on August 21.
Kenneth M. Stampp’s “The United States and National Self-Determination: Two Traditions,” originally published as part of The War President: The Gettysburg Lectures (Oxford), was reprinted in the summer Sino-American Relations. The autumn issue contained “Why Colored Americans Need an Abraham Lincoln in 1992” by Edward L. Jones, delivered before the Lincoln Society in Seattle on March 2.
A condensation from U.S. News & World Report by Gerald Parshall and Michael Barone, “Lincoln, To Those Who Knew Him” appeared in the February Reader’s Digest. Volume 5 of the large-type reader [End Page 71] Selections from Reader’s Digest Condensed Books contained “Abe Lincoln’s Second Mother” by Bernadine Bailey and Dorothy Walworth.
Marianne Kyriakos wrote about the “Soldiers’ Home Not at All Like a Barracks” for the July 24 Washington Post. Anderson Cottage, located on the grounds, served as the summer White House for three presidents, including Lincoln who, it is said, wrote the second draft of the Emancipation Proclamation there.
Books and Pamphlets
The Easton Press (47 Richards Ave., Norwalk, CT 06857) has published a leatherbound edition of the definitive Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, including both supplements. Rutgers University Press, which under the auspices of the Abraham Lincoln Association first published the Collected Works in 1953, maintains a trade edition in print.
Mark E. Neely, Jr., has written a fifty-thousand-word biography of Lincoln for “The Last Best Hope of Earth”: Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America (Harvard). The lavishly illustrated book was produced in conjunction with the exhibit that opened at the Huntington on October 1. Neely’s book is the best, albeit short, biography of Lincoln since Stephen B. Oates’s With Malice toward None. More than a political biography, Neely shows the “greatness, fears, and pettiness of the man.” Intensely nationalistic, Lincoln had a strong faith in the Constitution and an intuitive understanding of the Founding Fathers’ ideas, leading to a complete evolution of Lincoln’s thoughts, which were surprisingly modern, especially concerning the rights of women and blacks.
Neely’s “Confederate Bastille: Jefferson Davis and Civil Liberties” was presented as the first Frank L. Klement Lecture at Marquette University and has been published by Marquette University Press. Neely demonstrates that the challenge to civil liberties was about the same in Davis’s Confederacy as it was in Lincoln’s United States. Both men were pragmatic, and both waged war “more with an eye to solving practical problems than to obeying scruples of constitutional conscience.”
Touchstone Books has published Garry Wills’s Lincoln at Gettysburg in paperback, which, for nine weeks, appeared on the New York Times Book Review of paperback best sellers.
McFarland and Company (Box 611, Jefferson, NC 28640) has [End Page 72] published Washington and Lincoln Portrayed: National Icons in Popular Prints by Harold Holzer. With Washington portrayed as the ideal hero and Lincoln depicted as the Great Emancipator, Holzer describes their differences in the evolution of our political culture and how this affected the way America looked at itself. Holzer is also the author of Dear Mr. Lincoln: Letters to the President (Addison-Wesley). The letters contain advice and instruction, compliments and congratulations, complaints and criticism.
Papers from the sixth annual Lincoln Colloquium (1991), sponsored by the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Eastern National Park and Monument Association, Sangamon County Historical Society, and Lincoln Group of Illinois, were published as Abraham Lincoln and the Crucible of War. The illustrated monograph is available from the Lincoln National Home Historic Site, Springfield. Included are the papers delivered by John Y. Simon (“Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, and Fort Sumter”), James M. McPherson (“Who Freed the Slaves?”), Paul Findley (“Legislating the Authorization of Lincoln Home National Historic Site: A Twenty-Year Perspective”), Richard N. Current (“Lincoln’s Loyalists: Union Soldiers from the Confederacy”), and my “Lincoln and His Contemporaries: The World’s Statesmen Compared and Contrasted.”
Papers presented at the fiftieth anniversary celebration of the Lincoln Fellowship of Wisconsin in Madison (1990) have been published as the fellowship’s Historical Bulletin No. 46: Lloyd Ostendorf’s “A. Lincoln—Riverman,” Mark E. Neely, Jr.’s “Lincoln and the Ideal of Total War,” and John K. Lattimer’s “The Danger in Claiming That Abraham Lincoln Had the Marfan Syndrome.”
Themes in honor of T. Harry Williams, Leadership during the Civil War (1989 Deep Delta Civil War Symposium), edited by Roman J. Heleniak and Lawrence L. Hewitt, have been published by White Mane. The volume contains Richard N. Current’s “Lincoln, the War, and the Constitution.”
Eric Foner’s “‘The Tocsin of Freedom’: The Black Leadership of Radical Reconstruction” has been published as the thirty-first annual Fortenbaugh Lecture.
Great Speeches: Abraham Lincoln, with historical notes by John Grafton, has been published by Dover Thrift Editions.
Lincoln in His Own Words, edited by Milton Meltzer and illustrated by Stephen Alcorn, was published by Harcourt Brace.
For children, Edith Kunhardt, granddaughter of Frederick Hill Meserve, the noted collector of Lincoln photographs, wrote Honest Abe, with illustrations by Malcah Zeldis (Greenwillow). W. Fred Conway is the author of Young Abe Lincoln: His Teenage Years in Indiana (FBH [End Page 73] Publishers). Scribner’s has published Lincoln by William J. Jacobs. Jody Potts has written, with excellent cartoon illustrations by Foi Lisenby and Jerry D. Poole, a twenty-page mini-biography of Abraham Lincoln as part of her Illustrated Text: Adventure Tales of America (Signal Media Corp., 6615 Northwood, Dallas, TX 75225).
Bruce Miroff’s Icons of Democracy: American Leaders as Heroes, Aristocrats, Dissenters, and Democrats (Basic Books) contains essays on several U.S. presidents. He praises the “more open, nurturing style” of such leaders as Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt, who emphasized “mutuality in place of superiority, education in place of dominance.” Such leaders rejected the “machismo of the heroic leader, in favor of a softer, more feminine style.”
Lois J. Einhorn is the author of Abraham Lincoln the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Greenwood).
The Law of Illinois, Lincoln’s Cases before the Illinois Supreme Court, from His Entry into the Practice of Law until His Entry into Congress by John Long is the first of two volumes covering Lincoln’s career before the Illinois supreme court (Illinois Company, 341 S. Main St., O’Fallon, IL 62269).
The Library of America, by arrangement with the U.S. Information Agency and the Joint Publishing Company of Beijing, China, is translating its series into Chinese, with Abraham Lincoln: Speeches and Writings as the first offering.
The Lincoln-Douglas Debates: The First Complete, Unexpurgated Text edited by Harold Holzer was a May selection of the History Book Club.
Waldo W. Braden’s Abraham Lincoln, Public Speaker has been published in paper by Louisiana State University Press.
Webb Garrison wrote The Lincoln No One Knows (Rutledge Hill Press).
Gore Vidal’s United States: Essays 1952–1992 (Random House) includes all of his pieces on Lincoln, as well as those “wrangling” with one “scholar-squirrel” (Richard N. Current) and one “plump publicist-pigeon” (Harold Holzer). His victims’ opinions are not printed.
R. D. Rucker is the author of Abraham Lincoln’s Social and Political Thought (Vantage).
Ward Schori has published in a slipcase a set of three leather-bound books: Abraham Lincoln: An Autobiographical Narrative by Ralph Geoffrey Newman (2716 Noyes, Evanston, IL 60201).
Jay David Greenstone has written The Lincoln Persuasion: Remaking American Liberalism (Princeton), which continues the dialogue of Louis Hartz, well known for articulating the tradition of a liberal [End Page 74] consensus in American political life. To Greenstone, Lincoln developed a new political outlook that was the synthesis of two liberal traditions, human liberalism and reform liberalism.
Donald T. Phillips’s Lincoln on Leadership has been published in paper by Warner Books with a new and more respectful caricature of Lincoln on the cover.
The Lincoln-Douglas Debates and Slavery in the Crucible of Public Debate by David Zarefsky has been published in paper by the University of Chicago Press.
John Evangelist Walsh has written The Shadows Rise: Abraham Lincoln and the Ann Rutledge Legend (University of Illinois Press).
A Bullet for Lincoln: A Novel by Benjamin King has been published by Pelican.
Douglas Southall Freeman on Leadership, with commentary by Stuart W. Smith, includes “The Key to Lincoln’s Greatness” delivered on Lincoln’s birthday, February 12, 1918 (White Mane Publishing).
More Than Words: The Speeches of Mario Cuomo (St. Martin’s Press) includes his peroration delivered before the Abraham Lincoln Association on February 12, 1986 (“Abraham Lincoln and ‘Our Unfinished Work'”).
Merrill Peterson is the author of The Lincoln Image in the American Mind (Oxford).
James Hurt is the author of Writing Illinois: The Prairie, Lincoln and Chicago (University of Illinois Press).
The Gettysburg Soldiers’ Cemetery and Lincoln’s Address by Frank L. Klement, with an introduction by Steven K. Rogstad, was published by White Mane.
HarperPerennial has published new editions, in paper, of Stephen B. Oates’s With Malice toward None and Abraham Lincoln: The Man Behind the Myths.
A new edition of George W. Smith’s When Lincoln Came to Egypt, with John Y. Simon’s “Abraham Lincoln in Southern Illinois,” was published by Crossfire Press (Herrin, Ill.).
The Civil War
Toward a Social History of the American Civil War: Exploratory Essays (Cambridge) edited by Marris Vinovskis includes chapters by the editor (“Have Social Historians Lost the Civil War? Some Preliminary Demographic Speculations”), Thomas R. Kemp (“Community and War: The Civil War Experience of Two New Hampshire Towns”), Reid Mitchell (“The Northern Soldier and His Community”), Jay Matthew Gallman (“Volunteerism in War Time: Philadelphia’s Great [End Page 75] Central Fair”), Robin L. Einhorn (“The Civil War and Municipal Government in Chicago”), Stuart McConnell (“Who Joined the Grand Army? Three Case Studies in the Construction of Union Veteranhood, 1866–1900”), and Amy E. Holmes (“‘Such Is the Price We Pay’: American Widows and the Civil War Pension System”).
The White House: The History of an American Idea by William Seal has been published by the American Institute of Architects Press.
Considered the most comprehensive book on the art of the Civil War, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: The Civil War in Art (Orion) by Harold Holzer and Mark E. Neely, Jr., reveals the great effort of artists to comprehend the war. All of the lavish illustrations are in color.
Howard Jones wrote Union in Peril: The Crisis over British Intervention in the Civil War (University of North Carolina Press). 201
Freda Postle Koch wrote Civil War Heroines: The Coggeshall Ladies (PoKo Press, P.O. Box 14766, Columbus, OH 43214).
Stephen W. Sears is the editor of For Country, Cause and Leader: The Civil War Journal of Charles B. Haydon (Ticknor and Fields). The diarist reports the grand review of General McClellan’s Army of the Potomac on November 20, with President Lincoln in attendance. While reporting that the general sat on his new horse “straight as an arrow … the President’s case was different. His horse had to go at a keen run & then could not get nearer than four or five rods to the Gen., one hand hold of the bridle, the other convulsively clutched in the mane of his horse which never relaxed its hold except for a moment to crowd his hat further down over his eyes. His long legs were well clasped around the body of his horse, his hair & coattails horizontal. He looked as though he was determined to go through if it killed him but would be most almighty glad when it was over. I would gladly have given $10 to have been loose (from the formation) so that I could have seen the whole spectacle.”
Reid Mitchell is the author of The Vacant Chair: The Northern Soldier Leaves Home (Oxford).
The Civil War World of Herman Melville by Stanton Garner has been published by the University Press of Kansas.
The Fleming Lectures, 1937–1990: A Historiographical Essay by Burl Noggle has been published by Louisiana State University Press.
The Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution has published The Supreme Court of the United States, Its Beginnings and Its Justices, 1790–1991. [End Page 76]
William D. Pederson and Norman W. Provizer edited Great Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, Ratings and Abbreviated Case Studies (Peter Lang).
Conscience and the Constitution: History, Theory and Lore of the Reconstruction of Amendments by David A. J. Richards has been published by Princeton University Press.
Stephen Skowronek is the author of The Politics Presidents Make: Leadership from John Adams to George Bush (Harvard). The book was a fall selection of the History Book Club.
Richard N. Current edited the four-volume Encyclopedia of the Confederacy for Simon and Schuster, which also published The Historical Atlas of the Congresses of the Confederate States of America by Kenneth C. Martis.
The University of South Carolina Press has published volume 21 (January–June 1845) of The Papers of John C. Calhoun edited by Clyde N. Wilson.
Reviews of The Lincoln-Douglas Debates: The First Complete, Unexpurgated Text edited by Harold Holzer appeared in the following periodicals: February 15 Library Journal; Nancy Q. Keefe’s column for Gannett Suburban Newspapers on February 11; February 12 Chicago Tribune (reviewed by Patrick T. Reardon); and January 24 State Journal-Register (reviewed by Mike Kienzler).
The February Journal of Southern History contained William E. Gienapp’s review of Lincoln, the South, and Slavery: The Political Dimension by Robert W. Johannsen. Sarah Woolfork Wiggins reviewed Historical Dictionary of Reconstruction by Hans L. Trefousse for the May issue.
Mack Griswold reviewed The White House: The History of an American Idea by William Seale in the January 17 New York Times Book Review.
Garry Greenberg reviewed Lincoln, the War President edited by Gabor S. Boritt for the winter 1992 Lincoln Memorial Association publication of the Lincoln Shrine, Redlands, California.
The winter 1992 Illinois Historical Journal contained Robert W. Johannsen’s review of Carl Sandburg: A Biography by Penelope Niven; Brooks Mather Kelley’s review of volume 17 and 18 of The Papers [End Page 77] of Ulysses S. Grant edited by John Y. Simon; and William Hanchett’s review of Henry Clay: Statesman for the Union by Robert V. Remini. Harold Holzer reviewed Popular Images of the Presidency: From Washington to Lincoln by Noble E. Cunningham, Jr., for the spring issue. The summer issue contained Robert Schmuhl’s review of Writing Illinois: The Prairie, Lincoln, and Chicago by James Hurt; Joseph J. Parot’s review of The Continuing Civil War: Essays in Honor of the Civil War Round Table of Chicago edited by John Y. Simon and Barbara Hughett; Victor Hicken’s review of Why The Confederacy Lost edited by Gabor S. Boritt; and Christopher Waldrep’s review of Emancipation and Reconstruction edited by Paul Finkelman. Robert H. Jones’s review of Lincoln’s Loyalists: Union Soldiers from the Confederacy by Richard N. Current appeared in the autumn issue.
The summer 1992 Lincoln Herald included Thomas D. Matijasic’s review of William Henry Seward: Lincoln’s Right Hand by John M. Taylor; Terry Alford’s review of The Illusive Booths of Burrillville: An Investigation of John Wilkes Booth’s Alleged Wife and Daughter by Joyce G. Knibb and Patricia A. Mehrtens; Gary R. Planck’s review of Spoon River Anthology: An Annotated Edition by Edgar Lee Masters; Terry Alford’s review of Booth and Bob Lincoln by Alexander Hunter; and Larry E. Burgess’s review of Henry Clay: Statesman for the Union by Robert V. Remini. The fall issue contained reviews by Steven K. Rogstad (Popular Images of the Presidency by Noble E. Cunningham, Jr.); Thomas D. Matijasic (The Portable Abraham Lincoln edited by Andrew Delbanco); William F. Hanna (Lincoln at Gettysburg by Garry Wills); Wayne C. Temple (Lincoln’s Loyalists by Richard N. Current); Patricia Ann Owens (The Continuing Civil War: Essays in Honor of the Civil War Round Table of Chicago edited by John Y. Simon and Barbara Hughett); and my review of Lincoln and the Common Law by Dan W. Bannister and Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times by Donald T. Phillips. Also in that issue Gary R. Planck reviewed the videos “A Visit with Lincoln” by B. F. McClerren, “Thomas Lincoln Goosenest Prairie Farm” by B. F. McClerren, “The Birth and Death of Lincoln, City, Indiana, 1872–1992” by Clayton Spurlock, and “Black Easter: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln” by William Hanchett. The winter issue contained reviews by Paul N. Beck (Young Abe Lincoln: His Teenage Years in Indiana by W. Fred Conway); Larry E. Burgess (Abraham Lincoln by Russell Bennett and Anna Sproule); Robert A. McCowan (Abraham Lincoln: Leader of a Nation in Crisis); Gary R. Planck (Young Abraham Lincoln: Log-Cabin President by Andrew Woods); and Wayne C. Temple (Abraham Lincoln the Orator by Lois J. Einhorn). In the spring issue, Steven K. Rogstadt reviewed Witness to An Era: The Life and [End Page 78] Photographs of Alexander Gardner by D. Mark Katz; Wayne C. Temple reviewed Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography by Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr., Philip B. Kunhardt III, and Peter W. Kunhardt; Linda Levitt Turner reviewed Pass My Imperfections Lightly By by Vaughn McBridge; Terry Alford reviewed American Gothic: The Story of America’s Legendary Theatrical Family—Junious, Edwin, and John Wilkes Booth by Gene Smith; Paul N. Beck reviewed “Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom,” produced by Judith Leonard for PBS; and Steven K. Rogstadt reviewed Abraham Lincoln’s Social and Political Thought by R. D. Rucker. The summer issue included reviews by Patricia Ann Owens (Lincoln the War President: The Gettysburg Lectures edited by Gabor S. Boritt); Thomas D. Matijasic (High on the Okaw’s Western Bank: Vandalia, Illinois 1819–39 by Paul E. Strobel, Jr., and Special Historical Bulletin No. 66 of the Lincoln Fellowship of Wisconsin edited by Steven K. Rogstad); William Hanchett (History of the United States Secret Service by L. C. Baker); Wayne C. Temple (The Ancestry of Abraham Lincoln by J. Henry Lea); and J. R. Hutchinson and Gary R. Planck (Lincoln at Gettysburg, read by Garry Wills for the audio recording by Dove Audio). The fall issue contained reviews by Thomas Trimborn (audio recording of Lincoln composed by Alan Menken); Robert A. McCown (The Lincolns by Cass R. Sandak and Mary Todd Lincoln, Girl of the Bluegrass by Katherine E. Wilkie); Daniel E. Pearson (Lincoln and the Black Hawk War by Lloyd H. Efflandt); Larry E. Burgess (Washington and Lincoln Portrayed by Harold Holzer and Pea Ridge: Civil War Campaign in the West by William L. Shea and Earl J. Hess); and Terry Alford (A Bullet for Lincoln: A Novel by Benjamin King).
The March Indiana Magazine of History contained an editor’s review of Young Abe Lincoln: His Teenage Years in Indiana by W. Fred Conway. James A. Ramage’s review of Lincoln: The War President edited by Gabor S. Boritt appeared in the December issue.
W. J. Rorabaugh’s review essay “The Meaning of the Civil War” (covering Toward a Social History of the American Civil War edited by Maris A. Vinovskis and Glorious Contentment: The Grand Army of the Republic, 1865–1900 by Stewart McConnell) appeared in the March Reviews in American History. The June issue contained J. Morgan Kousser’s “The Irrepressible Repressible Conflict Theory” (on Michael F. Holt’s Political Parties and American Political Development from the Age of Jackson to the Age of Lincoln); Hans L. Trefousse’s “Class and Ethnicity: German Immigrants, Radicalism, and the Civil War” (on Bruce Levine’s The Spirit of 1848: German Immigrants, Labor Conflict, and the Coming of the Civil War); and Paul A. Rahe’s “Dishonest Abe? Garry Wills on the Gettysburg Address.” [End Page 79]
The June Civil War History contained Phillip S. Paludan’s review of Lincoln at Gettysburg by Garry Wills and Ludwell H. Johnson III’s review of Jefferson Davis: The Man and His Hour by William C. Davis. Thomas R. Turner reviewed Lincoln’s Loyalists by Richard N. Current in the September issue. The November–December issue included a review of Benjamin King’s “what might have been” work of fiction, A Bullet for Lincoln. Larry Gara’s review of Lincoln: The War President edited by Gabor S. Boritt appeared in the December issue.
The January and February 1992 issues of Lincoln Lore contained Matthew Noah Vosmeier’s review “Lincoln and the ‘Central Idea of the Occasion’: Garry Wills’s Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remade America.” Vosmeier also reviewed Lincoln: The War President edited by Gabor S. Boritt in the March and April issues.
The July Civil War News contained Allen C. Guelzo’s review of Lincoln: The War President edited by Gabor S. Boritt.
William Hanchett reviewed John Wilkes Booth: The Man and the Mummy by Jo-Ann Miller and John Simms for the May issue of Lincoln Ledger.
Clark Evans reviewed the video “Lincoln out of the Wilderness” for the September–October Lincolnian.
Armchair Historian (first issue November–December), contained Harold Holzer’s review of the PBS video “Lincoln: The Making of a President.”
Patrick T. Reardon reviewed Washington and Lincoln Portrayed by Harold Holzer for the Chicago Tribune on August 8.
Herman Belz’s “Lincoln, Liberty, and the Executive Power” discussed James M. McPherson’s Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution and Mark E. Neely, Jr.’s The Fate of Liberty for the January 1992 Pennsylvania History. He also reviewed Lincoln, Douglas, and Slavery: In the Crucible of Public Debate for the spring 1992 issue.
Charles R. Lee, Jr., reviewed Lincoln, the South, and Slavery: The Political Dimension by Robert W. Johannsen for the autumn Register of the Kentucky Historical Society. The spring issue contained Frank Ferencm Szaz’s review of Garry Wills’s Lincoln at Gettysburg.
Ken Bode, who reviewed The Rush Limbaugh Story, Talent on Loan from God: An Unauthorized Biography by Paul D. Colford, which appeared in the New York Times, asked, “Is there nothing that would embarrass this ‘talent on loan from God’? ‘Yes.’ When George Bush insisted on carrying Mr. Limbaugh’s suitcase to the Lincoln bedroom, Rush was mortified. It says a lot about both men.” [End Page 80]
Chuck Hand (310 Monterey, Paris, IL 61944) has issued Lincoln Catalog #3.
Dan Weinberg’s Abraham Lincoln Book Shop published its 125th, 126th, and 127th catalogs. James L. Swanson’s profile of the proprietor and the shop appeared in the February Hemispheres.
To celebrate sixty years in the book business, Ralph Geoffrey Newman, Inc., prepared a sampling of rare books, pamphlets, and collateral materials for his catalog, The American Civil War and Lincolniana. A profile of Newman by Robert Holt, “Abe Would Be ‘Great’ on TV,” appeared in the November 19 Gettysburg Times.
Wendy Swanson has become editor of The Lincolnian, replacing Paul H. Verduin.
On October 23, 1992, Scott D. Miller, long-time member of the Lincoln Group of Florida, was inaugurated as sixteenth president of Lincoln Memorial University.
Wayne C. Temple, author of Abraham Lincoln and Others at the St. Nicholas, held a First Night autograph party at that Springfield hotel.
The USS Springfield, the seventh ship of the Los Angeles Class nuclear-powered attack submarine, launched on January 4, 1992, was commissioned at Groton, Connecticut, on January 9.
The Illinois Times published, on January 21, the remarks of Abraham Lincoln on leaving Springfield and William J. Clinton on leaving Little Rock.
The Reviewing Stand: The Quarterly Journal of the Presidential Entourage (P.O. Box 10231, Portland, ME 04104) began publication in January. The first issue told about the 1991 organization of the Presidential Entourage of Abraham Lincoln, Inc., by Lincoln portrayer Philip Chetwind and his wife Sally. The organization, based on the entourage that always accompanies a president, would provide portrayals of the Lincolns for military reenactors and civilian reenactors alike.
The New York Post on February 4 caught Governor Mario Cuomo in what he called a “sweet Freudian slip” when he referred to President Clinton as “President Lincoln” when he said on February 3, “I spoke with President Lincoln …. Wow!” On April 15, Governor Cuomo hosted a benefit screening of the Lincoln documentary in which he appears, “A New Birth of Freedom,” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the benefit of HELP, the homeless housing group founded by his son Andrew. In “Toastmaster” in The New Yorker on September 6, Governor Cuomo gives his historical favorites: “You [End Page 81] can say Churchill, you can say Demosthenes, you can say Cicero, but the best is Lincoln.”
Richard Willing reported for the Detroit News on September 27 that “presidents are Clinton’s specialty. To Clinton, the centerpiece of his ‘rhetorical wardrobe’ is undoubtedly Lincoln.”
Leonard Lopate interviewed Harold Holzer on New York City radio station WNYC-AM on February 10. On July 20, Holzer appeared on CNN’s “Booknotes.”
Neil Jumonville of the Department of History at Florida State University, Tallahassee, is looking for information or recollections for a book on the historian Henry Steele Commager.
The Stephen A. Douglas Association (c/o Ralph G. Newman, Inc., 175 E. Delaware, Chicago, IL 60611) has available a handsome lapel pin featuring a portrait of Senator Douglas.
The Union League Club of Chicago, one of only four remaining such clubs from the 649 established to help reelect Lincoln, has started a Civil War Round Table (65 W. Jackson, Chicago, IL 60604).
Maureen Dowd’s “At Dinner With” column for the New York Times on March 24 discussed her four-hour dinner with conservative talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, who, when asked which three people from all of history he would bring to a desert island, responded, “Christ, Lincoln … Mimi Rogers.”
Jack Smith of the Los Angeles Times wrote on February 15 of Duke Russell’s efforts to have California declare a holiday to honor Abraham Lincoln.
The manuscript “A House Divided: An Oral History of Mariah Vance, 1850–1860” was sold by Lloyd Ostendorf and Walter Oleksy to William Morrow and Company for $1 million. The authenticity of the Vance manuscript (and the revisions made to it over the years) have divided people in the Lincoln field. Herbert Mitgang reported about the sale, which has an escape clause for the publisher in the event the document does not hold true, in the April 24 New York Times, “Stories of the Lincolns from Their Laundress.” Some of the “juicy parts” reportedly observed by Vance include a reminiscence by Lincoln of his youthful romance with Ann Rutledge and a comment by Mary Lincoln that Stephen Douglas was in love with her and wanted to marry her. The “Talk of the Town” for the May 3 New Yorker described doubts of Lincoln scholars about the document’s authenticity, especially the story that Lincoln confessed that he had been secretly baptized. Matthew Flamm reported the story in the New York Post on April 22 (“After So Long Is All This Honest, Abe?”). After five scholars reviewed the manuscript, Morrow announced its decision not to proceed (Washington Post, August 24). [End Page 82] Temple is quoted as saying, “It had, as far as I was concerned, a certain gentle truthfulness.” But others like Harold Holzer, found it unreliable. “It relies on recollections 40 years after the fact, that weren’t turned in to actual narrative for 40 years after that, and that were rewritten one more time 20 years after that.”
The eighty-ninth Illinois Republican Lincoln Day luncheon was held at the Prairie Capital Center, Springfield, on February 12 and featured as its theme “Lincoln Years in the White House, March 4, 1861–April 15, 1865.”
Despite heavy snow, Philip Stone of Harrisonburg, Virginia, led the seventeenth gathering on February 12 at the grave of Jacob Lincoln, a great-uncle of President Lincoln’s, on a hillside overlooking Virginia state highway 42 and Linville Creek.
After ten years, founder Gary R. Planck retired as president of the Lincoln Group of Florida.
Jim Schlosser wrote a profile of Richard N. Current for the Greensboro News-Record on April 25, “Tomes Tell Civil War ‘A’ to ‘Z.'”
S. J. Ackerman reported in the June Civil War News that the “Statue of Freedom is grounded for the first time since 1863.” The nineteen-foot-six-inch bronze statue of Freedom, sculpted by Thomas Crawford, topped off the U.S. Capitol on December 2, 1862. To Lincoln, it represented the completion of the Union. It was removed on May 9 for repairs and remounted on October 23.
Andrew J. Young has become the fourth president of the International Lincoln Association, Idyllwild, California.
The Association of Lincoln Presenters reported that there are eighty-nine Abraham Lincoln impersonators and fifteen Mary Todd Lincoln impersonators in twenty-six states: twenty-three in Illinois; thirteen in Kentucky; five in Florida; seven in New Jersey; four each in New York, California, Michigan, and Pennsylvania; three each in Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Indiana, and Oklahoma; two each in Minneapolis, Georgia, Ohio, and Missouri; and one each in Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Delaware, Iowa, Montana, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Arkansas, and the District of Columbia.
Michael Maione, park ranger historian at Ford’s Theatre, replaced Frank Hebblewaite, who served for ten years. Hebblewaite was promoted and transferred to the Bethel Ironworks in Pennsylvania.
Roger Kennedy, former director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, was sworn in as the director of the National Park Service.
Betty and Jim Barbour liquidated their Old Quenzel Store in Port Tobacco, Maryland, after twenty years in business. [End Page 83]
Thomas F. Schwartz has been appointed Illinois state historian, replacing E. Duane Elbert, who resigned.
Joan L. Flinspach was appointed director of the Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne as announced on July 2 by Ian M. Rolland, chair and chief executive officer of Lincoln National Corporation. On September 21, Gerald J. Prokopowicz was appointed historian-scholar.
The Times (Shreveport) on September 8 reported that actress Julia Roberts fell in love with her new husband, Lyle Lovett, because he reminded her of her childhood fantasy man, Abraham Lincoln— “stoic, regal, gentle.”
Time magazine reported that several people wrote to the magazine to comment on its cover story of July 12 about Attorney General Janet Reno and to note that she shares many traits with Abraham Lincoln. As Karla Zadnik wrote, “Lincoln was well over 6 ft. tall; Reno is the female equivalent. He abolished slavery; she wants to abolish our slavery to violence.”
Jack Kemp was interviewed for the October American Heritage and, taking Lincoln’s mantle, attempts to demonstrate that Lincoln, like Kemp, is a liberal on trade, civil rights, and immigration: “Lincoln’s party—the Republican Party—was attractive to people who down through the ages believed in equality of opportunity, the inalienable right to life, liberty and property, to the pursuit of happiness, and these rights’ applicability to all people.” Kemp says, “Lincoln hardly ever gave a speech in which he didn’t talk about the Declaration of Independence, never gave a speech in which he didn’t talk about upward mobility, about the desire of people to work and be able to save and hire someone to work for them and ultimately own their own business.” Kemp wants to make the Republican party the party of Lincoln once again.
Bon Appetit’s “Feedback” for November featured an interview with Shelby Foote, who was asked, “If you could invite a person from the Civil War to dinner, who would you ask and why?” Answer: “I’d invite Abraham Lincoln. He was the greatest President—perhaps the greatest man—this country ever saw. He’s like good food; he didn’t get much of it.”
Lincoln in Popular Culture
David Seifman and Fredric Dicker reported in the February 18 New York Post that Governor Cuomo disagreed with Mayor Dinkins’s use of the words of Abraham Lincoln in his attempt to prevent the secession of Staten Island as a borough of the City of New York [End Page 84] (“We must settle this question now—whether in a free government, the minority have the right to break up the government whenever they choose”). Cuomo, a student of Lincoln, said, “Lincoln is badly used by that quote” and thought that Lincoln today would suggest he “go to the Staten Islanders and show them why it’s good for them to remain part of the city.” Yet the Governor missed Lincoln’s tolerance for secession, which was based only on “moral grounds.” Cuomo believes that the burden for keeping the borough is with the city. That is at odds with Lincoln’s admonition in his first inaugural: “In your hands my fellow citizens and not in mine is the momentous issue of Civil War.”
After President-elect Clinton’s cavalcade from Monticello to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on January 17, Clinton quoted from Lincoln’s First Inaugural: “Our American reunion is about ‘the better angels of our nature.’ May they govern all of us in the days ahead” (Providence Journal-Bulletin, January 18).
The New York Times Book Review on January 17 predicted that Clinton’s inaugural address would be extensively analyzed but soon forgotten. “Such is common fate of oratory in the age of the sound bite.” It need not be so, but the Review could not command, “the services of such a skilled and durable inaugural speech writer as Abraham Lincoln.” So it asked five politically “au courant” writers to compose a short, pithy, memorable address for Clinton: Larry Gelbart, Spaulding Gray, Jane O’Reilly, P. J. O’Rourke, and Roy Blount, Jr.
The departure of George Bush from office brought to five the number of living former presidents—Bush, Reagan, Nixon, Ford, and Carter—a number unmatched since Lincoln’s inauguration (New York Times, January 20, “Over and Out” section), when Buchanan, Pierce, Fillmore, Tyler, and Van Buren survived.
On January 13, the New York Times printed Carl Anthony’s “White House Food Can’t Be Beat, but You Can Run against It.” Anthony indicated that Abraham Lincoln, a Kentuckian, and Harry Truman, a Missourian, had a penchant for sorghum syrup as a substitute for other sweets.
Herbert Mitgang reported in the January 3 New York Times that President Clinton would join twelve presidents who never served in the military. Lincoln served as a captain of militia in the Black Hawk War and became the president with the toughest challenge as commander-in-chief. Lincoln’s “antiwar views,” delivered in the House of Representatives, strongly opposed the commencement of war with Mexico in 1848, calling military glory, “that attractive [End Page 85] rainbow, that rises in showers of blood—that serpent’s eye, that charms to destroy.”
“Dear Abby” perpetuates a statement erroneously attributed to Lincoln in her column on March 3 (The Sun, Westerly, R.I.): “If I were to try to read, much less answer, all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I know how—the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won’t amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, 10 angels swearing I was right would make no difference.”
The discussion to identify Lincoln’s DNA and to somehow “clone” him was bound to bring contributions such as the one from the tabloid Weekly World News on October 5: “Secret New Drug Brings Back the Dead: Abraham Lincoln’s Corpse Revived.” The paper reported that doctors at Walter Reed Medical Center immersed Lincoln’s body in a special solution and injected it with a revival drug, awakening the president for ninety-five seconds, time for him to ask, “Gentlemen, where am I?”
Mike Feinsilber of the Associated Press ignored Lincoln’s ranking as greatest American president in “Reagan Fades in Rear-View Mirror,” syndicated to the Providence Journal-Bulletin on December 10. In an update of the 1982 survey, 481 historians ranked Reagan as “average or worse,” while Feinsilber diminishes the finding that academics continue to rate Lincoln foremost among our presidents.
Floyd Barringer, president of the Abraham Lincoln Association for thirteen years and recipient of the association’s Logan Hay Medal, died on November 23.
M. E. (Mel) Bradford, an unreconstructed southerner and Lincoln-hater, died on March 3.
The cartoonist Dan Dowling died on July 27.
Arnold Gates, a scholar and writer about Lincoln, died on January 5. He served as literary editor of the Lincoln Herald from 1956 to 1977.
Fred Gwynne, best known for his portrayal of Herman Munster but also a portrayer of Lincoln in The Lincoln Mask, died on July 2.
Judge Jerome Harman, who created the Harman Memorial Lincoln Lecture at Washburn University, died on October 5.
King V. Hostick, Lincoln collector and dealer and former member [End Page 86] of the board of directors of the Illinois State Historical Society and the Abraham Lincoln Association, died March 28.
James Hudson, a longtime employee of the National Park Service and known for his devotion to the Lincoln Memorial, died on July 5.
Philip Klein, whose biography of James Buchanan was used by John Updike for Buchanan Dying, died on February 15.
Freda Postle Koch, author of Colonel Coggeshall: The Man Who Saved Lincoln and Civil War Heroines: The Coggeshall Ladies, died on January 10.
Paul C. Richards, a manuscript dealer involved in the purchase of many stolen Lincoln documents from the former curator of the Rosenbach Museum in Philadelphia, died on March 13.
Fred Schwengel, eight-term Republican congressman from Iowa, founder of the United States Capitol Historical Society, chair and president of the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia, and lover of all things Lincoln, died on April 1 at the age of eighty-six.
The March–April Civil War: The Magazine of the Civil War Society reported that the Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne survived “an eight month struggle for its life” but would be moved to a different location in the city. Ian Rolland of the Lincoln National Corporation was quoted as saying that the company “decided that some of the museum collection should be shared with other museums on a rotating basis so that the Lincoln heritage can be shared with more people.” With Joan L. Flinspack as new director to replace Pulitzer Prize-winner Mark E. Neely, Jr., a Lincoln scholar-historian, Gerald J. Prokopowicz, was added to the staff. A search is underway for a manager-curator. The February 12 Journal-Gazette (Ft. Wayne) reported that by February 1995 the museum would be located in Renaissance Square, along with the Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society and Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Both Flinspack and Prokopowicz have committed the museum to continue Lincoln Lore, probably as a quarterly with reports of upcoming Lincoln events, as well as the quarterly newsletter of the Abraham Lincoln Association. They were were profiled in the December 7 Journal-Gazette.
The Lincoln Museum 1993 Pilgrimage patch featured an embroidered Emancipation Proclamation. On February 12, employees of Lincoln National Corporation were invited to a reception at the museum; each received a button with a profile of Lincoln. The [End Page 87] frosting on a four-by-six-foot cake featured the Paul Manship statue “Lincoln, the Hoosier Youth.”
Two rare glass-plate Alexander Hessler photographs of Lincoln taken after he won the Republican nomination for president are part of a bequest under the will of the late King V. Hostick to the Illinois State Historical Society (State Journal-Register, April 15).
The growing Lincoln collection at Bridgewater State College has its own reading room. To commemorate the event, an updated catalog of the collection was published on February 6, 1993. In 1992, Frank and Virginia Williams purchased the Claude E. Simmonds Lincoln Collection from the Freer Society in New Paltz, New York, for the college. Simmonds was a long-time collector and member of the Lincoln Group of Boston.
The Abraham Lincoln Museum at Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, Tennessee, is constructing a reading room; it also has begun cataloging the collection.
The Lincoln Memorial Association newsletter announced a $500,000 privately funded major expansion drive for the Lincoln Shrine (125 West Vine Street, Redlands, CA 92373). The shrine’s square footage will increase by more than two-thirds.
The Department of Archives and Manuscripts at Arizona State University at Tempe and the Manuscript Society have established the Information Exchange Database, which lists collections of manuscripts, documents, and letters held by private individuals throughout the United States.
Kevin McDermott’s “Lincoln memorabilia suffering from ’80s-style inflation” appeared in the October 24 State Journal-Register (Springfield). McDermott discusses my “The Crisis in Lincoln Collecting: Mayhem to Beyond.” The price of Lincoln manuscripts and artifacts has driven a wedge between collectors and scholars, along with theft, forgery, and the cutthroat variety of economics rather than the more friendly competition among collectors.
Michael Musick’s “Addition Safeguards Manuscripts: The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant in the Charles Merrill Mount Case” appeared in the fall Manuscripts. The author, a Civil War specialist at the National Archives, reported his account of the successful prosecution of Mount, who stole documents from the National Archives and Library of Congress. The only good thing to come out of the Mount thefts was the discovery of an unknown Lincoln letter written on September 20, 1862, to Major General Halleck. The letter was to be delivered by West Virginia Senator Whaley. [End Page 88]
Harold Holzer’s article about new-found eyewitnesses at Ford’s Theatre, “More on a Night at the Theatre,” appeared in the March–April Civil War Times Illustrated. The May–June issue contained Carl Zarlzebrowski’s report on the moot appellate court’s effort by F. Lee Bailey to convince the judges that Dr. Samuel Mudd was innocent (“Moral Victory in the Crusade to Clear Mudd”). The February 13 State Journal-Register (Springfield) and the February 14 New York Times reported the moot court appeal. Bailey told a three-judge panel at the University of Richmond’s T. C. Williams School of Law that “Mudd’s prosecution was one sledgehammer after another upon the Constitution.” Although having no legal effect, the “court” found that the military panel had no right to try him.
The February 14 State Journal-Register contained Jack Biesterfeld’s profile of Fort Jefferson, the citadel off Key West that gained notoriety as the place where Dr. Mudd was imprisoned (“Fortress of Solitude”).
The Rainbow Card Company (717 E. Jericho Tpke., Suite 315, Huntington Station, NY 11746) offered a set of forty black-and-white cards of the Lincoln assassination.
A press release from the Surratt Society on April 5 announced that Prince Georges’s County Counsel held a public hearing on May 11 regarding two proposals to widen the existing Route 223, bringing the road within eighty feet of the Surratt House in Clinton, Maryland, or making an eastbound, four-lane highway at the southern boundary of the Surratt property.
Frederick Hatch’s “‘I Die an Innocent Woman’,” the story of Mrs. Surratt, appeared in the December 1992 Journal of the Lincoln Assassination, as did a reprint of Leonard Grover’s “Lincoln’s Interest in the Theatre” that originally appeared in the April 1909 Century magazine. George McNamara’s “The Rehearing of Dr. Samuel Mudd” appeared in the April issue.
Betty J. Ownsbey’s “Dispelling the Myth of ‘Poor Leena’: The Selby-Leena Letters” appeared in the June Surratt Courier; Alfred Isacsson’s “John Surratt: The Assassination, Flight, Capture, and Trial” was in the July issue. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission has published the brochure “Surratt House and Tavern: A Page in American History.” Thomas G. Shaffer’s “The Gospel According to John Matthews” appeared in the October issue.
Michael Schuman’s “Tracing Booth’s Escape Route” was published in the June 27 Providence Sunday Journal.
Lewis P. Mallow, Jr., has pointed out that the alleged discovery of [End Page 89] a twenty-one-page manuscript by John Wilkes Booth reported by Herbert Mitgang in the April 12, 1992, New York Times was in error as the manuscript was known to historian William Hanchett ten years before and mentioned in The Lincoln Murder Conspiracies (1983).
Robert Lockwood Mills is the author of It Didn’t Happen the Way You Think: The Lincoln Assassination, What the Experts Missed (Right Ideas, 31 Pheasant Dr., New Canaan, CT 06840).
The Executive Intelligence Review (EIR) published on May 17 “LaRouche: ‘Yes, the B’nai B’rith Was Implicated in the Lincoln Assassination.'”
The fall 1991 and winter 1991 issues of Lincoln Legacy distributed in October and edited by David A. Warren presented an update on Lincoln sites administered by the federal government (Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site, Boyhood Home, Lincoln Home, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Center, Mary Todd Lincoln House, Gettysburg National Military Park, Wills House, Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site, and Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial); the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site, Lincoln’s New Salem, Lincoln Tomb, Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices, Old State Capitol, State Historical Library); as well as information on Springfield’s “Prairie Lawyer” Statue, Hildene (Robert Todd Lincoln’s estate in Manchester, Vermont), Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne, Lincoln Memorial Shrine in Redlands, and Abraham Lincoln Museum in Harrogate, Tennessee.
Larry E. Burgess’s “Lincoln Collections in Southern California” appeared in the fall Lincoln Herald.
Stephen G. Hague, director of the Lincoln Memorial University Lincoln Collection, announced that Deborah Vineyard has joined his staff.
Works in Progress
Garry Wills is writing a book on leadership.
Mark E. Neely, Jr., is at work on Confederate Bastille: Jefferson Davis and Civil Liberties for the University of Virginia Press.
David E. Long’s dissertation “A New Birth of Freedom”: Abraham Lincoln’s Re-election and the End of Slavery will be published by Stackpole.
Barry Schwartz is at work on Abraham Lincoln as an American Symbol.
The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln: An Illustrated Story is in preparation by Lewis P. Mallow, Jr. [End Page 90]
John Nivens’s Salmon P. Chase: A Study in Paradox or Eminent American will be published by Oxford University Press in 1994.
Ronald C. White of the Huntington Library and UCLA is at work on Lincoln’s Last Will and Testament for America: The Second Inaugural.
Greenwood Press will publish a collection of papers read at the Lincoln Legacy Conference at LSU-Shreveport in September 1992 as Abraham Lincoln: Sources and Style in Leadership, edited by William D. Pederson, Vincent J. Marsala, and me.
Many thanks to all who provided information and copies for mention in this article, especially Harold Holzer, Tom Lapsley, William D. Pederson, Wayne C. Temple, Gregory Romano, Martin Tullai, and Norman Hellmers. I welcome any news concerning Abraham Lincoln to be considered for publication in the next issue of the Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association; contact me at 300 Switch Road, Hope Valley, RI 02832. [End Page 91]
By: FRANK J. WILLIAMS