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The Year of the Changeling
The year just passed was one during which some in the Lincoln field feared that an elf had been surreptitiously exchanged for a handsome child, even though the study of Abraham Lincoln, as in the professions he practiced—law and politics—abhors a vacuum.
For sixty-four years, the Lincoln Museum thrived in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and all believed that it was an institution that would grow and continue. Last year, motivated by short-term economic indicators, Lincoln National Corporation destroyed the long-term durability and credibility of the museum through a threatened 40 percent budget reduction. The corporation ceased all purchases, including new books and manuscripts, and committed the present museum and library building for other purposes. The highly regarded director, who had served for almost twenty years, accepted an endowed chair at Saint Louis University. The company's own committee recommended later that the museum and library continue. Because the building now housing the museum is no longer available, Lincoln National Corporation will have to spend several million dollars for new facilities after going through these exercises. Students in the field, regardless of the findings of the committee, no longer can rely on the stability of this Lincoln resource.
The sordid Oates-Bray affair came to conclusion of a kind with an "ambiguous" decision from the American Historical Association that settled nothing except a finding that author Oates had not committed plagiarism.
One Lincoln newsletter—the Association of Abraham Lincoln Collectors Newsletter (TAALC)—ended in October for lack of subscribers; another—The Lincoln Ledger—began.
The world record for an auction sale of a manuscript was set in December, when an Abraham Lincoln autograph quotation was sold for $1.4 million, only to be set again within one month with the sale of an unsigned Lincoln manuscript for $1.54 million, driving the wedge further between the collector and scholar—all because of the cash nexus. Page [End Page 47]
But the study of Lincoln remains as durable as the man himself. Mark E. Neely, Jr., received the Pulitzer Prize in history for his Lincoln book. The Kunhardts' documentary of Lincoln shown in December by ABC-TV demonstrated that interest in Lincoln is on the rise. The Democratic candidate for president, subsequently elected, is a Lincoln student and was found reading Lincoln on Leadership during the New Hampshire primary. Lincoln books continue to be published, and conferences about him flourish.
Lincoln, then, remains our ever-present contemporary. There is no one quite like him.
The Spoken Word—Lincoln Group Activities
The nineteenth annual Abraham Lincoln Symposium was held on February 12 in the Old State Capitol, Springfield. "The Lincoln Image in Popular Culture" included papers by Gabor S. Boritt ("Punch Lincoln: A Preliminary Look") and Harold Holzer (" 'Columbia's Noblest Sons': Washington and Lincoln in Popular Prints"). Comments were by Walter Arnstein and Olivia Mahoney. The traditional banquet of the association was held that evening with an address by Jack Kemp. In praising Lincoln, Kemp urged welfare reform to help pull people out of poverty and argued for privatization of public housing, the creation of enterprise zones, and enabling the poor to own homes. "That would fit right in with [Lincoln's] philosophy of homesteading," Kemp stated.
The William H. Seward biographer John M. Taylor, author of a biography of his father, General Maxwell Taylor, spoke on Lincoln and his secretary of state on January 21 before the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia. More than 150 people heard Michael W. Kauffman talk about "The Lincoln Assassination: A New Perspective Based on Contemporary Sources" at the group's annual banquet on February 11. According to the speaker, records from 1865 show that investigators overlooked certain pieces of evidence, and a computer analysis has yielded coincidences and connections of time and place. The annual auction for the group was held on March 17. Hans L. Trefousse spoke on Carl Schurz, "Lincoln's Influential Ethnic Ally," on September 15. John R. Sellers presented his talk about the hope and courage of freed slaves on October 20, and Rodney O. Davis spoke on November 17 about Lincoln's political start in the Illinois legislature. A paper about Lincoln's relationship Page [End Page 48] with his wife, parents, and children was presented by Michael Burlingame on December 15.
The speaker at Gettysburg on November 19—the 129th anniversary of the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery—was General Colin L. Powell, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. William L. Brown III spoke about "Furnishing Two Lincoln Homes: Springfield and the House Where Lincoln Died" at the annual Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania.
On February 15, the Lincoln Group of Florida heard Linda Levitt Turner speak about Mary and Abraham Lincoln; the group's second Basler Memorial Lincoln Symposium included Delbert "Tad" Allen speaking on "A Visit with Abe Lincoln" and Daniel W. Bannister talking about "Lincoln's Illinois Supreme Court Practice."
Ronald D. Rietvelt presented, on February 12, "Lincoln's View of the Founding Fathers" at the sixtieth annual Watchorn Lincoln Dinner for the Lincoln Memorial Association in Redlands, California.
U.S. Senator Paul Simon, author of a study on Lincoln's Illinois legislative years, presented the address at the annual Lincoln dinner of the Lincoln Club of Delaware on February 12.
Richard N. Current delivered "Lincoln's Loyalists: Union Soldiers from the Confederacy" for the Lincoln Group of New York on February 6 and the Lincoln Group of Boston on February 29.
The Lincoln Fellowship of Wisconsin published its forty-seventh Historical Bulletin, which contains Harold Holzer's "Hope to the World: Lincoln on Democracy." Its fifty-second annual meeting was held on April 12, with Cullom Davis's presentation, "Abraham Lincoln and the Golden Age of American Law." Davis, director of the Lincoln Legals Project, also presented "Abraham Lincoln, Esquire: Lincoln and His Legal Peers" on February 20 before the Government Bar Association in Springfield, Illinois. The fellowship inaugurated The Lincoln Ledger in November with a review of the first annual Lincoln-Douglas celebration held in Ottawa, Illinois, and an article about the Lincoln-Tallman House in Jaynesville, Wisconsin, about to undergo restoration. Steven K. Rogstad serves as editor.
The Lincoln Group of New York on April 14 heard William Hanchett speak about his video script "Black Easter," a new look at the Lincoln assassination conspiracy. He was joined by John K. Lattimer, who, through slides, compared John Wilkes Booth and his twentieth-century counterpart, Lee Harvey Oswald, with a discussion of Oliver Stone's theories on the death of President Kennedy. Guest speakers on November 19 were Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr., Philip B. Kunhardt III, and Peter W. Kunhardt, father and sons, who are coauthors of Page [End Page 49] Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography and coproducers of the Lincoln documentary that aired on ABC television on December 26 and 27.
Kenneth M. Stampp delivered the thirtieth annual Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecture at Gettysburg College on November 19, 1991, "The United States and National Self-Determination: Two Traditions."
David Leitch presented "The Problem of Slavery" at the February 6 meeting of the Lincoln Club of Topeka; on May 3, Tim Daniel discussed with slides, "Lincoln and the Mexican War." The fifth Harmon Memorial Lincoln Lecture was held at Washburn University with members of the Lincoln Club of Topeka in attendance. Bill Cecil-Fronsman presented "The Election of Abraham Lincoln and the Secession of the South; the Puzzling Connection."
James Getty, a Lincoln impersonator, presented "An Evening with A. Lincoln" at the sixteenth annual Surratt Banquet held at Ft. Lesley J. McNair, Washington, on May 26.
One of the deans of Lincoln studies, Don Fehrenbacher, delivered his lecture on "Lincoln and the American Literary Figures of His Time" at St. John's College in Annapolis in March.
The Lincoln Society/Seattle was organized in February 1991 by members of the Lincoln Society of Taipei, Taiwan, R.O.C., who reside in the Greater Seattle area. Edward L. Jones spoke at its first annual meeting on March 2.
The annual commemoration of Rockingham County's link to President Lincoln's ancestors was held on February 12 at the Lincoln Homestead in Harrisonburg, Virginia, under the leadership of Philip Stone, who spoke about Mary Todd Lincoln.
Philip S. Paludan presented the fifteenth annual R. Gerald McMurtry Lecture on May 21 at the Lincoln Museum, Fort Wayne: "Lincoln, Propaganda and Democracy: Civil War and the 'Better Angels of our Nature.'"
Retreat ceremonies at the Lincoln Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, were held each Tuesday evening from June through August. The ceremony was conducted by members of the 114th Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry (reactivated).
The forty-fourth annual meeting of the Rock County Historical Society was held on April 28, with "The Life of Abraham Lincoln" given by Lewis Mallow. Using photographs, maps, and illustrations, Mallow presented "illustrated stories" of Lincoln.
The forty-seventh annual pilgrimage to the tomb of President Lincoln sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Council, Boy Scouts of America, was held on April 26. Kevin McDermott's article "Lincoln's Page [End Page 50] Image More Mortal than in Past," profiling the speaker at the ceremonies, appeared in the State Journal-Register (Springfield) on April 26. According to Richard Leet, national president of the Boy Scouts of America, the view of Lincoln has changed. Children in his generation tended to view Lincoln with reverence and as a historic figure. Now, they see him as a person involved in complicated problems.
The International Lincoln Association of Idyllwild, California, sponsored a matinee and evening performance on July 4 of "An Hour with President Lincoln" with Richard Blake as Lincoln.
The Lincoln Group of Illinois has published a new membership directory through August.
The Lincoln Group of Boston heard Richard W. Hill organist, present "Music Lincoln Knew" in honor of past-president Kenneth A. Bernard at the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in North Easton, Massachusetts, on October 17.
The Lincoln Legal Papers Project
As reported in the September–October issue of American History Illustrated, recent discoveries have put to rest the notion that Abraham Lincoln was a pettifogging lawyer whose practice consisted solely of "morally correct civil cases." The portrait that emerges through the efforts of "The Lincoln Legal Papers: A Documentary History of the Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln, 1836–1861" is that of a legally astute practitioner who used the law to his clients' advantage.
The State Journal-Register on September 18, 1991, reported an important find of six documents in Lincoln's hand from an 1838 Fulton County suit over an unpaid promissory note in the sum of $762.36. The documents were found in Macomb.
Where Harry Pratt had pinned the number of Lincoln's Illinois supreme court cases to 246, research by Senior Editor Joanne Walroth indicates that Lincoln appeared in at least 333 cases before his state's highest tribunal, with another 103 involving his law partners.
October 5, 1991, was the 155th anniversary of Lincoln's formal entry into the legal practice; he filed a plea in the case of Hawthorne v. Wooldridge.
Eric Freyfogle, project consulting legal editor and associate professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, prepared The Common-Law Forms of Action and Rules of Pleading in Lincoln's Illinois. Page [End Page 51]
The Decatur Herald-Review for January 4 reported project researchers finding a receipt carrying Lincoln's signature that might be the last such document in Macon County, Illinois, court records. This long-forgotten document bore the date of Lincoln's forty-fourth birthday.
For many years I have complained about the foolhardy syndicated columns about Lincoln that appear throughout February. In 1992, however, something worthy was published and widely printed. Herbert Mitgang, cultural correspondent for the New York Times, wrote on February 9, "Adjusting the Record of Lincoln the Lawyer." Beginning on page one, the article emphasizes that, for the first time, the nation is becoming aware, through the efforts of the Lincoln Legals Project, of Lincoln's impressive legal skills.
Cullom Davis wrote "An Emerging Reappraisal of Lawyer Abraham Lincoln" for the May–June Dispatch (Illinois State Historical Society).
The staff of the project located a previously unknown legal document in Lincoln's hand at the Macoupin County Circuit Court in Carlinville, Illinois, believed to be the longest known Lincoln manuscript—a forty-three-page "Answer" on behalf of his clients, the defendants in Clark & Morrison v. Page & Bacon, et al. Mrs. William Harrison, owner of the lengthy trial transcript in People v. P. Quinn Harrison, donated it to the Illinois State Historical Library in 1991.
Budgetary constraints cloud the future work of the Lincoln Legal Papers Project. Director Davis, in a memorandum of May 11, announced that his budget had been cut more than $40,000 for the 1992–93 fiscal year (representing 25 percent less than in 1990). The project thus has a total shortfall of nearly $70,000. Despite ongoing efforts to seek new sources of funding, and pending grant applications with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Historical Publications Commission, help is needed. Those willing to contribute should send donations to Richard E. Hart, chair, Lincoln Legals Fundraising Committee, Abraham Lincoln Association, One North Old State Capitol Plaza, Suite 501, Springfield, IL 62701-1323. Donors of $100 or more will receive a handsome facsimile set of twelve legal documents in Lincoln's hand.
Project staff has located fifty previously undiscovered documents in Lincoln's handwriting since the project's inception and have observed an interesting pattern of a growing number of such discoveries the farther from Sangamon County the staff goes—perhaps because pilferers from years past concentrated their efforts where they "knew" Lincoln conducted most of his law practice. Page [End Page 52]
The Dallas Morning News staff-writer David Hanners interviewed William Beard, the project's assistant editor, for the September 13 edition. Beard fielded some poignant questions in answer to what Lincoln gleaned from his legal experience that enabled him to develop leadership qualities. Beard answers, "I don't want to give too much credit to the profession because the individual had it to begin with, and Lincoln very early on his Salem years was viewed as a leader."
At the project advisory board meeting on October 24, a timetable for publication of the Lincoln Legals was announced. The facsimile edition in CD Rom is due in late 1996, and five volumes, about 2 percent of the Lincoln Legals, are to be published in 1997, 1999, and 2000. Both editions are based at present on a document search of 4,224 cases (as of October) with 49,611 documents located in eighteen Illinois county courthouses and nine manuscript libraries representing a twenty-four-year law practice.
The sixth annual Lincoln Colloquium was held at Sangamon State University on October 26, 1991, with the theme "Abraham Lincoln and the Crucible of War." James M. McPherson discussed the question of "Who Freed the Slaves?"; Richard N. Current analyzed "Lincoln's Loyalists: Union Soldiers from the Confederacy"; John Y. Simon presented "Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, and Fort Sumter"; Frank J. Williams examined "Lincoln and His Contemporaries: The World's Statesmen Compared and Contrasted" with slide illustrations; and Paul Findley reminisced about "Legislating the Authorization of Lincoln Home National Historical Site: A Twenty-Year Perspective." The papers have been published by the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. The seventh annual Lincoln Colloquium met at Sangamon State University on October 24, 1992, with the theme "Abraham Lincoln and the Political Process." Speakers included Rodney O. Davis ("'I Shall Consider the Whole People of Sangamon My Constituents': Lincoln and the Illinois General Assembly"), Cullom Davis ("Abraham Lincoln, Esquire: The Symbiosis of Law and Politics"), Roger A. Fischer ("Retailing the Railsplitter: The Material Culture of Lincoln's 1860 Campaign"), John Y. Simon ("The Origin of the Emancipation Proclamation"), and William E. Gienapp ("Abraham Lincoln and Presidential Leadership").
The Indiana History Conference and Indiana Historical Society Page [End Page 53] annual meeting took place in Indianapolis on November 1 and 2, 1991, in celebration of the 175th birthday of the state. Among the papers delivered were "Why the Lincolns Came to Indiana" by Jerry Sanders and "The Many Faces of Abraham Lincoln" by Wayne Sanford.
The Illinois State Historical Society conducted its twelfth annual Illinois History Symposium on December 6 and 7, 1991, with a session entitled "The Image of Abraham Lincoln." Judith A. Rice presented "S. S. McClure, Ida Tarbell, and the Image of Abraham Lincoln," and James A. Stevenson presented "Pericles' Influence on the Gettysburg Address." Dean Hammer commented. Another session was entitled "Abraham Lincoln Revisited," with papers by Robert C. Bray ("When Lincoln Put Cartwright on the Stand: A New Look at the Harrison Murder Trial") and Robert S. Porter ("Abraham Lincoln and African Americans: Historiography, 1960–1991"). William D. Beard commented.
Dean Hammer of Augustana College directed the "Remembering Lincoln" conference, held at the college on April 11 with papers by Matt Schramm ("Abraham Lincoln and the Flight from Jefferson Democracy"), Todd Volker ("Lincoln in Eastern Europe"), Basil Moore ("Abraham Lincoln and His Mentor Graham"), Cullom Davis ("From Basements to Attics: Uncovering Lincoln's Legal Career"), Rand Wonio ("Mr. Lincoln's Biggest Fee"), Richard Chrisman ("Riding the Circuit"), Lew Mallow ("The Life of Mary Todd Lincoln"), Pat Wiebel ("Mary Todd Lincoln: Separating Myth from Reality"), Don O'Shea ("Slavery and Union: Reenactment of Portions of Lincoln-Douglas Debate"), Thomas F. Schwartz ("Lincoln and the Limits of Reason"), William Buchholz ("Lincoln as Spiritualist"), Jerry Persky ("Lincoln and His Use of Humor"), John Norton ("A Galesburg Swede Views the Lincoln-Douglas Debate"), Dave Dehnel ("Lincoln, Douglas, and Judicial Review"), B. J. Elsner ("Lincoln Was Buried Here"), Norm Moline ("Lincoln in the Landscape"), Myron Fogde ("Lincoln and American Religious Primitivism"), Jan Keessen ("Why Did Lincoln Write Both Muddy and Clear Prose in His Second Inaugural Address?"), William Moore ("Learning Parson Lovejoy's Catechism"), Lloyd Efflandt ("Private/Captain/Private Lincoln"), and Barnard Hollister ("Lincoln the Modernist: The Lincoln Family"). Frank J. Williams presented the keynote address on April 10, "Abraham Lincoln: New Challenges for Collectors; or, Where Do We Go From Here?"
The German Historical Institute of Washington held a conference, "On the Road to Total War: The American Civil War and the German Page [End Page 54] Wars of Unification, 1861–1871" from April 1–4, with papers by Carl Degler ("The American Civil War and the German Wars of Unification: The Problem of Comparison"), Hans L. Trefousse ("Unionism and Abolition: Political Mobilization in the North"), Richard E. Beringer ("Southern Identity and the Will to Fight Back"), James M. McPherson ("From Unlimited War to Total War in America"), Edward Hagerman ("Union Generalship, Political Leadership and Total War Strategy"), Jorg Nagler ("Loyalty and Dissent: The Home Front in the Civil War"), Philip S. Paludan ("Propaganda and Public Opinion During the Civil War"), and Richard N. Current ("American Society and the Legacy of the Civil War Until 1914").
The Civil War Society held its conference "A Closer Look at Jefferson Davis," in Biloxi, Mississippi, from April 2–4. Lecturers included Michael Ballard, Steven Woodworth, Lynda Crist, Keith Hardison, and Frank Vandiver.
The Gettysburg Civil War Institute was held from June 28 to July 4 and included papers by William Freehling ("Why Southerners Went to War"), Mark Summers ("Why Northerners Went to War"), William McFeely ("Frederick Douglass, John Brown, and Why the War Came"), and Charles Royster ("Fort Sumter: At Last, the War"). On July 10 and 11, the play Lincoln's Last Hours was presented under the co-sponsorship of the Gettysburg College Civil War Institute and the Gettysburg Rotary Club.
Louisiana State University in Shreveport and the Abraham Lincoln Association sponsored "Lincoln's Life, Times, and Legacy" September 17 and 18, with William D. Pederson as conference director. Some thirty-seven papers were prepared, with thirty-five delivered from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on each day. They were: "Abraham Lincoln and Classical Prudence" by Ethan M. Fishman; "'The Pillars of the Temple of Liberty': Lincoln Views the Founding Fathers" by Ronald D. Rietveld; "Lincoln, the Declaration of Independence and Equality" by Joseph R. Fornieri; "Lincoln, the Lyceum Address and Democratic Leadership" by Patrick J. Powers; "Lincoln and Grant: Reappraising a Relationship" by Brooks D. Simpson; "Lincoln's Impact on President Rutherford B. Hayes" by Roger D. Bridges; "Never a Discouraging Word: Wit and Anecdotes of A. Lincoln" by Archie P. McDonald; "Lincoln's Newly Identified Illegitimate Relatives" by Paul H. Verduin; "Lincoln's Mid-Life Crisis" by Michael Burlingame; "Lincoln and Southern Unionism" by William C. Harris; "Lincoln's Reelection and the End of Slavery" by David E. Long; "Teddy Roosevelt and A. Lincoln" by Ted Zalewski; "Lincoln's Impact on William Howard Taft" by Henry B. Sirgo; "Prudent Archery: FDR's Lincoln" Page [End Page 55] by Phillip Abbott; "The Leadership Style of Abraham Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower" by Thomas R. Turner; "Lincoln's Influence on Gerald R. Ford" by Edward L. Schapsmeier and Frederick H. Schapsmeier; "Lincoln's Influence on China" by Sherman S. Chen; "Lincoln and Nehru" by Kilaru R. Rao; "Lincoln's Impact on Africa" by A. B. Assensoh and Francis K. Danquah; "Legislative Messages of the Lincoln Administration" by Samuel B. Hoff; "Poltroons and Apes to Diamonds in Their Setting: Lincoln's Practice of Cabinet Alchemy" by Arthur R. Williams and Amanda Noble; "Reflections of Greatness? Lincoln's Supreme Court Appointees" by Robert C. Bradley; "Lincoln's Visions, Dreams, and Premonitions" by John Stuart Ervin; "Lincoln and the Apocalyptic at Mid-Century" by Charles B. Strozier; "Lincoln and Civil Religion: Presidents as Prophet" by Stephen K. Shaw; "Lincoln's Poetry and Prose" by James A. Stevenson; "Lincoln and Gandhi" by Mohammed B. Alam; "Lincoln and Development of the Trans-Mississippi West" by Wallace H. Best; "Lincoln's National Debt" by Thomas F. Schwartz; "Lincoln and Idaho" by David Leroy; "The Portrayal of Lincoln in School History: A View from Textbooks" by O. L. Davis, Jr.; "The Legacy of Lincoln in the Elementary Classroom" by Sherry L. Field; "Lincoln and Judicial Review" by William D. Bader; "Law and Politics: The Two Careers of Lincoln" by G. Cullom Davis; "Lincoln and Taney: President vs. Chief Justice" by Kenneth M. Holland; "Executive Prerogative and American Constitutionalism" by Mark J. Rozell; and "Lincoln and World Leaders" by Frank J. Williams.
The first annual Lincoln-Douglas Debate Celebration was held on August 21 and 22 in Ottawa, Illinois. Among the speakers were John Y. Simon ("Lincoln and the Declaration of Independence"), Douglas Wilson ("Ottawa: The First Debate and Its Significance"), Robert Bray ("The Origins of Lincoln's Rhetoric"), Cullom Davis ("The Lawyer's Avenue to the Public: Abraham Lincoln and Legal Rhetoric"), and Michael Burlingame ("Lincoln, Law and Political Rhetoric").
The Friends of the John Hay Wildlife Refuge in Newbury, New Hampshire, conducted a conference on John Hay on August 21 and 22, with papers by Jennifer Lee ("The Life and Times of John Hay"), George Monteiro ("John Hay's Literary Career"), and Robert McGrath and Patricia O'Toole ("John Hay and Henry Adams: Two Friends, Two Democracies").
Elderhostels presented "A New Look at Abraham Lincoln" from August 23 to 29 at the Lakeside Center, Crystal Lake, Illinois. Intended as a fresh look at the social and political forces that brought Page [End Page 56] Abraham Lincoln to power, the class examined the life of Owen Lovejoy—congregational minster, abolitionist, orator, and one of the founders of the Republican party in 1856. Lincoln wrote on Lovejoy's death: "Let him have the marble monument, along with the well assured and more enduring memorial in the hearts of all men who love liberty, unselfishly."
Russell Baker in "Alms for the Love of Gore," takes public television to task in an article that appeared in the New York Times on August 20, 1991. Amid views of the casualties of the Civil War in Ken Burns's documentary, the show stopped so volunteer fundraisers could tell the audience that "This is the kind of television you get only on public television."
The cartoonist Marlette of New York Newsday depicted George Bush sleeping on a barren mattress; plaques on the wall read, "Abraham Lincoln Slept Here!" and "David Duke Stole the Sheets!" The syndicated cartoon appeared in The Sun (Westerly, R.I.) on November 24, 1991.
Paul H. Verduin's editorial "Why the Time Is Right for a Lincoln Museum in Our Neglected Lincoln Memorial" appeared in the May 1991 issue of TAALC Newsletter. The writer, who is editor of The Lincolnian (Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia), believes that his Lincoln group and all other Lincoln organizations across the country should support a museum in the Lincoln Memorial, where nothing about Lincoln is on display other than the Daniel Chester French statue. But, some ask, is this not enough?
Jonathan Schell, in "Union Divides Lincoln and Gorbachev" for Newsday on November 21, 1991, attempts to compare Gorbachev's problems with those Lincoln faced. Schell properly points out the difference between the United States in 1861 and Russia in 1991. Lincoln believed the essence of union was the principle that a majority of the people had the right to compel a minority to stay within a union. Now no such lawful and legitimate majority in the Soviet Union insists that such a union exists. The author points out that Lincoln is "rightly honored for saving a union," whereas Gorbachev's legacy will be his effort in dissolving one.
On February 17, the New York Times printed "Presidents of Precious Few Words." It pointed out that few people recognized that Lincoln's tribute to his country at Gettysburg was one of the seventy- Page [End Page 57] eight speeches he delivered while president. In so doing, he gave three times as many speeches as Washington, whose famous Farewell Address was published, not delivered in person. The editorial compares these speeches with the "eminently forgettable speeches" of George Bush and other recent presidents. The editorial concludes with the question, "Why then do Presidents keep pouring out more wind?"
In a letter to the editor of the New York Times on February 24, Phil Patton argues that Lincoln was a tool of the railroads and cites the land Lincoln was given in Davenport, Iowa. He misstates his case, as the land Lincoln received was a bounty for his service in the Black Hawk War.
In the July 18 issue of the New York Times Richard L. Berke discusses the Democratic National Convention ("When TV Turns Politics into a Laughing Matter"). Comedy Central presented its "Indecision '92" with a video of Senator Paul Simon of Illinois discoursing on the convention floor about whether a bow-tied politician (he is one) could reach the White House. "Well, a fellow named Harry Truman did it," he said. "In the last century, a fellow named Abraham Lincoln did it. They were both pretty good Presidents." "That's a heartwarming thing, isn't it?" replied Comedy Central's anchorman Al Franken. Then came the somber drumbeat in the background—time for a commercial.
The Providence Journal-Bulletin on February 12 reprinted a section from Walt Whitman's Specimen Days in America (1881). His entry for August 12, 1863 was: "I see the President almost every-day.... He never sleeps at the White House during the hot season but has quarters at a healthy location some three miles north of the city, the Soldiers' Home. ... I see very plainly Abraham Lincoln's dark brown face, with the deep cut lines, the eyes, always to me with a deep latent sadness in the expression." The same issue included Paul Greenberg's editorial "Lincoln Knew What Words Could Do." Greenberg agrees with Kathleen Hall Jamieson, who believed the Democratic presidential primary debates reduced ideals to one-liners and dialogue to one-upsmanship. It was no more enlightening to watch George Bush give his 1992 State of the Union address. But Greenberg points out that in 1858 there were real debates—between Senator Stephen A. Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. Greenberg does not think that Lincoln would go over well on "60 Minutes" or the "Tonight Show," as it wasn't "Happy Days Are Here Again." Greenberg says that Jamieson is wrong in saying that few would recognize great Page [End Page 58] rhetoric today. "Just give us the right words and We, the People, will respond. We will see and act anew."
The Chicago Tribune on Lincoln's birthday published Ivy E. Scarborough's "Lincoln and the Power of Principle." The writer, an attorney, comments on the items (now at the Library of Congress) found in Lincoln's pockets the night he was assassinated. Included was a small, worn newspaper clipping containing small praise for the president. Rather than being an acknowledgment of Lincoln's ego—the scant praise is not what sustained him—"It was in the character of the man to do what he did without regard to praise or criticism." Today, some who hold high office may be Lincolnesque, "though in the bloodletting of many political campaigns, values of substance are often lost to values of style.... Pride is paramount and humility is, well, humble."
The annual Lincoln Day editorial from the State Journal-Register points to Jack Kemp's effort in an open letter to Russian President Boris Yeltsin, declaring the need to allow the Russian people to own their own homes. The editorial cites Lincoln's similar effort in signing the Homestead Act in 1862. Praising the efforts of the Lincoln Legal Papers project, the editorial comments on Lincoln's enduring legacy—"his compassion, his dedication, his faith, his strength, but above all, for his total commitment to government by the people—and the freedom it brings."
Jack Anderson and Michael Binstein's column for The Oregonian on April 1, "Inadequate Excuses, Empty Hero Worship," told of Congressman Robert Mrazek's interest in Lincoln and the decorating of his office with Lincolniana. Yet his checks were written on insufficient funds through the House Bank, some 972 in all. Mrazek explained that the practice existed when Lincoln was in Congress. The editorial opines that neither his explanations nor his idol, Lincoln, could save Mrazek from a rough election when all the voters would see was 972 bad checks. He subsequently lost the New York Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate.
James Krohe, Jr.'s "The Great Enunciator" in the June 4 issue of Illinois Times indicates that Lincoln's great prose highlights the sorry state of modern political discourse. When the construction of the new Illinois State Library in Springfield was underway, librarians compiled a roster of noteworthy Illinois authors to be remembered by chiseling their names on the building's frieze. Lincoln was included. This was surprising to many people says Krohe, as they remember "Lincoln only as the man who played Henry Fonda as an older man." He points out that Ronald Reagan was perhaps the Page [End Page 59] second Republican actor to live in the White House. Lincoln was an expert "raconteur," "an adept performer who liked to read aloud scenes from Shakespeare to small audiences of friends and staff and who, as a young lawyer, got raves for his stand-up act in some of the toughest rooms on the old Eighth Judicial Circuit." Krohe thinks that Lincoln really said what he wanted to say and that George Bush said only what he thought people wanted to hear. Lincoln's style was superior due to the superiority of his thought. Krohe bemoans the fact that Americans no longer know Lincoln's life and speeches. His Gettysburg Address is no longer memorized, and it is unusual to find people who have even heard of it.
Ron Grossman in the Atlanta Constitution (September 27) discussed how the 1992 presidential debates were nothing like the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates ("The Golden Age of Debates: '92 Talk Pales by Comparison"). Current candidates do not match the eloquence of Douglas and Lincoln, yet both Lincoln and Douglas were not, by today's media standards, physically attractive enough for today's campaigns. In the days of Lincoln and Douglas, politics "was the only game in town."
The quadrennial quest for the presidency brought forth the usual plethora of editorial cartoons, including Jim Borgman's dejected Lincoln leaning in a chair against a "Lincoln for President" sign about to be removed by a cleaning lady, who says, "Don't take it so hard, kid! If you'd raised more money, scored some TV time in the Northeast, locked up some early polls ... hey, who knows?" Oliphant's cartoon syndicated in the Providence Journal-Bulletin on October 9 has a grim Lincoln sitting in his marble chair at the Lincoln Memorial, looking askance at candidate Ross Perot sitting in a high chair. Perot states "Shucks—I'll settle for some of the people all of the time!" Bok's cartoon syndicated on September 12 for the Akron Beacon Journal has Lincoln standing, his hands in his pockets, in front of Republican Headquarters. He listens as one of his aides reads, "The focus group thinks it would be a mistake to commit ground troops to a Civil War, Mr. President."
Editorials and commentary abounded in the election year, with Stephen Beaven's "Character major factor in Lincoln's leadership" for the State Journal-Register on October 25 in which the staff-writer attempts to elicit comparisons between Lincoln and the 1992 candidates. William E. Gienapp, who delivered a paper at the seventh annual Lincoln Colloquium, was asked whether Bill Clinton could be compared to Lincoln. Gienapp replied: "I think it's a mistake to elect a president who lacks experience.... It's a risk, but there have Page [End Page 60] been inexperienced presidents who've [been good]. I think you have to take chances. There's no certainty in any president." Gienapp said that if Lincoln were registered to vote in 1992, he would have voted for Bush (the Republican) or have stayed at home. Harold Holzer, in his guest column for the Gannett Suburban Newspapers, discussed "Debating the Myth of Lincoln-Douglas" on October 23. Even in the mother of all debates, Douglas protested against Lincoln's "attacks on my public character," adding, "If Mr. Lincoln is a man of bad character, I leave it to others to find out." Holzer warns today's candidates to keep history in mind when they advocate a return to nineteenth-century debating, which called for a "toe-to-toe, no holds barred" confrontation. Ed Riner's cartoon "Coaching the Little Giant" appeared in the October 26 New Yorker; in it, Senator Douglas's handlers ask, "O.K. Now, if he comes at you with 'A house divided against itself cannot stand,' what's your reply?" Herbert Mitgang pointed out in the New York Times on October 6 that in the Lincoln-Douglas debates there was no "hiding behind studio lecterns, no 'Larry King Live,' no World Series conflicts; it was one on one, rain or shine, without makeup or microphones." Although the audience numbered ten thousand, with many people coming for the carnival-like atmosphere and "pageantry," the substance of the debates was indisputable. For example, Lincoln stated in Alton on October 15, 1858 that "I have said and I repeat it here, that if there be a man amongst us who does not think that the institution of slavery is wrong in any of the aspects of which I have spoken, he is misplaced and ought not to be with us.... That is the real issue. That is the issue that will continue in this country when these poor tongues of Judge Douglas and myself shall be silent. It is the eternal struggle between these two principles—right and wrong—throughout the world." And not to be forgotten, William F. Buckley, Jr., in a pre-election editorial, "By George, spare us the presumption of this scatter-minded Southern statist," admonished Bush's critics not to give up on him simply because "he is not Abraham Lincoln."
Ed Stein's cartoon for the Rocky Mountain News, syndicated on February 14, depicted four presidents: Jefferson says, "When in the course of human events"; Lincoln says, "Four score and seven years ago"; Kennedy says, "Ask not what your country can do for you"; and George Bush says, "I love a parade!"
The drawing by Saul Steinberg made in 1976 showing Lincoln at the Thanksgiving dinner table with Washington, the Statue of Liberty, the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and a witch appears in his Discovery of America (Abrams). The cartoonist Christine in The Sun (Westerly, Page [End Page 61] R.I.) on December 13 sympathized with the budget-busting cost of utilities that the Westerly Public Library was experiencing: "Due to the increased cost of utilities since expansion, the Westerly Public Library offers you the ... Abe Lincoln Reading Room! Grab a candle." To prepare for Clinton family cat, Socks, in the White House, Nicole Hollander in Sylvia has her protagonist say, "The Secret Service has asked me to act as a stand-in for Socks. I will be posing for photographers in the Rose Garden ... chasing birds and clumsily missing them so as not to offend bird-lovers, while the real Socks hides in the closet in the Lincoln bedroom."
Martin D. Tullai wrote an Op-Ed piece for the Evening Sun (Baltimore) on January 7 in which he pointed out the precedent for changing vice presidents in the second term, as Lincoln did in the 1864 campaign. His commentary, "Mr. Bush Tries Out Abe-speak," appeared in the San Jose Mercury News on February 12. In a fantasized interview, questions are asked of George Bush, who responds using Lincoln's words, "Q: 'Sir you're a sports buff. What do you think about the juvenile bragging and posturing of some big time athletes?'" G.B.: "The hen is the wisest of all the animals in creation because she never cackles until the egg is laid."
George Bush's Christmas Eve pardons of Irangate suspects brought forth a torrent of words, including a review of pardons granted by Lincoln in 1863 and Andrew Johnson's amnesty in 1868 as well as his pardon for Dr. Samuel A. Mudd in 1869—all as described in the New York Times on Christmas Day, 1992. The article pointed out that Abraham Lincoln, like Jimmy Carter for draft-evaders, granted "blanket" amnesties to a whole class of people.
"The Songs of the Civil War" was telecast during August 1991. A spinoff of "The Civil War," the program included vintage photographs with readings as well as music. Sony produced a video of the show, and Columbia Records released the soundtrack album.
Artist Bob Holloway of Kansas City, Missouri, prepared a montage print of Abraham Lincoln as president. McGraw-Hill Media has produced the video Lincoln: A Photobiography, based on Russell Freedman's prize-winning book.
The Civil War Studies Office, the Music Department, and the Gettysburg Review of Gettysburg College presented the Expressionistic-Atona Opera The Death of Lincoln on October 4, 1991. Page [End Page 62]
The Sunday New York Times Travel Section of October 13, 1991, announced that Mt. Rushmore was getting a much-needed facelift via a new silicone-based material. Studies showed that the traditional patching material of white lead, granite dust, and linseed oil—used for more than fifty years—had failed to seal hundreds of cracks. The Mt. Rushmore Society is paying for the work and attempting to raise $40 million to preserve the memorial and improve visitor facilities. For information, call (800) 882–0500.
The sculptor Tom Clark has produced Abraham Lincoln, inspired by the Lincoln Memorial sculpture of Daniel Chester French as the next release in the Great People in History series.
In Defense of Animals (816 W. Francisco Blvd., San Rafael, CA 94901) has produced a poster of a Lincoln profile and a purported Lincoln quote, "I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of the whole human being."
The Austin American-Statesman, on December 7, 1991, reported pending legislation pressed by Senator Alan Cranston urging a coin redesign that would replace the Lincoln Memorial on the reverse of the penny with a theme from the Bill of Rights—the first change to the penny since 1959.
American Heritage published a large-format Civil War thematic calendar for 1992 interpreted by Stephen W. Sears.
Herbert Mitgang's play Mister Lincoln was presented by the Friends of the Collinsville (Ill.) Historical Museum in February.
Hammacher-Schlemmer features a Lincoln nutcracker from Stein-bach of Bavaria.
The artist Michael Blaser, who specializes in painting steamboats, has produced "Red Sky at Morning," in which the steamer Effie Afton signals the bridge that it subsequently struck, leading to one of Lincoln's most famous trials.
H. Norman Schwarzkopf "gets right with Lincoln" by narrating Aaron Copland's Lincoln Portrait for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra with Leonard Slatkin conducting (RCA).
The world premiere of Lincoln and the War Within, a film about Fort Sumter and the start of the Civil War by the filmmaker-historian Robert Brent Toplin, was held at Gettysburg College's Civil War Institute on March 26.
The New York Times on March 25 announced "Democracy's Poet—A Walt Whitman Celebration" from March 26 to May 31, marking the centennial of the poet's death. Events included "The War Between the States" on May 27 in which Daniel Barshay portrayed the writer and poet during the Civil War. In his essay "Of Me I Sing: Page [End Page 63] Whitman in His Time" David S. Reynolds says, "To preserve the Union, Lincoln would greatly strengthen the power of the executive office by leading the North into battle once the South has seceded. Whitman took a different but analogous tactic to preserve the Union: He asserted the executive power of the poetic 'I,' which, 'gathered together the disparate voices of American culture in an imaginative whole.'"
James M. McPherson's Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution is now on cassette, produced by Books on Tape and read by Wolfram Kandinsky.
Ailene S. Goodman, a teacher and producer, has written and narrated for younger children the forty-minute cassette and booklet Abe Lincoln in Song and Story (Eliza Records, 3304 Rittenhouse, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20915).
Gary Larson's "The Far Side" featured "Abraham Lincoln's First Car" in a cartoon syndicated in June. The motor vehicle, ensconced in a museum, was made of logs.
The Silversmiths Group USA, Inc. (6925 Union Park Center, Midvale, Utah 84047) has announced the casting in silver and bronze of Guzon Borglum's Lincoln sculpture that was dedicated in 1911 in Newark, New Jersey, with Theodore Roosevelt as the keynote speaker. The statue features Lincoln sitting on a bench, his right hand resting on the bench next to his top hat. The life-sized sculpture has enticed many people—young and old alike—to sit next to Lincoln and contemplate with him despite the present-day graffiti on the piece.
The 59th Lincoln pilgrimage patch issued by the Lincoln Museum, Fort Wayne, features its new logo, Lincoln's top hat on a background of yellow and white.
John and Rose Ahart again produced Your Obedient Servant, A. Lincoln at New Salem from July 7 through August 2. Mr. Lincoln and the 4th of July premiered at Lincoln's New Salem on August 8, 9, and 16. All performances took place in the new Visitors Center Theatre.
KQED Video Library (2601 Mariposa, San Francisco, CA 94110) has for sale Memory and Imagination about the Library of Congress, which includes a touching sequence on its Lincoln memorabilia described by the actor Sam Waterston.
On August 27, a life-sized statue titled Lincoln and Douglas in Debate by the sculptor Lily Tolpo was dedicated in Freeport, Illinois, commemorating one of the Freeport debates.
The State Journal-Register on April 28 reported that a crew from Page [End Page 64] Hong Kong TV was filming in Springfield. "People in Hong Kong know a lot about Lincoln," said Kinsin Kwok. The Illinois documentary ran in September on Asia Television.
Many are unaware of Woody Allen's satirical play The Query in his book Side Effects (Random House). The one-act play describes an incident in the life of President Lincoln, when a distraught father visited the president to ask that his soldier son be pardoned. The man was compelled to ask, "Mr. Lincoln, how long do you think a man's legs should be?" Lincoln answered, "Long enough to reach the ground."
White River Pictures has produced the video Black Easter: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln written by William Hanchett and directed by Gary L. Beebe (TN Releasing Co., 400 S. Farrell Dr., Palm Springs, CA 92262).
The October 5 cover story for U.S. News & World Report was "Lincoln: What Made Him Great and How We Can Learn From Him." Gerald Parshall observed: "In making important decisions, Lincoln the President, like Lincoln the lawyer, relied less on experts or books or reports than on his own intuition.... Blocking out the hubbub around him, he withdrew into the jury room of the concentrated mind. When he re-emerged, a resolve would have formed, a resolve not easily shaken."
The first quarter issue of Sculpture Review contained the illustrated articles "Vinnie Reem: The Teen Who Sculptured Abe Lincoln" by Valerie Thompson and "Monumental Sculpture on Civil War Battlefields" by Michael W. Panhorst.
Assassins, the musical by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman about nine of the thirteen people who have attempted to kill an American president (four of them successfully), was performed at Theater Works in New Milford, Connecticut, during September and October.
Kathy Brown Wing was the artist of the watercolor "The Honest Politician (Primus Rhode Island Politicus)" featuring Lincoln as an eagle looking down on the Rhode Island State House. The work was sponsored by Common Cause.
During the week of December 7, PBS presented an hour-long documentary "Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom." There was commentary from Mario Cuomo, Harold Holzer, Cullom Davis, Charles Strozier, James M. McPherson, John Y. Simon, and Mary Frances Berry.
Kunhardt Productions presented, on December 26 and 27 over ABC-TV, the four-hour "Lincoln: The Making of a President: 1860– Page [End Page 65] 1862"; "The Pivotal Year, 1863";" 'I Want to Finish this Job': 1864"; and "'Now He Belongs to the Ages': 1865." PBS Video is selling this set, including Abraham Lincoln: A New Birth of Freedom (1320 Braddock, Alexandria, VA 22314-1698). The set includes a teachers' guide and can be ordered with a video index in order to use Lincoln as a teaching tool. Bill Carter's review "Mr. Lincoln Earns a Network Documentary" for the Sunday New York Times on December 20 called this a "personal statement," as it is the culmination of the Kunhardt family's interest in Lincoln that has spanned five generations. In "Lincoln Reconstructed" (Newsweek, December 28), Harry Waters called the documentary "dazzling" and "superb" as it is the first full TV biography of "our greatest president." Yet, in his review for the December 28 issue of Time, "Trying to Hype History," Richard Zoglin believes that the producers "missed," even with music by Alen Menken (Aladdin), narration by James Earl Jones, and Jason Robards speaking the words of Lincoln. Zoglin says that the all-star voice-overs distracted listeners; he complains about the lack of commentators as used in Ken Burns's "The Civil War." Walter Goodman, in "Lincoln's Words, Brady's Photographs" for the New York Times on December 25 noted that the documentary seemed to lack "a central idea beyond reverence for Lincoln."
The cover of the Journal of the American Bar Association for March 1991 featured a contemporary-looking Lincoln sitting at his computer with the quote "A lawyer's time and advice are his stock in trade." Because of the cover's popularity, the ABA has reproduced it suitable for framing (ABA Journal Poster, 6th Floor, 750 N. Lake Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60611).
June Bingham has written a book for the musical Another Lincoln (about Mary Lincoln), with music and lyrics by Carmel Owen.
Jack Menges (1088 Irvine Blvd., Suite 287, Tustin, CA 92680) has reproduced in bronze the Leonard Volk lifemask and hands of Lincoln.
The Institute for Public Affairs of Sangamon State University has for sale the only documentary produced on the restoration and preservation of the Lincoln Home in Springfield, "The Lincolns of Springfield, Illinois," which was broadcast on PBS.
"A House Divided: Maryland During the Civil War" opened at the Maryland Historical Society. Page [End Page 66]
"A Divided Mind: Political Satires of the American Civil War" opened in the Madison Building of the Library of Congress.
Mario M. Cuomo and Harold Holzer provided the guest commentary to a rare printing of Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address on view at the New-York Historical Society during June and July. Although remembered for its tone of reconciliation, the speech was intended to send a message to the South that the Union's war aims would continue "until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid by another drawn with the sword." The printing was part of a continuing exhibit, "Markers of Change: Documents of American History."
The "Chronicle" in the November 15, 1991, New York Times described how seventy women from twenty states formed Friends of First Ladies to help raise $2 million to restore the inaugural gown collection of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. (They were successful, as the Library of Congress announced in its Bulletin for April 6.) The jewelry purchased by President Lincoln from Tiffany and worn by Mrs. Lincoln at the 1865 Inaugural Ball is on loan from the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress for the Smithsonian's exhibition "First Ladies: Political Role and Public Image."
From October 20, 1991, through January 5, 1992, the Chrysler Museum of Norfolk, Virginia, featured "An Enduring Interest: The Photographs of Alexander Gardner." The exhibit then traveled to the International Center of Photography in New York City and was reviewed by Charles Hagen in the New York Times on July 31 ("A Civil War Image Maker's Belated Recognition"). Accompanying the exhibit was a handsome booklet with an introduction by Brooks Johnson and including the article "Abraham Lincoln and the Conspiracy Against Him" by Lloyd Ostendorf.
Herbert Mitgang wrote "On Paper, the Evolution of the United States" for the July 6 New York Times. He describes "one of the strongest private collections of American historical manuscripts," exhibited at the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City during July and August. "The Making of America" included "The Civil War and Abolition" (with Lincoln's telegram to General Grant indicating that he will "succeed"); a letter revealing Lincoln's desire to play fair in the publication of the Lincoln-Douglas debates (instructing the Ohio lawyer who would publish the debates, "Let there be no color of complaint that a word, or letter, in Douglas' speeches, has been changed"); and Admiral Farragut's handmade battle plan and maps for capturing New Orleans. Page [End Page 67]
Platter Gedney was the guest curator for "'The Camera Is the Eye of History': A Collection of Civil War Photographs: Scenes in and Around the Nation's Capital, 1861–1865," drawn from his collection and displayed at the Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives in Washington, D.C.
The Chicago Public Library sponsored "From Optimism to Despair: Changing Views of the Civil War" from July 6, 1992 through January 30, 1993.
From December 31 through January 4, 1993, the fragile but telling Emancipation Proclamation was removed from its vault and exhibited in the National Archives to mark the 130th anniversary of Lincoln's Proclamation on New Year's Day 1863. The five-page document is written on both sides of two sheets of paper and the front of a third. The display marked the first time that the entire text was available for viewing at one time. The New York Times reported the event on December 20.
The Civil War Round Table (Chicago) conducted a tour of Springfield from October 4–6, 1991. Tour guides included Ralph Geoffrey Newman and James T. Hickey. Thomas F. Schwartz, curator of the Henry Horner Lincoln Collection, described the Lincoln collection at the Illinois State Historical Library.
The Surratt Society announced that the September 14 and October 5, 1991 tours of the Booth escape route were sold out.
Lee C. Moorehead's Lincoln Seminar and visit to Lincoln sites were held from July 10 to 12 and included a stop at Batavia and its Bellevue Place, where Mary Todd Lincoln was a patient in 1875. Lewis P. Mallow, Jr., presented the multimedia "Life of Abraham Lincoln." Other speakers were Wayne C. Temple ("Lincoln's Illinois"), William Beard ("Lincoln the Lawyer"), and George C. Painter ("How the Lincoln Home Was Secured as a National Treasure").
This year produced an auction record for a Lincoln manuscript. On November 20, Christie's sold an autograph quotation of one paragraph of the Second Inaugural Address for the sum of $1.32 million, setting a world auction record for a U.S. manuscript. The Page [End Page 68] price was unexpected because the item was not the entire speech, but only an extract. News of the auction appeared in Auction News from Christie's in November, with an article by Chris Coover. The document had a pre-bid estimate of $300,000–$400,000. This record was broken within a month.
Rita Raif's "Lincoln's 'House Divided' Draft to Be Sold" appeared in the August 18 edition of the New York Times and broadcast the fact that an earlier known draft of Lincoln's "House Divided" speech opposing slavery was to be auctioned by Sotheby's on December 16. Estimated at between $300,000 and $500,000, it sold instead for $1.5 million. The buyers were New York businessmen Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman. Charles Pierce, Jr., director of the Pierpont Morgan Library, announced that the manuscript would be added to its collection of American historical documents acquired by Gilder and Lehrman. The collection was placed on deposit at the Morgan Library in July. Rita Raif also reported the world record in "The Year in the Arts: Arts & Artifacts/1992" in the Sunday New York Times on December 27.
As if this were not bad enough, both Sotheby's and Christie's announced that the commissions they receive from buyers will be raised to 15 percent from 10 percent.
The December 16 auction also had a heretofore unknown letter dated December 21, 1861, from Lincoln to General John C. Frémont that sold for $140,000 (pre-bid estimate was $50,000–$75,000). The letter proves that the president had the grasp of military knowledge and strategy necessary to win the war, "We must find a way to put the strength of our game—superior numbers—into the play."
The Paul Perlin collection of presidential campaign memorabilia (with a pre-bid estimate of $2,500,000–$3,500,000) was not sold as planned by Sotheby's on December 12, 1991, because the sale did not meet the reserve. A signed copy of Political Debates Between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas also was not sold as it, too, did not meet the reserve. A reward poster with the printed signature of L. C. Baker offering $30,000 for the capture of John Wilkes Booth and describing the assassin was sold for $17,600. Sold for $93,500 was a letter in which Lincoln defended his stand on the Mexican War: "As one of my votes on the origins of the Mexican war, and my speech on the subject, had been the object of loco foco assault, tell Judge Logan I am much obliged to him for his vindication of me. No fair-minded, sensable [sic] man, can take any other view of the matter."
The January issue of Connoisseur contains Jerry Patterson's "Val- Page [End Page 69] uations," an article about the quirky state of American autograph collecting in the 1980s. Mark E. Neely, Jr., has since remarked that probably 5 to 10 percent of Lincoln's letters and endorsements were sold during that period. This figure is remarkable when one considers that it is 130 years after Lincoln's death and that most of his output was never for sale because it belonged to his son Robert and the U.S. government.
Lincoln's letter to his political friend Major General John A. McClernand in which he dismissed the thought that the real goal in emancipation was to "enslave, or exterminate the whites of the South" sold for $748,000. Believing the price to be in error, I asked Christie's for verification and was told, "This price is correct." Prices, indeed, are fast outpacing the ability of scholars and hobbyists to meet them.
The cover of Christie's auction catalog for May 14 featured Lincoln's autograph quotation from his annual message to Congress, "I shall not attempt to retract or modify the Emancipation Proclamation; nor shall I return to slavery any person who is free by the terms of the Proclamation." It sold for $462,000, with a pre-bid estimate of $80,000–$120,000. At the same auction, a letter by John Hay, assistant secretary to the president, hinting at the forthcoming Emancipation Proclamation and dated July 20, 1862, sold for $24,200 (with a pre-bid estimate of $2,500–$3,500). An autograph letter signed "A. Lincoln" as president to Ulysses S. Grant ("I begin to see it. You will succeed. God bless you all.") sold for $418,000, with a pre-bid of $18,000–$25,000.
The Brian Riba auction held on June 13 featured signed cartes de visite, including one signed by Lincoln that sold for $25,000.
The October 14 auction at Swann Galleries fetched $41,800 (estimate $12,000–$ 18,000) for a sample book from Mathew Brady's National Photographic Art Gallery containing approximately 480 cartes of American and European notables.
Awards and Prizes
The prestigious Pulitzer Prize in history went to Mark E. Neely, Jr., for The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties (Oxford). The New York Times reported on April 8 that Neely had studied more than ten thousand cases relating to the suspension of the writ of habeus corpus during the Civil War and brought to light one of the most troublesome issues of the Lincoln administration. Neely Page [End Page 70] was quoted as saying, "I guess my conclusion was that we have forgotten what it was like for all kinds of people to become captives of military power when a war was being fought on our own soil." For his book, he also received the fourth annual Achievement Award from the Lincoln Group of New York and his second Barondess Award from the Civil War Round Table of New York.
The fifth annual Achievement Award from the Lincoln Group of New York was presented on November 19 to Garry Wills for Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remade America. The book was a finalist in the nonfiction category for a National Book Award.
Shelby Foote received the Civil War Round Table (Chicago) 1992 Nevins-Freeman Award. When he received his prize on November 9, he spoke on "The Novelist as Historian." Wayne C. Temple received the Round Table's Distinguished Service Award on October 5, 1991.
The creation of the annual Abraham Lincoln Association Manuscript Prize was announced by the association and Southern Illinois University Press, its cosponsor, in February, with a mailing of more than 3,500 brochures calling for manuscripts. The panel of judges, chaired by John Y. Simon, includes Richard N. Current, Mark E. Neely, Jr., and Robert W. Johannsen. Winning authors will receive a publication contract and a $1,000 prize provided by Southern Illinois University Press. Manuscripts are due by September 1 each year.
William S. McFeely, author of Frederick Douglass (Norton), and Charles Royster, author of The Destructive War: William Tecumseh Sherman, Stonewall Jackson and the Americans (Knopf) shared the $50,000 Lincoln Prize presented by the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College. Royster was also the recipient of the 1992 Bancroft Prize in American history. The Lincoln Prize Advisory Council announced that it would be making lifetime awards beginning in 1993.
Amy Hammond of Eldorado (Illinois) Junior High School won first prize in the sixth annual Lincoln Essay Competition Awards presented by the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. Second prize went to Frank Talaga (Brookwood Junior High School, Glenwood, Illinois), third to Jenny Duda (Brookwood), and fourth to Crystal Chiu (Casey Junior High School, Mt. Vernon, Illinois).
The Lincoln Academy of Illinois, on January 31, established its Hall of Fame of Historic Illinoisans. Through the efforts of John T. Trutter, chancellor, and Ralph G. Newman, chair of the Selection Committee, the academy announced the first fifty honorees, who Page [End Page 71] included Lincoln and Douglas, as well as Lincoln authors Carl Sandburg, Edgar Lee Masters, and Vachel Lindsay.
The thirty-fourth annual Grammy Awards, presented at Radio City Music Hall on February 25, recognized Ken Burns's original soundtrack recording of "The Civil War" in both the Traditional Folk and Spoken Word categories.
Stephen B. Oates received the 1992 Kidger Award from the New England History Teacher's Association.
U.S. District Judge Richard Mills received the Lincoln the Lawyer Award from the Abraham Lincoln Association on February 12. His acceptance remarks were published in the April issue of the Sangamon Historical Society Historico.
The U.S. Department of Interior awarded the Junior League of Springfield its prestigious Conservation Service Award in a ceremony held in Washington on May 5. Manuel Lujan made the presentation to Junior League President Barbara Hennessy for the league's role in preserving the Corneau House and for its efforts to establish and support the Lincoln Home National Historic Site.
Gary R. Planck, president of the Lincoln Group of Florida, was presented the Algernon-Sydney Sullivan Award by Lincoln Memorial University on May 9.
The Pearson Museum of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, Springfield, received an Award of Merit from the American Association of Museums for Caduceus: A Museum Journal for the Health Sciences, edited by Glen W. Davidson. The award-winning Spring 1991 issue of Caduceus featured the theme "Museums and the Human Remains Controversy," with an article on Lincoln and the first printing of the DNA report from the committee that considered the examination of Lincoln's autopsy specimens.
The Lincoln National Bank in Del City announced in its February 12 special edition Lincoln Letter the eleven schoolchildren honored in the 1992 Lincoln Essay Contest.
The Association of Lincoln Presenters inaugurated the annual Glenn Schnizlein Memorial Lincoln Award for the person who best portrays Abraham or Mary Lincoln.
The Civil War historian and professor at Columbia University Barbara Fields received one of the thirty-three McArthur Fellowships on June 15.
The "Chronicle" of the New York Times on July 4 mentioned the mutual Lincoln interest of Mario Cuomo and Margaret Thatcher. Mrs. Thatcher narrated Aaron Copland's Lincoln Portrait for Salute to Democracy (EMI). The Sunday Telegraph reported one of her favorite Page [End Page 72] Lincoln quotes: "The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present."
The Stephen A. Douglas Association honored Robert Miller, curator of the Vivian G. Harsh Collection of Afro-American History, on September 4 and Father Michael Pfleger, civic activist, on July 12.
Lloyd H. Efflandt received a Certificate of Excellence from the Congress of Illinois Historical Societies and Museums for Lincoln and the Black Hawk War.
Lincoln Home National Historic Site
The National Park Service officially opened the Sarah Cook House on November 14, 1991.
The Lincoln Heritage lectures, held on February 12, were presented by Paul H. Verduin ("Plantation Overseers, Patriots, Pioneers: New Light on Lincoln and His Hanks Forebears") and Richard N. Current ("From Civil War to World Power, 1865–1914"). A report of Verduin's paper appeared in the February 12 issue of the State Journal-Register, indicating that at least two Lincoln ancestors were plantation overseers and that one of them, according to Verduin, had beaten a runaway slave to death. Lincoln's maternal great-grandfather, Joseph Hanks, and a maternal great, great-grandfather, William Lee (Joseph Hanks's father-in-law) were slave overseers in Richmond County, Virginia, before the Revolutionary War. Current discussed the erroneous perception that America somehow became a world power following the Civil War. In fact, it needed a period of consolidation and healing before it was ready to assume that role.
The Sangamon County Historical Society met on March 23 at the Visitors Center to hear Site Superintendent Norman Hellmers speak on the history of the home and plans for the future development of its neighborhood.
A premiere of the video and teachers' guide In Mr. Lincoln's Footsteps was held on April 28. The product originated in the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and received additional contributions from the National Park Service, the Board of Education, and the Illinois Humanities Council. The video serves as an orientation to the Lincoln sites in the Springfield area.
The Lincoln Home has published a brochure "The Home at Eighth and Jackson: Twenty Years of Progress, 1972–1992." Page [End Page 73]
Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial Lincoln City, Indiana
On December 4, 1991, the memorial celebrated the 175th anniversary of the Lincoln family's arrival in the newly formed state of Indiana. The program included a discussion of "The Indiana of 1816" by Douglas E. Clanin and a presentation on "The Influence of Indiana on Abraham Lincoln: The Man and the President" by Douglas L. Wilson.
The Lincoln Club of Southern Indiana and the National Park Service held its annual Lincoln Day Program on February 9, with Rodney O. Davis as speaker.
From June 12 to 14, Spencer County hosted the 1992 Indiana Lincoln Festival, which included performances of Young Abe Lincoln, Lincoln theme films, and a Lincoln lookalike contest. Participating sites were the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, Lincoln State Park, Young Abe Lincoln Outdoor Drama, Colonel William Jones Home, and the Holiday World Theme Park.
Between July 20 and 25, the six films in which Hal Holbrook played Lincoln (Sandburg's Lincoln) were shown at the Visitors Center.
The Lincoln on Democracy Project
Anna Minicucci discussed the project and the book in "Mario Cuomo Pushes for Democracy in Poland" in the Providence Echo on September 13, 1991.
On February 2, the Gannett Suburban Newspapers reported that Lincoln on Democracy had sold more than twelve thousand copies in hardcover and twenty-five thousand in paperback. Coeditor Harold Holzer was quoted as saying, "Unfortunately, that's the only book I've ever written that I don't collect royalties on." The money earned goes for future translations into foreign languages. A Japanese translation has been issued, and plans are underway for an edition in Hungary and in Russia.
The Georgia State Bar Journal reviewed the book in its November 1991-January 1992 issue.
The September 1991 issue of American Astrology discussed "The Page [End Page 74] Abe Lincoln Scandal—Astrology Clears Up Doubts About His Birth and Parentage" by Lina Accurso.
Harold Holzer's article about Lincoln impersonators, "Disarmingly Abe" was in the February issue of Americana. The Association of Lincoln Presenters began with the publication of the fall 1990 newsletter Lincarnations (contact Daniel Bassuk, 268A River Road, Neshanic, NJ 08853). The spring issue included "Abraham Lincoln Presenters of Yesteryear."
Harold Holzer's annual article for the Antique Trader appeared on February 12 ("Lincoln as the Europeans Saw Him"). Holzer's "A Picture's Worth," in which he answers questions about Lincoln and Washington prints, also appeared.
"The Words That Remade America: Lincoln at Gettysburg" by Garry Wills was the featured article of the June issue of The Atlantic. Wills observes that Lincoln's address was a new interpretation of the Constitution, with Lincoln looking not to the legal language of the Constitution but to its spirit and giving preeminence to the Declaration of Independence.
Gabor S. Boritt's "The Art of Rea Redifer: Interpretations of Lincoln" was in the October issue of Blue & Gray Magazine. W. Emerson Reck's story "Lincoln's Gratitude Regained," about the honorary degree conferred upon Lincoln by Columbia University and the rediscovery of Lincoln's letter acknowledging the honor, was in the December issue.
The spring 1991 issue of Caduceus: A Museum Journal for the Health Sciences contained "When the Patient Is Abraham Lincoln" by Marc S. Micozzi and the "Advisory Statement by the Panel on DNA Testing of Abraham Lincoln's Tissue" by Victor McKusick.
William Stage's "Illinois Researchers Reconstruct Record of Abe's Lawyer Days" appeared in the February 14 issue of the Christian Science Monitor. Donald T. Phillips, author of Lincoln on Leadership, discussed "Without Truth, Integrity, Leadership Is Hollow, Lincoln Emphasized" in the same paper.
In anticipation of their forthcoming book Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: The Art of the Civil War (Crown), Mark E. Neely, Jr., and Harold Holzer previewed the many Civil War prints that will appear in their article "Enduring Images of a Nation Divided: The Great Printmakers of the Civil War" in the November–December issue of Civil War.
Richard E. Beringer's "Jefferson Davis's Pursuit of Ambition: The Attractive Features of Alternative Decisions" was in the March issue of Civil War History. The June issue contained Douglas L. Wilson's Page [End Page 75] "Abraham Lincoln and 'That Fatal First of January,'" in which the author describes what appears to be the infatuation of Lincoln and that of his best friend, Joshua F. Speed, with Matilda Edwards at the time Lincoln was engaged to Mary Todd—thus the reason for "the fatal first of January" 1841 when Lincoln missed his planned nuptuals. The September issue contained James A. Stevenson's "Abraham Lincoln on Labor and Capital" and Joseph George, Jr.'s "Subornation of Perjury at the Lincoln Conspiracy Trial? Joseph Hought, Robert Purdy, and the Lon Letter." The December issue included Steven E. Woodworth's "'The Indeterminate Quantities': Jefferson Davis, Leonidas Polk, and the End of Kentucky Neutrality, September 1861," as well as William C. Harris's "Conservative Unionists and the Presidential Election of 1864" and Brian Holden Reid's "Historians and the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, 1861–1865."
The September–October 1991 issue of Civil War Times Illustrated contained Jim Kushlan's "Following the Paper Trail." William Hanchett's "Lincoln's Murder: The Simple Conspiracy Theory" appeared in the November–December issue. The May–June issue contained Brian McGinty's "Robert Anderson: Reluctant Hero." The September–October issue included John Taylor's "For the President's Consideration."
The winter 1992 newsletter of the College of Liberal Arts and Scienes, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign contained Dean Larry Faulkner's discourse on the meaning of Lincoln to his college, using as a point of departure the shine on the nose of Lincoln's statue in Lincoln Hall at the University. "The nose is shiny because atoms of Lincoln's image are transferred to the hand of each person who touches it. This shine is, therefore, a symbol of his continuing participation in the life of the University of Illinois."
All of the articles in the February edition of Illinois History: A Magazine for Young People, published by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, related to Stephen A. Douglas. Robert W. Johannsen wrote the feature essay, "Stephen A. Douglas and the Union."
Ruth Weinard's "A Monument to Illinois Ingenuity" about the Illinois architect Henry Bacon appeared in the January–February Illinois Quarterly of the University of Illinois Alumni Association.
Bill Furry described the proposed Abraham Lincoln Research and Interpretive Center in Springfield in "The Essential Lincoln" for the September 19, 1991, issue of Illinois Times.
William E. Bartelt's "The Land Dealings of Spencer County, Indiana, Pioneer Thomas Lincoln" appeared in the September 1991 Page [End Page 76] issue of Indiana Magazine of History. "Business as Usual: Indiana's Response to the Confederate Invasions of the Summer of 1863" by Scott Roller was in the March issue.
The May issue of the Journal of Southern History contained "Southern History in Periodicals, 1991: A Selected Bibliography" by C. S. Monholland.
Robert J. Hastings's "Recalling Lincoln's Wit" appeared in Life Times, a publication of Blue Cross-Blue Shield.
George L. Painter's "Abraham Lincoln's Place in History" was published in the August 1991 Lincoln Chronicle. James Lewis Lowe wrote "Becoming a Serious Picture Postcard Collector" for the May 29 issue.
The summer 1991 issue of Lincoln Herald contained articles by Eugene Lincoln ("Did President Lincoln's Eyes 'Have It'?"), David B. Chesebrough ("Just Shy of Sainthood, the Reaction of the Northern Clergy to the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln"), Waldo W. Braden ("Mary Todd Lincoln's Missouri Relatives"), and Ervin E. Beauregard ("The John A. Bingham-Thaddeus Stevens Feud"). Steven M. Wilson wrote about satirist and Southern sympathizer Adalbert Volck's cartoons in the Abraham Lincoln Museum Collection at Lincoln Memorial University. The fall issue contained a memorial to Waldo Braden by Gary R. Planck, as well as articles by Thomas D. Matijasic ("Lincoln and the Establishment"), Hans L. Tresfousse ("Abraham Lincoln and Germany"), Robert J. Higgs ("Abraham Lincoln: The Great Educator"), and a reprint of F. Lauriston Bullard's "Lincoln, John Brown, Kossuth." The winter issue contained an editorial by the new editor-in-chief Thomas R. Turner, with articles by David Chesebrough ("'Never Such a National Sorrow': The Reaction of the Northern Clergy to the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln"), Nicholas M. Cripe ("Apprenticeship for Power: Abraham Lincoln, 1832–1853"), Ann Leonard ("Red Rover, the Civil War and the Nuns"), and Wayne C. Temple, who described previously unpublished Lincoln documents concerning Frederich Hertel, consul for the Kingdom of Hanover. The spring issue contained articles by William F. Hanna ("Theodore Roosevelt and the Lincoln Image"), Frank L. Klement ("President Lincoln, the Civil War, and the Bill of Rights"), and Lloyd Ostendorf ("Lost Copy of the Gettysburg Address Comes to Light").
The August 1990 issue of Lincoln Lore contained Mark E. Neely, Jr.'s discussion of the efforts to determine Lincoln's DNA by the National Museum of Health and Medicine ("Rattling Lincoln's Bones"). Neely suggests that scientists "leave Lincoln's bones alone," Page [End Page 77] arguing that Lincoln was in very good health. The January 1991 issue contained his "High Comedy and Marfan's Syndrome," with Neely pointing out that "Given all the interesting issues in Lincoln's life that are difficult to resolve, it seems a waste to work up exotic explanations for what needs no explaining: Abraham Lincoln, a man blessed with a robust physical condition, died of a gunshot wound when he was only 56." The February 1991 issue contained the first quarterly newsletter of the Abraham Lincoln Association. It is being written by Harold Holzer. The second, describing the association's support of the Lincoln Legals Project and the donation of a Lincoln letter to the Illinois State Historical Library, was in the June issue. The September issue announced that Garry Wills would deliver the banquet address on February 12, 1993, and that Lincoln the Whig was the theme of that day's symposium.
"What's under the Hat?" a brochure profiling the Lincoln Museum and its former director, Mark E. Neely, Jr., has been published by Lincoln National Corporation. The company's annual report for 1991 contained a facsimile of a portion of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address on the cover; the report itself was full of handsome photographs of treasured items from the Museum's collection.
Barbara Hughett is the author of "Museum Acquires Logan County's First Land Grants," and Thomas F. Schwartz wrote about "Mussolini's Lincoln: The Macedonio Melloni Forgery" in the fall 1991 issue of the Lincoln Newsletter. The winter issue included Barbara Hughett's "Robert Lincoln's Campaign Speech in Lincoln, Illinois" and "A Mid-Nineteenth-Century Christmas," William D. Beard's "Procuring Bread: A New Lincoln Survey," and Frank J. Williams's "Lincoln Writes to a Fellow Boarder." John Y. Simon's "Lincoln and Father O'Hagan" appeared in the spring issue. On September 22, 1863, the day of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln took time to write a note concerning the need to assign a priest to Catholic soldiers hospitalized in Washington. The summer issue contained "Mentor Graham: 'The Teacher of Abraham Lincoln'" by Barbara Hughett, "A Lincoln Railroad Case" by William D. Beard, and "The Lincoln Image in Europe" by Harold Holzer. For the fall issue, Walter Trohan wrote "The Republican Party Chooses a Candidate: Chicago, 1860" and Barbara Hughett wrote "Chicago Hosts Its First National Political Convention." The winter issue included Barbara Hughett's "National Inauguration Ball: 1865," William D. Beard's " 'Black Bill' and the American Dilemma," and Thomas F. Schwartz's "A Halloween Tribute to Lincoln."
In the July–August issue of The Lincolnian, Paul H. Verduin dis- Page [End Page 78] cussed Douglas L. Wilson's theory (published in Civil War History) that Lincoln jilted Mary Todd for the Illinois beauty Matilda Edwards. Lloyd Ostendorf continues to defend his claim of finding a portion of a new copy of the Gettysburg Address, and Thomas Budnik disagrees. Gayle Harris reported on "Members: New and the News."
John Y. Simon wrote "Stephen A. Douglas and Isaac N. Morris" for the December 1991 issue of Little Giant.
John H. Rhodehamel and Seth Kaller performed a useful service in "A Census of Copies of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Signed by Abraham Lincoln" that appeared in the spring issue of Manuscripts. S. L. Carson's "Lincoln and Jefferson Davis: An American Reconciliation" appeared in the February issue of Maryland Line; D. Mark Katz wrote "Alexander Gardner: Mr. Lincoln's Photographer" for the December issue. M. E. Bradford wrote "Collaborators with the Left" for the summer 1991 issue of Policy Review.
The June 16, 1991, Sunday New York Times carried an article by Barbara Kreiger ("All the World's a Lego at a Park in Denmark") on the reproduction of Mt. Rushmore as part of LegoLand's Wild West town near Billund, Denmark.
Andrea Mohin's telling photograph of the victory parade for returning Persian Gulf War veterans appeared on the front page of the June 9, 1991, New York Times. A great composition, it depicted marching troops, armored vehicles, and regimental standards passing before the Lincoln Memorial. The December 2, 1991, issue told about "New Exhibit Reveals Capital to the Blind," illustrated by a working model of Lincoln by Daniel Chester French.
Terry Minett's "Abe Lincoln Rooted in Rhode Island" appeared in the January Old Rhode Island. Don Davenport wrote "Riding the Mud Circuit in Lawyer Lincoln's Tracks" for the August 18, 1991, Providence Sunday Journal.
The autumn issue of Sino-American Relations contained John H. Chang's "China and the Far East in the Vision of William H. Seward." The winter issue contained John Hope Franklin's "Lincoln's Evolving View of Freedom" (reprinted from a 1984 issue of Brown Alumni Monthly). The spring issue contained Herbert Mitgang's "Abraham Lincoln: Friend of a Free Press," and the summer issue contained Jack Kemp's "Lincoln's Vision of Democracy." The autumn issue included Donggil Kim's "Abraham Lincoln and the Oriental Mind."
G. Cullom Davis discussed "Abraham Lincoln and the Medical Profession" in the June 1991 issue of the Springfield Clinic Medical Bulletin Page [End Page 79] .
Books and Pamphlets
The History Book Club has selected Harold Holzer's edition of the "real" Lincoln-Douglas debates, The Lincoln-Douglas Debates, What They Really Said, the First Unexpurgated Edition (Harper Collins). The language of each candidate is presented from what the opposition press published as what the opponent said. I think that these reports came closer to the truth of what was actually said, denying Lincoln's and Douglas's people the chance to edit their own speeches for their own partisan newspapers.
Garry Wills wrote Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remade America (Simon & Schuster), which for twelve weeks appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. The "And Bear in Mind" section of the June 14 New York Times Book Review called Wills's book a "brilliant study of the greatest of all political speeches [and] concludes that these were no simple remarks at the dedication of a cemetary but great art, perhaps more influential than the Declaration of Independence." Wills describes Lincoln as a revolutionary stylist whose address "anticipated the shifts to vernacular rhythms which Mark Twain would complete twenty years later." He tells how Lincoln set a new standard for American prose style with 272 economically chosen words. While Wills may have overstated his case by observing that the Constitution was never the same after Lincoln's memorial, the president, to him, performed a "sleight of hand" by giving more meaning and value to the Declaration of Independence. This is the first book on the address that discusses the ideas of the speech and not just the trivia surrounding it.
Lincoln, an Illustrated Biography by Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr., Philip B. Kunhardt III, and Peter W. Kunhardt was published by Knopf as a companion to the ABC-TV documentary. A Book of the Month Club selection containing nine hundred illustrations, it satisfies the thirst acquired from reading The Civil War (Knopf, also available as a Random House audiobook) by Geoffrey Ward and the Burns brothers, which was written to accompany Ken Burns's "Civil War." The Kunhardts' book contains graphic and powerful images from the authors' Meserve family archives.
The papers from the fifth annual Lincoln Colloquium held on October 20, 1990, at Sangamon State University and sponsored by the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, Eastern National Park and Monument Association, the Sangamon County Historical Society, Page [End Page 80] and the Lincoln Group of Illinois were published as Abraham Lincoln within the Context of American Culture. The handsome, illustrated monograph is available from the Lincoln National Home Historic Site, Springfield. Included are the papers delivered by Harold Holzer ("Lincoln on Democracy: The Privilege and Peril of Translating Lincoln for Poland"), Robert W. Johannsen ("Lincoln and the Universal Yankee Nation"), Mark E. Neely, Jr. ("The Lincoln Family Album"), William E. Gienapp ("Abraham Lincoln and American Political Culture"), and Edwin C. Bearss ("Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis: Differing Responses to Similar Environments").
Morningside Bookshop (260 Oak St., Dayton, OH 45410) has reprinted, in one volume, Lincoln Day by Day: A Chronology—1809–1865, compiled by E. S. Miers, William Barringer, and C. Percy Powell, with a new introduction by Ralph Geoffrey Newman and artwork by Lloyd Ostendorf.
James L. Barbour of Port Tobacco, Maryland, has reprinted Booth and Bob Lincoln from The InterOcean, June 18, 1878—an attempt to show Booth's jealousy of the young Robert Lincoln.
Camilla A. Quinn is the author of Lincoln's Springfield and the Civil War, part of the Western Illinois University monograph series. The author reveals how the war affected this community from the day Lincoln left for Washington to the day he was buried in Springfield's Oak Ridge Cemetery.
Rebecca Carden, special collections assistant for the Rare Books and Special Collections of Irwin Library at Butler University, has prepared Addendum II of "Lincolniana," which describes the Donald C. Durman files relating to Lincoln portraits in stone, wood, and bronze.
Dan W. Bannister, attorney and volunteer for the Lincoln Legal Papers Project, is the author of Lincoln and the Common Law (Human Services Press, 2631 North Grand Avenue East, Springfield, IL 62702). Bannister briefs Lincoln's 333 Illinois supreme court cases. The author has begun publishing Commentaries in an effort to amplify these cases and report new Lincoln appellate cases when discovered. The spring, fall, and winter issues have appeared.
Willard Mounts is the author of The Pioneer and the Prairie Lawyer: Boone and Lincoln Family Heritage (Ginwill Publishing Co., 2585 So. Holly, Denver, CO 80222-6255).
Elizabeth B. Canterbury has compiled Cliffhangers and Down to Earth Sayings by Abraham Lincoln and Other Common Folk, an eighty-page softbound book illustrated by Lloyd Ostendorf and published by Philip H. Wagner (2800-2 S. Sixth Street, Springfield, IL 62703). Page [End Page 81]
Thomas F. Schwartz has revised and expanded the Abraham Lincoln Chronology for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
Kenneth Stampp's Fortenbaugh lecture delivered at Gettysburg College, "The United States and National Self-Determination: Two Traditions," has been published as the thirtieth annual Fortenbaugh Lecture. Gabor S. Boritt has compiled seven other Fortenbaugh lectures for Lincoln, the War President (Oxford): "The Shadow of a Coming War" by Robert V. Bruce, "Lincoln and the Strategy of Unconditional Surrender" by James M. McPherson, "The Emancipation Moment" by David Brion Davis, "One Among Many: The United States and National Unification" by Carl N. Degler, "One Alone? The United States and National Self-determination" by Kenneth M. Stampp, "War and the Constitution: Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt" by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., and "War Opponent and War President" by Gabor S. Boritt.
Vintage Books has published an abridged edition of the two-volume Library of America Lincoln: Selected Speeches and Writings edited by Don E. Fehrenbacher with an introduction by Gore Vidal—ironies abound as one asks whether historian Fehrenbacher or novelist Vidal won the contest reported in the New York Review of Books. Fehrenbacher did the grunt work in making the selections, but Vidal got to write the Introduction. Bantam Books has published in paper the Selected Writings of Abraham Lincoln, with an introduction by Herbert Mitgang, who also made the choices.
Similar in format to Lincoln on Democracy, Andrew Delbanco edited The Portable Abraham Lincoln (Viking), a selection of Lincoln's writings that "highlight" his literary as well as political genius.
Michael F. Holt's Political Parties and American Political Development from the Age of Jackson to the Age of Lincoln, a collection of his essays, was published by Louisiana State University Press. His "Abraham Lincoln and the Politics of Union," first presented at the Brown University Lincoln Conference in 1984, is described as "the most speculative in the entire book"; much more research of the incoming correspondence of Lincoln and other Northern politicians is needed to prove or disprove Holt's conclusion that Lincoln, "the patron saint of the Republican Party" actually displaced congressional Republicans with a new and different organization.
Wilson Tucker's The Lincoln Hunters has been reprinted by Baen Books. Lloyd H. Efflandt is the author of Lincoln and the Black Hawk War (Rock Island Arsenal Historical Society, Rock Island, IL 61299).
The Surratt Society Museum (P.O. Box 427, Clinton, MD 20735) has published In Pursuit of: Continuing Research in the Field of the Page [End Page 82] Lincoln Assassination, the best of its Lincoln assassination-related articles appearing in its newsletters between 1976 to 1986.
For children, Scholastic Biography has published Leroy Hayman's A Picture History of the Assassination: The Death of Lincoln. Troll Associates has produced Young Abraham Lincoln, Log-Cabin President and a pop-up book, Abraham Lincoln: An Adventure in Courage. Russell Shorto is the author of Abraham Lincoln to Preserve the Union, with an introductory essay by Henry Steele Commager (Silver Burdett). Niall Kelly is the author of Presidential Pets (Abbeville), with a chapter on the pets of the Lincoln children, including white rabbits, two ponies, two goats, Jack the turkey, and a pig.
The Poems of Abraham Lincoln has been produced by Appleword Books (Box 635, Bedford, MA 01730).
Linda Bierd's Companions for the Slow Rowing contained a poem about Nancy Hanks Lincoln (Sea Pen Press and Peppermill, 228 N.E. 46th St., Seattle, WA 98105).
"Hercules Unbound: Lincoln, Slavery, and the Intentions of the Framers" by Philip Shaw Pauldan formed a part of The Constitution, Law, and American Life: Critical Aspects of the Nineteenth Century Experience, edited by Donald G. Nieman (University of Georgia Press).
Mark E. Neely, Jr., wrote "The Lincoln Administration and Arbitrary Arrests: A Reconsideration" for Volume 2 of Courts and Criminal Procedure: Crime and Justice in American History, edited by Eric H. Monkkonen (Meckler).
The Continuing Civil War: Essays in Honor of the Civil War Round Table of Chicago (Morningside) edited by John Y. Simon and Barbara Hughett includes essays by James I. Robertson, Jr. ("Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis: Tragic Presidents"), Mark E. Neely, Jr. ("Lincoln and the Theory of Self-Emancipation"), and James M. McPherson ("The Two Cultures and the Civil War"). By scouring the National Archives, Neely proves that the Emancipation Proclamation indeed had teeth and, in fact, served to free slaves. By citing two cases, Neely shows that the proclamation was enforced in the field and those not acquiescing were dealt with harshly. He thereby disproves the revisionist thinking that the Emancipation Proclamation did nothing to free African Americans and that they emancipated themselves.
The fourteenth annual R. Gerald McMurtry Lecture, " 'This Grand Pertinacity' Abraham Lincoln and the Declaration of Independence" by Merrill D. Peterson, has been published in a special bound edition by the Lincoln Museum, Fort Wayne. Page [End Page 83]
Limited editions of Lincoln Assassination Reward Broadsides are available from James L. Swanson (Box 56176, Chicago, IL 60656).
Chuck Hand (310 Monterey, Paris, IL 61944) issued Lincoln, his second catalog of books. It is interesting to see what prices some books now bring—John Duff's A. Lincoln-Prairie Lawyer costs $40.
The Notable Trials Library (P.O. Box 76108, Birmingham, AL 35253) has republished in leather The Assassination of President Lincoln and the Trial of the Conspirators by Benn Pitman, with an introduction by Alan M. Dershowitz.
Eyal J. Naveh is the author of Crown of Thorns: Political Martyrdom in America From Abraham Lincoln to Martin Luther King, Jr. (NYU).
Ronald D. Rietveld's "Lincoln's View of the Founding Fathers," delivered at the sixtieth annual Lincoln Dinner, has been published by the Lincoln Memorial Shrine in Redlands, California.
Imagine mayhem, murder, greed, and drug-dealing in an attempt to obtain a purported diary involving Lincoln in a conspiracy to kill the Mormon prophet Josepth Smith. All of this and more is contained in David Everson's False Profits: A Bobby Miles Mystery (St. Martin's). The foil and counterfoil of such a conspiracy—past and present—revolves around the "mythical" Abraham Lincoln Legal Association and its hard-drinking lawyer-politician president Dee Pratt.
HarperCollins has published Jefferson Davis: The Man and His Hour by William C. Davis, which William Safire in the "On Language" column in the December 8, 1991, New York Times Magazine, described as "a towering biography."
Penelope Nevin wrote Carl Sandburg: A Biography (Scribner's); and Dale Salwak wrote Carl Sandburg: A Reference Guide (G. K. Hall & Co.).
HarperCollins published John M. Taylor's William Henry Seward: Lincoln's Right Hand—his conclusion being that "Americans like their heroes to be unambiguous, and William Henry Seward steadfastly refused to oblige them."
Nat Brandt tells about philanderer and sometime Civil War general Daniel Sickles in The Congressman Who Got Away with Murder (Syracuse).
Eric H. Walther examines the lives of nine Southern fire-eaters: Nathaniel Beverly Tucker, William Lownds Yancey, John Anthony Quitman, Robert Barnwell Rhett, Laurence M. Keitt, Louis T. Wigfall, Page [End Page 84] James D. B. De Bow, Edmund Ruffin, and William Porcher Miles in The Fire-Eaters (LSU).
Jim Murphy is the author of The Long Road to Gettysburg (Clarion).
The Civil War
Richard Nelson Current's Lincoln's Loyalists: Union Soldiers from the Confederacy (Northeastern University Press) was a History Book Club selection in August. Current discusses the more than a hundred thousand white men who resided in the Confederate states yet fought for the Union army; every Confederate state except South Carolina provided at least a battalion of such troops. One wonders whether such numbers may have made a difference in the outcome had these loyalists fought in the Confederate ranks.
Charles Royster is the author of The Destructive War: William Tecumseh Sherman, Stonewall Jackson and the Americans (Knopf).
The Civil War letters of Private Wilbur Fisk edited by Emil and Ruth Rosenblatt appeared as Hard Marching Everyday (University of Kansas Press).
James M. McPherson, Archer Jones, Gary W. Gallagher, Reid Mitchell, and Joseph T. Glatthaar contributed to Why the Confederacy Lost, edited by Gabor S. Boritt (Oxford).
The University of Georgia Press published Blue-Eyed Child of Fortune: The Civil War Letters of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw, edited by Russell Duncan with a foreword by William S. McFeely.
Alvin Robert Kantor and Marjorie Sered Kantor wrote Sanitary Fairs: A Philatelic and Historical Study of Civil War Benevolences (SF Publishing, 3125 Commercial Ave., Northbrook, IL 60062).
Duane Schultz is the author of Over the Earth I Come: The Great Sioux Uprising of 1862 (St. Martin's).
David Madden and Peggy Bach edited Classics of Civil War Fiction (Mississippi).
Quill published The Civil War Quiz Book by John Malone.
Collier has reprinted in paperback Allan Nevins's four-volume Ordeal of the Union.
The National Geographic Society has produced The Blue and the Gray, a reproduction of its excellent map "Battlefields of the Civil War," and National Graphic Guide to the Civil War National Battlefield Parks. Page [End Page 85]
Essays in Honor of John Hope Franklin: The Facts of Reconstruction was edited by Eric Anderson and Alfred A. Moss, Jr. (LSU).
Greenwood Press has published Songs, Odes and Ballads by William Miles.
Brian Meyer and Mary Murray have compiled the Quotable Cuomo, the Mario Years (Western New York Wares, Inc., P.O. Box 733, Ellicott Station, Buffalo, NY 14205), which includes Cuomo's comparison of today's economic condition with those in Lincoln's time: "Today, for all our affluence and might ... nearly one in every seven Americans live in poverty, not in chains—because Lincoln saved us from that—but trapped in a cycle of despair that is its own enslavement" (from his speech before the Abraham Lincoln Association on February 12, 1986).
Norton published a history of the American Navy during the Civil War, Under Two Flags by William M. Fowler, Jr.
Carolyn Smith is author of Presidential Press Conferences: A Critical Approach (Praeger).
Richard Loss is author of The Modern Theory of Presidential Power: Alexander Hamilton and the Corwin Thesis (Greenwood).
In DogFancy (October 19, 1991) Bill Schule states that President Lincoln's assassination was predicted by his dog. Schule, author of The Psychic Power of Animals, notes that "shortly before the tragedy, the animal raced around the house in a frenzy."
Bruce Levine wrote Half Slave and Half Free: The Roots of Civil War (Hill and Wang).
William H. Rehnquist is author of Grand Inquests: The Historic Impeachment of Justice Samuel Chase and President Andrew Johnson (Morrow). Wanting to test the Tenure of Office Act, which broke precedent by requiring senatorial approval for presidential removal of executive officials, Johnson fired his, and Lincoln's, secretary of war, Edwin Stanton, but instead of a court case, he drew impeachment.
Jean Fagan Yellin is the author of Women and Sisters: The Antislavery Feminists in American Culture (Yale).
Historical Indexes (8C01 Box 2083, Twenty-nine Palms, CA 92277) has published The Complete Index for Six Popular Civil War Magazines (America's Civil War, Civil War Magazine, Blue and Gray Magazine, Civil Page [End Page 86] War Times Illustrated, Gettysburg Magazine, and Military History and Morningside Notes) as Guide to Civil War Periodicals, Volume I, 1991.
John Hoffman edited A Guide to the History of Illinois (Greenwood), which includes bibliographic essays on "Abraham Lincoln: The Illinois Years" by Robert W. Johannsen and "The Era of the Civil War, 1848–1870" by John Y. Simon.
Ted Hake has published Hake's Guide to Presidential Campaign Collectibles (P.O. Box 1444, York, PA 17405). Carl Sifakis wrote the Encyclopedia of Assassinations for Facts on File.
Recently published are Volume 7 of the Papers of Jefferson Davis covering the year 1861, edited by Lynda Lasswell Crist and Mary Seaton Dix (LSU); Volume 10 of The Papers of Henry Clay, edited by Melba Porter Hay with Carol Reardon as associate editor (University Press of Kentucky); and Volume 10 of The Papers of Andrew Johnson February, July 1866, edited by Paul H. Bergeron (Tennessee).
William Howard Russell's Civil War: Private Diary and Letters, 1861–1862, edited by Martin Crawford, is available from the University of Georgia Press.
John E. Kleber served as editor-in-chief of The Kentucky Encyclopedia (University Press of Kentucky).
Greenwood Press has published the Historical Dictionary of Reconstruction by Hans L. Trefousse.
Andrew Delbanco reviewed Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography by Philip B. Kunhardt, Jr., Philip B. Kunhardt III, and Peter W. Kunhardt for the December 20 New York Times Book Review. Don Davenport's In Lincoln's Footsteps: A Historical Guide to the Lincoln Sites in Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky was reviewed by Michael J. Devine for the November 1991 Illinois Times.
The November 1991 Journal of Southern History contained Thomas E. Jeffrey's combined review of The Coming of the Civil War, 1837–1861 by John Niven and Secession: The Disruption of the American Republic, 1844–1861 by James A. Rawley; and William Tidwell's review of Lincoln's Assassins: A Complete Account of Their Capture, Trial, and Punishment by Roy Z. Chamlee, Jr. In the February issue, Mary Catherine Kahl reviewed Neither Heroine nor Fool: Anna Ella Carroll of Maryland by Janet L. Coryell; Anne J. Bailey reviewed The Confederate High Command and Related Topics: The 1988 Deep Delta Civil War Symposium: Themes in Honor of T. Harry Williams, edited Page [End Page 87] by Roman J. Heleniak and Lawrence L. Hewitt; and John Cimprich reviewed Volume 8 of The Papers of Andrew Johnson, edited by Paul H. Bergeron. The May issue included reviews by W. Kirk Wood on A Crisis of Republicanism: American Politics in the Civil War Era, edited by Lloyd E. Ambrosius; C. K. McFarland on The Popular Mood of America, 1860–1890 by Lewis O. Saum; Gary W. Gallagher on The Civil War: An Illustrated History by Geoffrey C. Ward; and Charles P. Roland on Jefferson Davis and His Generals: The Failure of Confederate Command in the West by Steven E. Woodworth. In the August issue, Marvin R. Cain reviewed Toward a Social History of the American South: Exploratory Essays, edited by Maris A. Vinovskis; Frank E. Vandiver reviewed An American Iliad: The Story of the Civil War by Charles P. Roland; John Niven reviewed America in 1857: A Nation on the Brink by Kenneth M. Stampp and William Cheek; and Aimee Lee Cheek reviewed Frederick Douglass by William S. McFeely. The November issue contained Stephen E. Maizlish's review of David Zarefsky's Lincoln, Douglas and Slavery: In the Crucible of Public Debate and Peter J. Parish's review of Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution by James M. McPherson.
The summer 1991 Lincoln Herald contained Gary R. Planck's reviews of The Collected Writings of James T. Hickey, Lincoln the Lawyer by Cullom Davis, In Lincoln's Footsteps by Don Davenport, The Assassination of a President: Abraham Lincoln by Sue L. Hamilton, Honest to Goodness edited by Susan Hellm, Lincoln's Birthday by Dennis Brindell Fradin, and A Tribute to George A. Cashman edited by Edward G. Pree. In the same issue Linda Turner reviewed The Lincoln Family Album by Mark E. Neely, Jr., and Harold Holzer, and Terry Alford reviewed Laura Keene, Actress, Innovator, and Impressario: A Biography by Ben Graf Henneke. The fall issue contained James Martin's reviews of Lincoln on Democracy: His Own Words edited by Mario M. Cuomo and Harold Holzer and Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution by James M. McPherson; Waldo W. Braden reviewed David Zarefsky's Lincoln, Douglas and Slavery; William F. Hanna reviewed Crown of Thorns: Political Martyrdom in America from Abraham Lincoln to Martin Luther King, Jr. by Eyal J. Naveh; Steven K. Rogstad reviewed The Civil War Round Table: Fifty Years of Scholarship and Fellowship by Barbara Hughett; Harold Holzer reviewed The Perfect Tribute (script by Dennis Brown that appeared on ABC Television in April 1991); Richard E. Sloan reviewed Assassins: The One-Act Play by Stephen Sondheim; Gary R. Planck reviewed the audiocassette Carl Sandburg Reads from a Lincoln Album; and William Hanchett reviewed Assassin on Stage: Brutus, Hamlet Page [End Page 88] and the Death of Lincoln by Albert Furtwangler; Patricia Ann Owens reviewed Abraham Lincoln and President's Day by Joanne Barkan, Abraham Lincoln by Lee Morgan, and Abraham Lincoln: To Preserve the Union by Russell Shorto. For the winter issue, Gary R. Planck reviewed Basil Moore's Lincoln, William J. Jacobs's Lincoln, and In Pursuit of ... Continuing Research in the Field of the Lincoln Assassination, Papers from the Surratt Society News. In the same issue, Steven K. Rogstad reviewed Honor to Our Soldiers: Music of the Civil War performed by classic brass for the Musical Heritage Society, Inc. on compact disc; Terry Alford reviewed Our American Cousin: The Play that Changed History, a modern reading edition by Tom Taylor, edited by Welford Dunaway Taylor; Patricia Ann Owens reviewed Bonnie Stahlman Speer's The Great Abraham Lincoln Hijack: 1876 Attempt to Steal Body of President Lincoln; Frank J. Williams reviewed George T. McJimsey's second edition of The Dividing and Reuniting of America, 1848–1877, Elizabeth Matthews's Lincoln as a Lawyer: An Annotated Bibliography, and John P. Frank's Lincoln as a Lawyer; Earl J. Hess reviewed James W. Geary's We Need Men: The Union Draft in the Civil War; William F. Hanna reviewed Building the Myth: Selected Speeches Memorializing Abraham Lincoln edited by Waldo W. Braden; and Thomas R. Turner reviewed Mark E. Neely, Jr.'s The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties.
Sarah McNair Vosmeier reviewed Iver Bernstein's New York City Draft Riot of 1863 for the November 1990 Lincoln Lore. The January 1991 issue contained Ralph Geoffrey Newman's review of The Lincoln Family Album by Mark E. Neely, Jr. and Harold Holzer. In the February and March issues, Mark E. Neely, Jr. surveyed "Some Recent Books on the Civil War"; in the April and May issues, Matthew Noah Vosmeier reviewed William W. Freehling's Road to Disunion: Secessionists at Bay. Froehling's review of Robert W. Johannsen's Lincoln, the South and Slavery appeared in the June issue. John David Smith's review essay ("Lincoln as Pragmatist or Civil War Constitutional History from 'The Bottom Up'") of Mark E. Neely, Jr.'s The Fate of Liberty was in the August and September issues.
David Seddelmeyer reviewed Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution by James M. McPherson for the January–February issue of The Lincolnian; the March–April issue contained Sed-delmeyer's review of the reprint of Lincoln as a Lawyer by John P. Frank.
Gary W. Galagher's 1991 survey "The Year in Civil War Books for 1991" appeared in the January–February and March–April Civil War: The Magazine of the Civil War Society. Page [End Page 89]
The January–February Success contained extracts from Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times by Donald T. Phillips.
Adrian Cook reviewed Mark E. Neely, Jr.'s The Fate of Liberty for the December 1991 issue of the Journal of American History.
The autumn 1991 Illinois Historical Journal contained Ralph Geoffrey Newman's review of The Great Abraham Lincoln Hijack by Bonnie Stahlman Speer. The winter issue contained James A. Rawley's review of the reprint of Roy P. Basler's Abraham Lincoln: His Speeches and Writings. The spring issue contained John Y. Simon's review of The Lincoln Family Album by Mark E. Neely, Jr., and Harold Holzer; Joseph George, Jr.'s review of Lincoln on Democracy edited by Mario M. Cuomo and Harold Holzer; Richard N. Current's review of The Road to Disunion: Secessionists at Bay by William W. Freehling; Floyd S. Barringer's review of In Lincoln's Footsteps: A Historical Guide to the Lincoln Sites in Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky by Don Davenport; and Edward Noyes's review of Building the Myth: Selected Speeches Memorializing Abraham Lincoln, edited by Waldo W. Braden. For the summer issue, Christopher N. Breiseth reviewed Barbara Hughett's The Civil War Round Table: Fifty Years of Scholarship and Fellowship and William Hanchett reviewed Mark E. Neely, Jr.'s The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties. The autumn issue contained Patricia Ann Owens's review of Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution by James M. McPherson; Mark E. Neely, Jr.'s review of Lincoln as a Lawyer: An Annotated Bibliography by Elizabeth W. Matthews; and David L. Smiley's review of Lincoln, the South, and Slavery by Robert W. Johannsen.
In an essay titled "He Was No Abe Lincoln," David Herbert Donald reviewed Jefferson Davis: The Man and His Hour by William C. Davis for the January 6 New York Times Book Review. Herbert Mitgang reviewed Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times by Donald T. Phillips and Black Troops, White Commanders and Freedmen during the Civil War by Howard C. Westwood in the February 12 New York Times. Margot Peters called Gene Smith's American Gothic: The Story of America's Legendary Theatrical Family—Junius, Edwin, and John Wilkes Booth (Simon & Schuster) "a ripping good tale" in her review for the October 4 Times.
In the March Civil War History, Edna Greene Medford reviewed Frederick Douglass by William S. McFeely; Robert W. Johannsen reviewed William W. Freehling's The Road to Disunion, Volume 1: Secessionists at Bay, 1776–1854; and Richard H. Abbott reviewed We Need Men: The Union Draft in the Civil War by James W. Geary. The June issue contained William L. Barney's review of Lincoln, the South and Page [End Page 90] Slavery: The Political Dimension by Robert W. Johannsen, Rodney O. Davis's review of Carl Sandburg: A Biography by Penelope Niven, and Iver Bernstein's review of The Civil War and New York City by Ernest A. McKay. In the September issue, Sarah Woolfolk Wiggins reviewed The Facts of Reconstruction: Essays in Honor of John Hope Franklin, edited by Eric C. Anderson and Alfred A. Morss, Jr., and Hans L. Trefousse reviewed Volume 9 of The Papers of Andrew Johnson edited by Paul H. Bergeron. The December issue contained William L. Richter's reviews of Volumes 16–18 of The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant, edited by John Y. Simon, and Richard M. McMurray's review of Why the Confederacy Lost, edited by Gabor S. Boritt.
The December 1991 Reviews in American History contained Robert W. Johannsen's "A Nation on the Brink" (on Kenneth M. Stampp's America in 1857: A Nation on the Brink) and Don E. Fehrenbacher's "Background to Conflict" (on William W. Freehling's The Road to Disunion, Volume 1: Secessionists at Bay, 1776–1854). The March issue contained Harold M. Hyman's "Payoffs from Professionalism" (on Mark E. Neely, Jr.'s The Fate of Liberty: Abraham Lincoln and Civil Liberties and James M. McPherson's Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution). In the September issue was Peter Kupfer's "The Return of Henry Clay" (on Robert V. Remini's Henry Clay: Statesman for the Union). Eric L. McKitrick also reviewed Remini's Henry Clay in the June 11 New York Review of Books. Stephen J. Ackerman discussed James W. Milgram's Abraham Lincoln: Illustrated and Letter Paper, 1860–1865 in his "Books and the Hobby" column in the winter 1991 Keynoter.
A plethora of reviews appeared for Gary Wills's Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words That Remade America. In the New York Times Book Review, William McFeely described the book as "brilliant" (June 7); Herbert Mitgang observed that Lincoln reshaped the Constitution to include equality (July 1). Harold Holzer in the May 31 Chicago Tribune called it "dazzling but eccentric." David Gates of Newsweek calls Wills a wordsmith in the tradition of Edmund Wilson, "with less tendency to talk through his hat" (June 15). John H. Tull, Jr.'s review in the July 5 issue of the Dallas Morning News said that the book "speaks to the higher mind, the spiritual plane, and the intellectual discourse, rather than to the latest fad or celebrity gossip."
The autumn Register of the Kentucky Historical Society contained Maurice G. Baxter's review of Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution by James M. McPherson.
For the September issue of Indiana Magazine of History, William E. Bartelt reviewed In Lincoln's Footsteps: A Historical Guide to the Page [End Page 91] Lincoln Sites in Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky by Don Davenport, and Cullom Davis reviewed Historic Illinois from the Air by David Buisseret.
Harold Holzer was appointed to the newly created poisition of chief communications officer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Brooks Davis, president of the Stephen A. Douglas Association, has been elected chair of the Lincoln College Board of Trustees.
Paul Guraedy is the superintendent of the Lincoln Boyhood Home, Lincoln City, Indiana.
The September 1991 Library of Congress "Calendar of Events" contains a photograph of sometime Lincoln portrayer and actor Sam Waterston examining the Lincoln Collection for the Library of Congress film, Memory and Imagination.
Randy Travis, music star, observes in "Feedback" in the October 1991 Bon Appetit that if he could invite any three people in history to dinner, they would be Albert Einstein, Hank Williams, and Abraham Lincoln. Does he know that Lincoln was indifferent to food, or is it the conversation, humor, and intellect (of which there was plenty) that Travis craves?
Lloyd Ostendorf's effort to prove the originality of a page of a sixth copy of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address received a boost when Roderick McNeil of Rocky Mountain Research Laboratories in Polson, Montana, indicated that the paper and ink were from the Civil War era. Poison's test did not seek to determine whether the handwriting was Lincoln's, however. The manuscript is thought to be the second of two pages written for Lincoln's Gettysburg host David Wills (Chicago Tribune, November 21, 1991). Ostendorf presented his claim in the January–February issue of The Lincolnian. The entire fall 1991 Lincoln Legacy by David Warren was devoted to this story. James Gilreath of the Library of Congress believes there are sufficient conjectures to make one wary; some believe the document to be a tracing, and one expert found that the document was brightly fluorescent under ultraviolet light, an indication that it may postdate World War II.
S. L. Carson's "Has a Sixth Copy of the Gettysburg Address Been Found?" appeared in the spring Manuscript Society News.
Thomas R. Turner, president of the Lincoln Group of Boston, has become editor of the Lincoln Herald published by Lincoln Memorial Page [End Page 92] University. Stephen Hague has become director of the Lincoln Museum, replacing Steven Wilson.
Mary C. Zimmer of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, served as president of the Lincoln Fellowship of Wisconsin.
Sarah Booth Conroy, in a syndicated article for the Washington Post that appeared in the December 19, 1991, Providence Sunday Journal, discussed the restored office of Andrew Johnson in the Treasury Building, where President Johnson worked while awaiting Mary Lincoln's departure from the White House.
Natalie Angier's "Debate on Buildings: To Scrub or Not"—on the merits of National Park Service cleaning policies for the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials—appeared in the January 14 New York Times. The December 1, 1991, Washington Post described forthcoming plans for the restoration of the Jefferson and Lincoln memorials, budgeted at $22 million.
Andrew Conte's "Upkeep of Nation's Landmarks Carries Heavy Toll" (Westerly, Rhode Island, Sun, February 2) describes the accumulated damage from airplane and automobile exhaust, birds, and insects. The Sun also carried "Beware of the Pitfalls in Autograph Collecting" (reprinted from Connoisseur).
Barbara Hughett reported in the December 1991 Little Giant that restoration work for the Douglas Tomb had been completed by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.
Wayne C. Temple, George Painter, Thomas F. Schwartz, G. Cullom Davis, and Ralph G. Newman were featured in the "Heartland" section of the February 7 State Journal-Register. Schwartz was also profiled in Bob Sector's " 'Answer Man' Telling Truth about Honest Abe" (Los Angeles Times, February 10).
The February 9 New York Times reported Peter L. Malkin's disappointment that few birthday parties are held for Abraham Lincoln. As a principal of the Grand Central Partnership (which owns the Lincoln Office Building at 60 E. 42d Street), he celebrated the 183d birthday of its namesake with a program of Lincoln's favorite songs and an unveiling of the building's long-awaited refurbishing, which includes bronze plaques with quotations from Lincoln.
The new Visitors Center at Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site opened to the public in Spring. The 17,300-square-foot structure includes a three-hundred-seat auditorium where visitors will see a fourteen-minute program titled, "Turning Point, Lincoln's New Salem."
The "Washington Journal" of the February 15 New York Times reported about the Assassination Archives and Research Center, the Page [End Page 93] nation's largest private depository of documents and published materials relating to political assassinations.
Punch, the famous English satirical journal that pummeled Lincoln and his administration during the Civil War, went out of existence in April—all due to a plummeting circulation (to thirty-three thousand), with critics complaining that the magazine had ceased to be funny.
The Lincoln-hater Mel Bradford was profiled in "Mr. Right" by Gary Cartwright for the March issue of Texas Monthly. Bradford gives no credit to Lincoln for saving the Union because the Union was not the same after the war as it was before; the new Union was less worthy, and Lincoln was to blame. The author's reflection after the interview was that he was "more grateful than ever that Lincoln had persevered."
Harold Holzer delivered the 105th annual commencement speech at Lincoln College and received an honorary doctorate of humane letters, along with Thomas F. Schwartz and Linda Levitt Turner.
Gary R. Planck delivered the 1992 commencement address "Friends, Heroes and the American Elegance" at Lincoln Memorial University on May 9.
The Lincoln Shrine in Redlands, California, has acquired a wonderful Lincoln letter to Elisha Whittlesey, comptroller of the Treasury. The president writes: "I shall be personally and greatly obliged to you if you will carefully scan every account which comes from here; and if in any there shall appear the least semblance wrong, make it known to me directly." Was he concerned about Mary Lincoln's spending?
The Library of Congress held a "Juneteenth" celebration on June 18, with Congressman William J. Jefferson. The celebration recognizes June 19, 1863, as the day on which Union General Gordon Granger landed near Galveston, Texas, and declared the end of slavery. To many, Granger's landing in Texas was recognized as "Emancipation Day" and was later a legal holiday in several states because of the belief that Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 and his efforts to free the slaves were not actually effectual until executed in the field.
A portrait of the actress Julie Harris appeared in the May 31 Providence Sunday Journal Magazine. Having portrayed Mary Lincoln, the actress said of her: "She was maligned a great deal. I always think of the Lincolns' marriage as a great love story."
An article by Tom Stighorst about Lincoln impersonators in the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel was syndicated and printed in the May Page [End Page 94] 13 Dallas Morning News as "Five Score and Twenty-Seven Years Later, Lincoln Lives On."
The centennial of Walt Whitman's death on March 26 was observed by several institutions. The May 18 Library of Congress Information Bulletin paid tribute; the "Turbulences and Metamorphose" exhibition opened at the Maison de la Poesie, Paris, with a number of items reproduced from the Library of Congress Manuscript Division Collections. A "Walt Whitman Centennial Conference" was held at the University of Iowa, and "Democracy's Poet" lectures and exhibits were held in and around Manhattan.
Mario Cuomo was profiled in the July Playboy; the governor stated: "Abraham Lincoln is larger to me than Abraham Lincoln the grubby individual with dirt under his nails. Abraham Lincoln is an idea, political poetry, heroism, courage." The July 19 New York Times "Metro" section carried Cuomo's remarks about his Lincoln Day speech in Springfield, Illinois: "During a speech, I shake off applause. Two or three of the best speeches I ever made, I got not a single round of applause until the end." Such was the speech for the Abraham Lincoln Association: "Nothing, and then a standing ovation."
Sylvia Neely and Mark E. Neely, Jr., were profiled by Thomas D. N. Zaenger for the June Dialogue, a publication for employees of Lincoln National Corporation.
S. L. Carson profiled John K. Lattimer in the fall Manuscript Society News.
Marquette University has initiated the "Frank L. Klement Lectures: Alternative Views of the Sectional Conflict." The first was by Mark E. Neely, Jr., who spoke on October 19 on issues relating to civil rights and liberties during the Civil War era.
The Civil War Round Table (Chicago) was represented by Ralph Geoffrey Newman and Brooks Davis at the twentieth anniversary of the Confederate Historical Association in Belgium. At the May 28–29 convention in Brussels, both Newman and Davis delivered papers.
James W. Patton, a site interpreter at Lincoln's New Salem State Historic Site, uncovered a reward poster offering $25 for the apprehension of Denton Offutt. The poster was published in the Vincennes (Ind.) Western Sun & General Advertiser on December 27, 1834. Offutt sold the general store to Abraham Lincoln and William Berry.
Dongill Kim, author of Abraham Lincoln: An Oriental Interpretation and an outspoken critic of President Park of South Korea, was recently elected by a landslide to his country's National Assembly. Page [End Page 95] As he wrote on August 16 to his mentor and Ph.D. advisor Kenneth A. Bernard, "As a member of the Assembly and co-chairman of the United People's Party, I have been doing my best to make Korea more democratic and I fight in the spirit of Lincoln whose ideals we all admire."
In the November–December 1991 Newsweek, a report described then-governor Bill Clinton reading Lincoln on Leadership while campaigning in the New Hampshire primary.
The November 19 New York Times reported that the resource-rich New-York Historical Society may be merged with the financially stronger New York Public Library. The society research library—with 650,000 volumes and nearly three million manuscripts, maps, and historic documents—focuses on the early years of the United States and the Civil War.
In anticipation of a new president, Michael Hirsley, for the Chicago Tribune, wrote a survey piece that was reprinted in the November 28 Providence Journal-Bulletin. "Some presidents have found it easier to profess their faith than to practice it." Yet Lincoln, he said, was "sensitized" to religion by the Civil War. The Reverend John McCollister, author of So Help Me God: The Faith of America's Presidents, believes that Lincoln considered joining the Presbyterian church he attended during the war.
Jeff Ostrowski's "Best Reason to Come to Springfield" dictated the Lincoln sites (Illinois Times, August 20).
Fred Schwengel became chairman of the board of the United States Capitol Commission; Clarence "Bud" Brown, former congressman from Ohio, was elected president.
After more than eighteen years as director of the Museum of Our National Heritage in Lexington, Massachusetts, Clement M. Silvestro retired on January 1, 1993. Thomas W. Leavitt, former director of the Museum of American Textile History, succeeded him.
Lincoln in Popular Culture
The search for Lincoln's DNA goes on in an effort to determine whether he had Marfan's Syndrome. A committee established by the National Museum of Health and Medicine recommended the testing, subject to isolating and identifying the gene behind the syndrome. Shortly after such recommendation, the New York Times on July 25, 1991, disclosed that the gene had been isolated and that researchers hoped to create a simple test for detecting those who Page [End Page 96] carry the Marfan trait. The panel met again in November 1991 to discuss how to pursue testing Lincoln's DNA. A discussion of the issue appeared in the September–October 1991 Civil War Times Illustrated ("Oh 'Dem Bones, 'Dem Dry Bones" by Andrea Abolins). The August 1991 Discover contained Jerold M. Lowenstein's "The Re-making of the President," in which the author asked, "Honestly now, can Abraham Lincoln's DNA be cloned? ... of course, some people like the idea of cloning Abe not to diagnose his diseases, but to fill today's leadership gap."
David Margolick's weekly "At the Bar" column for the New York Times pointed out on August 23 that Norman Rockwell never drew lawyers, with the possible exception of two drawings of Abraham Lincoln—one as a student and the other in the photographer's studio. The author pointed out that none of Rockwell's 3,600 images were of generic lawyers, "Perhaps they simply had no place in his neighborly, non-combative world." Margolick missed Rockwell's portrait of Lincoln as a lawyer defending Duff Armstrong in "The Almanac Muder Trial."
The annual garden catalog from R. H. Shumway carries the Buck-bee's Abraham Lincoln tomatoes and points out how they have completed a re-breeding program to bring this version back to the way it was fifty years ago. Originally developed on seed farms in Rockford, Illinois, the tomato was named after Lincoln because of its extra-large size and abundant production.
Jed Stevenson in his Sunday New York Times "Coins" column of December 22, reviewed a unique medal of Agatha Christie prepared in reverse, pointing out how medals have come a long way in the last few years, "Gone are the round flat castings, which look like something Lincoln would have presented to Grant. Instead, medals are miniature sculptures."
Lincoln Lore, the well-written monthly from the Lincoln Museum, Fort Wayne, Indiana, has a new format since the January 1991 issue. The logo was changed to include Lincoln's hat, the print is larger and much easier to read, and photographs remain of high quality.
On January 4, 1991, in Groton, Connecticut, a new submarine of the Los Angeles attack class was launched and named the U.S.S. Springfield in honor of Lincoln's hometown.
The Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia will be represented in Edinburgh, Scotland, on August 1, 1993, for the hundredth anniversary of the first statue dedicated to Lincoln outside the United States: the Scottish-American Civil War Soldiers' Memorial at Old Calton Burial Grounds. The work of the sculptor George E. Bissel, Page [End Page 97] the monument depicts a standing Lincoln symbolically emancipating a slave.
Walter Goodman's "For $64,000: Who Lost in the Big Fix?" in the Television section of the January 5 Sunday New York Times reviewed a documentary about the quiz show scandals. One of the anecdotes concerns the producer of "The $64,000 Question," who repeated the complaints of Charles Revson, the head of Revlon and the show's sponsor: "That ... Lincoln expert is boring; he wants you to stiff him." The Lincoln expert was none other than Ralph Geoffrey Newman, who had always wondered why he and the contestant he was advising were unable to tackle the next question that caused their loss.
In an article for the January 25 TV Guide, Alice Cary quotes Ken Burns as stating: "If Abe Lincoln were campaigning for President today, he wouldn't win, because, in part, he wasn't handsome for TV standards and if he did by some fluke become President, there would be some expose on the fact that he was a depressive and that his shrewd political prowess would be used as evidence that he was not good."
The Textron Corporation newsletter for February cited Lincoln as an example for all when requesting his first salary as president. Lincoln crossed out the word first of the month and substituted fifth because he had been inaugurated on the fourth day of March and felt that his annual salary of $25,000 should begin the next day, March 5.
The Naples (Fla.) News on March 19 reported that historians had dug up a trash pit under the porch of Lincoln's Springfield home to learn only that Lincoln took medicine, ate wild game, and dined on fine china.
Margaret Grennan Lehmann, in a letter published in the March 5 New York Times, points out that the author John Duff, in 1960, had little patience with those who said Lincoln only defended the righteous and innocent, as Lincoln often took cases in which the evidence was against his client.
Timothy Egan's lament that Chief Seattle's ecological script was actually written in 1971 rather than in 1854 appeared in the April 21 New York Times. "Since his death in 1866, Chief Seattle has grown in fame and stature to a point where he has become a sort of Abraham Lincoln of American Indians—a gifted orator and visionary leader."
Robb London's "From an Honored Tradition, New Members of Bar" (New York Times, December 20) reports that seven states, in- Page [End Page 98] cluding New York and California, permit bar applicants to bypass law school and take the bar examination after an apprenticeship with other lawyers—as did Abraham Lincoln, who was featured in a drawing accompanying the article.
The question of whether any historical novel may be truly a work of history was explored in Daniel Aaron's "What Can You Learn from a Historical Novel?" in the October American Heritage. Gore Vidal continues his thrust against the Lincoln "scholar squirrels" by saying that the past cannot be left to "hagiographers" who are too narrow to grasp the mind of Lincoln. Thus, he contends that his Lincoln: A Novel, (1984) was a work grounded in historical sources. Yet, historians have accused him of gross distortions and inaccuracies in depicting Lincoln as "coarse-grained, devious, ignorant of economics [having] disregard for the Constitution, fiercely ambitious and a racist until the end." No one would have quarreled with Vidal had he, at the outset, indicated that his novel was fiction, but he pretended "to deal with real persons and events" and then twisted them in the process. While agreeing that he "embellished here and there," Vidal insisted that he used primary sources. In his Screening History (Harvard University Press), Vidal does point out that Americans prefer films based upon romanticized episodes from the European past such as the lives of Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth, and Napoleon but have no interest in Hollywood dramas about Jefferson, Hamilton, or Lincoln's presidency.
Tony Cassidy for Weekly World News (February 1992) reported that Ella Landry, a Baltimore secretary, was impregnated with Abraham Lincoln's sperm and gave birth to the dead president's daughter.
In The First Dissident: The Book of Job and Today's Politics (Random), William Safire compares Job's questioning of God with Lincoln's nocturnal meditation on the crises of the Civil War and abolition. Safire suggests that the quotation "God's purpose [might be] different from the purpose of either party" is an oblique reference to Job.
Recent Acquisitions: Profiles in History contained "A Great Soldier Does Not Always a Great President Make," which compares the military service of Bill Clinton to that of Lincoln.
Rosemary L. Bray's "'So How Did I Get Here?'" which appeared in the November 8 New York Times Magazine, describes her family's triumph over poverty—"An urban legend equivalent to Abe Lincoln studying by firelight."
The Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania dedicated the J. Seward Johnson Lincoln sculpture Return Visit at Gettysburg's Lincoln Square on November 19, 1991. The sculpture is controversial. Located on Page [End Page 99] the sidewalk, Lincoln points his hat to the Wills home, with a present-day tourist, "Anon," next to him. The work is unlike Gutzon Borglum's statue of Lincoln in Newark, where the viewer is invited to sit next to the president. In the same genre, Mort Walker, the cartoonist who created Beetle Bailey and who bought the Borglum home in Connecticut from whence he must have obtained the idea, created a life-size Beetle Bailey in bronze for the University of Missouri-Columbia. Beetle is seated in a bronze replica of a booth from the Shack, a famous campus hangout when Walker attended school at M.U. The sculpture was placed on the site where the Shack once stood. So it has come down to this: the art of inclusion, exclusion, and cartoon.
John Anderson, who played Lincoln in the controversial 1977 movie The Lincoln Conspiracy, died on August 7.
William A. Swanberg, author of Sickles the Incredible and First Blood: The Story of Fort Sumter, died on September 17.
Stephen B. Oates and Robert Bray
In a letter to the Chronicle of Higher Education on April 1, Robert E. Jones, chair of the Department of History at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, wrote of his concern that the American Historical Association continued to investigate charges of plagiarism leveled against Oates even though his employer conducted its own investigation and found the allegations "groundless." This was reported to the American Historical Association on November 8, 1991. The AHA continued to investigate, although it would only report its conclusion to the subject's employer who, in this case, had already investigated. Oates received a letter from the AHA in February 1992 indicating that they were pursuing the charges notwithstanding and would seek consultation with three scholars of mid-nineteenth-century American history. These scholars were not identified. Jones pointed out in his letter that there is a "lack of effectiveness in dealing with allegations of plagiarism that can inflict serious damage on a scholar's reputation and career."
On May 18, after a year and a half of strife, the American Historical Association agreed that Oates had not committed plagiarism. In a Page [End Page 100] lawyerly crafted two-page "decision," the AHA found his biography of Lincoln to be "derivative" "in some degree" of Benjamin Thomas's biography. As a result, the AHA wanted Oates to attribute more to Thomas. Yet, like "plagiarism," there is no definition or guidelines as to what constitutes sufficient acknowledgment or attribution. Most narrative biographies are derivative in one sense or another and do not contain footnotes.
The whole case is bizarre, with the AHA calling on three outside scholars to pass judgment, thus bypassing its own committee, and refusing to identify the three scholars who admitted that the Oates biography was both a "unique and distinct" contribution to Lincoln studies.
The May 27 issue of Chronicle of Higher Education reported the findings, as did the Washington Post on May 19. They mention censure, yet the AHA decision makes no mention of "censure."
Also absent from the news accounts is the extent of the controversy surrounding the AHA. Some believed that Oates's references to the Thomas biography are inadequate and thus justify a charge of plagiarism; others believe that his references are quite adequate within the context of the book he set out to write. No one, then, can be satisfied with the AHA statement, and it is certainly not the definitive ruling that it has been made out to be.
Joseph Hosler's article about the Lincoln Shrine in Redlands, California, appeared as "A Shrine in the West" in the May–June Civil War Times Illustrated. An immigrant, Robert Watchorn, built the shrine next to the A. K. Smiley Public Library. His infatuation with Lincoln, fueled by self-made wealth, led to the commissioning of George Gray Barnard's white Carrara marble bust of the "Great Emancipator," which is the first thing visitors see upon entering the shrine.
In March 1992, because of financial constraints and despite sixty-four years as a resource library, Lincoln National Corporation asked for a plan to cut the museum's budget 40 percent, which until then had been under the brilliant leadership of Mark E. Neely, Jr. The corporation formed a committee to determine where the collection would go if the museum were liquidated. Ian M. Rolland, chair and chief executive officer of Lincoln National, in a letter published in the April 3 Journal-Gazette of Fort Wayne, Indiana, gave little solace Page [End Page 101] when he said that "the task force will try to determine how—and where—this could be achieved." The following week, Neely received the Pulitzer Prize in history, won, in part, by the support of Lincoln National Corporation for this great library and museum. In the April 10 Wall Street Journal, Lincoln National published a quarter-page advertisement giving appropriate credit to Neely and itself for its commitment to Lincoln's principles when the company took Lincoln's name in 1905. One can only hope that such commitment continues. Can any reader of this column imagine Lincoln studies without Mark E. Neely, Jr.? In November, an in-house committee recommended that the museum remain in Fort Wayne and that the search begin for a new director. The president and CEO concurred but indicated that a new place would have to be found for the museum because the building it now occupies had already been committed for other purposes. The company also indicated a desire to share many of its treasures with other museums.
Frederick Hatch's "An Adventurer, Keen and Unscrupulous and Active—the Mysterious L. C. Baker" appeared in the December 1991 Journal of the Lincoln Assassination. Hatch's "Booth's Plot—How Believable?" appeared in the April issue, and his "Dr. Marfan and the Lincoln Clones" was in the August issue.
Terry Shulman's "What Really Happened to the Assassin?" (John Wilkes Booth) appeared in the July–August Civil War Times Illustrated. James C. Clark wrote "The Murder of President James A. Garfield" for the summer Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives.
The April 6 People Weekly pointed out that if Oliver Stone filmed Lincoln, he would have to check with Dr. Richard Mudd, grandson of Samuel Alexander Mudd, who has spent most of his ninety-one years in great efforts to clear the family name. The January 24 New York Times discussed Mudd's most recent appeal to the Army Board for Correction of Military Records. Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army William D. Clark concluded that, "It is not the role of the ABCMR to settle historical disputes." "I am devastated," stated Dr. Mudd. In September, a request for an appeal was made, and on October 2, the appeal was approved with no decision yet rendered.
The April 17 Tribune-Herald (Waco) told of a story by Thomas Korosec in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The story concerned Jo Ann Miller's play John Wilkes Booth: The Myth and the Mummy, which Page [End Page 102] she wrote in 1987 and in which she alleges that government plotters let Booth escape. The play was performed in April at the Granberry (Texas) Opera House.
Ford's Theatre Society (511 Tenth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20004) has made available once again its 1972 bronze medal featuring a profile of Lincoln on one side and Ford's Theatre on the other.
On October 13, the newly formed Rhode Island Civil War Round-table heard Thomas R. Turner deliver a slide presentation on events of the Lincoln assassination.
Herbert Mitgang reported in the April 12 New York Times the discovery of a previously "unknown" twenty-one-page manuscript written by Booth about a month after Lincoln's 1860 election. Although pro-Southern in its sentiments, Booth did not mention Lincoln. Yet, the supposition is made that had the government known of this document, Booth would have been found out and Lincoln saved. Unfortunately, this speculation reaches too far, as there were probably a million voters in the North who supported the Southern cause, Booth among them. S. L. Carson's "John Wilkes Booth Manuscript Widely Examined" appeared in the summer Manuscript Society News.
Gene Smith's American Gothic (Simon & Schuster) examines the Booth family. The author followed the flight of Lincoln's assassin and detailed it in "The Booth Obssession" for the September American Heritage. A sidebar article by T. Burton Smith discussed "Assassination Medicine." American Gothic also appeared as part of the Reader's Digest Condensed Books (Volume 4).
The November Maryland Line reported that "All Roads Lead to Surratt House ... Unfortunately" and the threat of a current proposal to widen a state highway that would bisect the Surratt property housing the tavern, thus placing the historic house in an island surrounded by four roads and its Visitors' Center on the other side of the new road. Initially, opposition to the idea elicited a comment from county planners not to proceed with the plan, but the Surratt volunteers have learned that the proposal is once again alive and well.
The Escape and Capture of John Wilkes Booth by Edward Steers, Jr., has been reprinted by Thomas Publications, Gettysburg, PA 17325.
Works in Progress
James O. Hall is at work on Mr. Lincoln Comes to Washington.
Don and Virginia Fehrenbacher are compiling "the recollected words of Lincoln," that is, what others said Lincoln said. Page [End Page 103]
Harold Holzer is writing Dear Abe, based on letter to President Lincoln that are part of the Robert Todd Lincoln Collection in the Library of Congress.
Ann Mitchell is at work on a biography of Mary Lincoln, and Ann Lewis is writing Lincoln's Paternity.
Michael Burlingame is preparing an article for American Heritage on Lincoln's marriage, as well as a new edition of John Hay's diary and a book to be called Inside the White House with Lincoln: From the Diaries, Reminiscences, and Other Papers of John G. Nicolay, John Hay, William O. Stoddard, and Noah Brooks. His book The Inner World of Abraham Lincoln is under consideration by the University of Illinois Press.
The astrologer Linda Goodman is at work on Hazelwood, which purports to tell the truth about Abraham Lincoln's two illegitimate daughters through his romantic liaison with an Austrian immigrant woman of Hapsburg royal blood.
Fred Schwengel is preparing a collection of the Lincoln tributes delivered in the U.S. capitol since 1865.
James M. McPherson is at work on Why They Fought: Combat Motivation in the Civil War.
Mark E. Neely, Jr., is preparing two essays: "The Civil War and the Two-Party System" and "Abraham Lincoln as Commander-in-Chief."
Philip Shaw Paludan is at work on a two-volume biography of Lincoln's presidential years for the University of Kansas Press.
John E. Walsh is researching a book on Ann Rutledge, Risen from the Shadows.
Edmund B. Sullivan, semiretired curator of the J. Doyle DeWitt Collection at the University of Hartford, is doing a book on political folk art containing much Lincoln material.
The first major exhibition on Abraham Lincoln ever organized on the West Coast is being organized by the Huntington Library for opening in September 1993: "The Last Best Hope of Earth: Abraham Lincoln and the Promise of America" with material from its own collection, the Illinois State Historical Library, and the Taper Collection. While an exhibit catalog will be published, Harvard University Press will do a separate volume containing a fifty-thousand-word (two-hundred-page) biography of Abraham Lincoln written by Mark E. Neely, Jr. The exhibit precedes a conference, "The Last Best Hope of Earth." Page [End Page 104]
Many thanks to all who provided information and copies for mention in this article, especially Arnold Gates, Wayne C. Temple, Tom Lapsley, Mark E. Neely, Jr., and Harold Holzer.
Special thanks to my secretaries, Ladetté S. Lima and Martha L. Self.
I welcome any news concerning Abraham Lincoln to be considered for publication in the Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association; contact me at 300 Switch Road, Hope Valley, RI 02832. Page [End Page 105]