A LITTLE TOUCH OF HISTORY

June 25, 2008 Barry Cauchon

A Little Touch of History is not only the name of this history blog, but is the name of the live presentation that I give to high schools, colleges and professional associations.

Hi. My name is Barry Cauchon of Awesometalks and I want to share a little bit of myself with you today. I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with my wife and daughter. I work in the museum and exhibit industry as a Senior Project Manager. I am also a professional speaker, bringing my history road show “A Little Touch of History” to high schools, colleges, universities and professional associations.

As many of you may already know, I was the Senior Project Manager on the current King Tut touring exhibit, “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs”, “Diana: A Celebration” (the Princess Diana tour) and the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre. All were awesome experiences and I promise to tell you about them one day soon.

For those of you who have followed my blog for some time you can tell that my fondness for history has recently focused on Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States and the Civil War. Although this subject matter is my current passion, I do have a wide range of other historical interests that I enjoy. As time goes on, I will post articles about some of these other subjects, but for now, I will continue to post mostly Lincoln info and offer these tidbits through my DID YOU KNOW series.

Here are a few of the other historical subjects that I enjoy (listed in no particular order): The Great Ocean Liners (from Titanic to Queen Mary II), the Great Rigid Airships (Zeppelins and other airships, Hindenburg, Graf Zeppelin, Akron, Shenandoah, Macon, R101, etc), the Wild West (late 1800s), Jack the Ripper (1888), Crime & Punishment, the History of Execution and the men who performed these deeds (harsh subject but the world has a great history on this subject), Presidential Assassinations and Attempts, NASA and space travel, German U-Boats and submarines, the Holocaust, Princess Diana, King Tut and the Egyptian Pharaohs, naval warfare and WW II. I guess this list makes me a generalist as I don’t specialize in any one subject, but it is what it is.

How did I get interested in some of these subjects?  I think my direct exposure to the subject matter contributed greatly. For instance, I grew up in Hampton, VA which overlooks the Hampton Roads/ Chesapeake Bay, opposite the Norfolk Naval Base. I developed my interest in submarine and naval history because there was a steady stream of battleships, destroyers, aircraft carriers and submarines on display at the end of my street. My interest in NASA and the space program came to be because my father worked as an NASA aeronautical engineer for 10 years at Langley Air Force Base. He worked on the Apollo program with regards to the space capsule re-entry heat shield. Growing up in Virginia certainly exposed me to Civil War history. As far as my good friend Abraham Lincoln, every school kid is taught about this great president. But I remember most vividly, a school trip to Washington DC which included a stop over at Ford’s Theatre and the Petersen House. That is when I really wanted to learn more about President Lincoln. Finally, my interest in the Holocaust, Princess Diana and King Tut all came from being directly involved in exhibits on each subject.

So the lesson learned here, and what I promote in my speeches and presentations to classes and professional organizations, is that you need to be ‘touched’ by history to make it important to you. My live presentation, A Little Touch of History” is my way of doing that. As part of my presentation, I bring artifacts from my own collection so that my audience can actually touch a piece from history. If my artifacts and speech help to spark them to investigate the subject further, I know I have done my job.

Please contact me and let me know some of your stories and interests in history. I’d love your input and look forward to some great discussions on various subjects. Especially tell me what local history you have around your location and what you have discovered so far. I’d love to post some of your ‘local stories’.

You can contact me at outreach@awesometalks.com or leave a comment on this blog. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Best. Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

Advertisements
Published in: on Wednesday, June 25, 2008 at '9:26 am'  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , , ,

DID YOU KNOW (Part 9) Abraham Lincoln

According to Philip B. Kunhardt Jr., Philip B. Kunhardt III and Peter W. Kunhardt in Lincoln, An Illustrated Biography, two interesting facts are mentioned.

1. Did you know … that with the Civil War raging in the United States, and popularity for that war waning severely, the Union needed a way of getting more men to join the army. On March 3, 1863 Lincoln signed into law the United States’ first true Federal military draft. The Confederacy had implemented conscription one year earlier on April 16, 1862 and so the Union followed suit about one year later. Other presidents, such as James Madison, had attempted this during the American Revolutionary War but were unsuccessful. Lincoln’s new law applied to men of ages twenty to forty-five. Not surprisingly, this law was not received well and resulted in various demonstrations in most Northern states and a series of very violent and well publicized riots in New York City from July 11 to 13, 1863. For more on the New York Draft Riots of 1863 refer to the following links.

http://www.press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/317749.html

http://www.civilwarhome.com/draftriots.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Draft_Riots

 

2. Did you know …that Lincoln was the first President to proclaim Thanksgiving as a national holiday. Everyone knows the story of the first Thanksgiving between the Pilgrims and the Indians in 1621. The event was celebrated sporadically over the years but never as a full blown official holiday. Then in October, 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared “that the last Thursday of November shall be set aside to as a day of thanksgiving, family gatherings and celebrations.”

At www.thelaboroflove.com the writer adds to this story.

“Every president since Lincoln has also declared Thanksgiving a national holiday. In 1941 Congress set the national holiday of Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of every November. This reversed a decision by President Roosevelt to celebrate Thanksgiving on the third Thursday of November to give people more time to shop for Christmas.”

http://www.thelaboroflove.com/articles/when-how-did-thanksgiving-become-a-national-holiday/ 

Book Recommendation:

I have many books on Mr. Lincoln and the Civil War. With the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday coming up, you can be assured that there are many new books presently in the works for release in 2009. However, one book that I wish to recommend is the one I mentioned earlier. Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography, written by Philip B. Kunhardt Jr., Philip B. Kunhardt III and Peter W. Kunhardt. This is an easy read, filled with well researched material and hundreds of photographs. The authors and designers of this book did a wonderful job in organizing this material so that it is easy to follow. I revert back to this volume time and time again. I recommend that you add this book to your library soon.

Lincoln: An Illustrated Biographyby Philip B. Kunhardt Jr., Philip B. Kunhardt III and Peter W. Kunhardt. Originally published in 1992 by Knopf, New York. Reprinted in 1999 by Garmercy Books (an imprint of Random House Value Publishing, Inc., New York by arrangement with Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. ISBN: 0-517-20715-X.

An Illustrated Biography

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

—————————————————————–

To see the entire series, click here “SUMMARY OF THE “DID YOU KNOW” ABRAHAM LINCOLN SERIES (Parts 1-15)”         

—————————————————————–

  

If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by three Lincoln experts:

 

“An Awesometalk With” ROGER NORTON, Webmaster of the ‘Abraham Lincoln Research Site’ (posted on December 30, 2008)

.

“An Awesometalk With” DR. THOMAS SCHWARTZ, Illinois State Historian (posted on December 08, 2008)

 

“An Awesometalk With” HAROLD HOLZER, Lincoln Scholar (posted on November 10, 2008)

 

 —————————————————————-

DID YOU KNOW (Part 8) ABRAHAM LINCOLN

1. Did you know … that Abraham Lincoln never traveled to a foreign country. He spent his entire life in the United States. There is no record of him ever entering Canada or Mexico. Nor did he ever travel abroad. However, on the night of his assassination, he mentioned to his wife Mary that he would like to one day visit Jerusalem.

2. Did you know … that fifteen people turned down President Lincoln’s invitation to join him and Mary at Ford’s Theatre on the night of his assassination, April 14, 1865? One reason is that it was Good Friday of the Easter weekend so many of them could have had other plans, as they claimed. But when you consider that fifteen people turned down the President of the United States to spend the evening with him, it does make you wonder.

The fifteen that turned down the Lincoln’s were, (in no particular order): Mr. & Mrs. Edwin Stanton, General & Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, William A. Howard, General Isham N. Haynie, Richard J. Olgesby, Richard Yates, Noah Brooks, Thomas Eckert, George Ashmun, Schuyler Colfax, Mr. & Mrs. William H. Wallace & Robert Lincoln.

What reasons did they have? Here are the reasons given by each participant.

1 & 2. Edwin Stanton was Lincoln’s Secretary of War. Mrs. Stanton did not like Mary Todd Lincoln and this is believed to be the reason they turned down the invitation.

3 & 4. Mr. & Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant told the President that they were catching a train to New Jersey to visit their children for the weekend. The real belief was that, like Mrs. Stanton, Mrs. Grant did not like Mary Todd Lincoln and had no intention of spending an evening with her.

5. William A. Howard, was the Postmaster of Detroit. He told Mr. Lincoln that the he was headed out of town later that day.

6, 7 & 8. General Isham N. Haynie (a visitor from Illinois), Richard J. Olgesby (Governor of Illinois) & Richard Yates (ex-Governor of Illinois) all claimed to be meeting friends that night.

9. Noah Brooks was a reporter who turned down the Lincoln’s because he was suffering from a cold.

10. Thomas Eckert was a telegraph operator at the War Department. Secretary of War Edwin Stanton told Eckert that he could not go because he had too much work to do.

11. George Ashmun of Massachusetts had presided over the 1860 Republican Convention (where Lincoln was nominated for President) explained to Mr. Lincoln that he had a previous engagement.

12. Shuyler Colfax, the Speaker of the House of Representatives was traveling to the Pacific Coast the following morning so declined the evening out.

13 & 14. Mr. & Mrs. William H. Wallace, the Governor of Idaho territories, claimed to be too tired to attend the play that evening.

15. Robert Lincoln, the President’s eldest son, turned them down because he had just returned from a tour of duty with General Grant. He was tired and just wanted to go to bed.

———–

So, for whatever reasons these fifteen people had that day, there is no telling if any of them would have been able to save the President from his fate that night. We can just never know.

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

—————————————————————–

To see the entire series, click here “SUMMARY OF THE “DID YOU KNOW” ABRAHAM LINCOLN SERIES (Parts 1-15)”         

—————————————————————–

  

If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by three Lincoln experts:

 

“An Awesometalk With” ROGER NORTON, Webmaster of the ‘Abraham Lincoln Research Site’ (posted on December 30, 2008)

.

“An Awesometalk With” DR. THOMAS SCHWARTZ, Illinois State Historian (posted on December 08, 2008)

 

“An Awesometalk With” HAROLD HOLZER, Lincoln Scholar (posted on November 10, 2008)

 

 —————————————————————-

Published in: on Tuesday, June 17, 2008 at '9:10 pm'  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

DID YOU KNOW (Part 7) ABRAHAM LINCOLN

 

1. Did you know … that the former First Lady, Mary Todd Lincoln, was committed to an insane asylum in 1875. And the person who arranged it all was her only surviving son, Robert Lincoln!  Sadly, it’s true.

According to Wikipedia …
“For Mary Todd Lincoln, the death of her son Thomas (Tad), in July 1871, led to an overpowering sense of grief and the gradual onset of
depression. Mrs. Lincoln’s sole surviving son, Robert T. Lincoln, a rising young Chicago lawyer, was alarmed by his mother’s free spending of money in ways that did not give her any lasting happiness. Due to what he considered to be her increasingly eccentric behavior, Robert exercised his rights as Mrs. Lincoln’s closest male relative and had the widow deprived of custody of her own person and affairs. In 1875, Mary Todd Lincoln was committed by an Illinois court to Bellevue Place, an insane asylum in Batavia, Illinois. There Mrs. Lincoln was not closely confined; she was free to walk about the building and its immediate grounds, and was released three months later. However, Mary Todd Lincoln never forgave her eldest son for what she regarded as his betrayal.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Todd_Lincoln

If Mary Todd Lincoln interests you, please read an interview I did with a Mary Todd Lincoln researcher and performer, Laura Frances Keyes.

2. Did you know … that Tad Lincoln (the President’s youngest son) was at another theatre the night his father was shot. Tad was attending a performance of “Aladdin or the Wonderful Lamp” at Grover’s Theatre. He was in the company of his tutor, who had the news of the shooting whispered to him. The tutor hurried Tad out of the theatre and took him back home to the White House. Contrary to popular belief, Tad was never taken to the Peterson House where his father lay dying. However, his older brother Robert went there and tried to comfort his mother during the long night.

Tad and Abraham Lincoln taken by Alexander Gardner on February 5, 1865.

——————————————————–

To read an interview with researcher and Mary Todd Lincoln performer, please click on the link below.Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

—————————————————————–

To see the entire series, click here “SUMMARY OF THE “DID YOU KNOW” ABRAHAM LINCOLN SERIES (Parts 1-15)”         

—————————————————————–

  

If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by three Lincoln experts:

 

“An Awesometalk With” ROGER NORTON, Webmaster of the ‘Abraham Lincoln Research Site’ (posted on December 30, 2008)

.

 

“An Awesometalk With” DR. THOMAS SCHWARTZ, Illinois State Historian (posted on December 08, 2008)

 

“An Awesometalk With” HAROLD HOLZER, Lincoln Scholar (posted on November 10, 2008)

—————————————————————–

NEWS ON ABRAHAM LINCOLN FROM NEWSWEEK

June 16, 2008 – Barry Cauchon – With the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birthday coming up next year, there are many good articles and books being written. I hear that there is even a new Steven Spielberg movie being made about the President.

When I come across some great information, I like to pass it on.

One article I’d like to point out to you was written in Newsweek Web by Karen Springen on May 15, 2008 called “Whole Lotta Lincoln”. It is a great summary of some of the events that are being planned around the country to celebrate Lincoln’s bicenterary. Follow this link to the article.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/137186

Happy reading.

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

—————————————————————–

  

If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by two Lincoln experts:

 

“An Awesometalk With” Harold Holzer, Lincoln Scholar

(posted on November 10, 2008) 

 

  “An Awesometalk With” Dr. Thomas Schwartz, Illinois State Historian 

(posted on December 08, 2008) 

 

—————————————————————–

Published in: on Monday, June 16, 2008 at '6:23 pm'  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

THE LINCOLN CONSPIRATORS – HOW OLD WERE THEY AT THE TIME OF THE ASSASSINATION?

Okay, here’s a good trivia question for you Lincoln Assassination experts … How old were the Lincoln Conspirators at the time of the assassination on April 14, 1865?

  John Wilkes Booth – was age 26 (just 2 weeks from his 27th birthday) – (Born May 10, 1838). After shooting President Lincoln, he was on the run for 12 days until April 26, 1865 when he was cornered in a barn at the Garrett barn in Bowling Green, Virginia. He was shot by Sargeant Boston Corbett, a Union soldier, and died a short time later.

  Mary Surratt – was age 42 – (Born May/June, 1823). Hung at the Old Arsenal Penitentary on July 7, 1865.

  Lewis Powell (aka Lewis Paine) – was age 21 – (Born April 22, 1844). Hung at the Old Arsenal Penitentary on July 7, 1865.

  David E. Herald – was age 23 – (Born June 16, 1842). Hung at the Old Arsenal Penitentary on July 7, 1865.

  George Atzerodt – was age 30 – (Born June 12 , 1835). Hung at the Old Arsenal Penitentary on July 7, 1865.

   Dr. Samuel A. Mudd – was age 31 – (Born December 20, 1833). Sentenced to life in prison but paroled by President Johnson in March, 1869. Died at age 49 of pneumonia and pleurisy on January 10, 1883.

  Michael O’Laughlen – was age 25 – (Born June, 1840). Sentenced to life in prison and died of yellow fever two years later in 1867.

  Samuel Arnold – was age 30 – (Born September 6, 1834). Sentenced to life in prison but was paroled by President Johnson in March, 1869. Died at age 72 of pulmonary tuburculosis (at that time called ‘galloping consumption’) on September 21, 1906.

   Edman Spangler – Was age 39 – (Born August 10, 1825). Sentenced to six years in prison but was paroled by President Johnson in March, 1869. Due to an extended time of poor health, he died at age 49 on February 7, 1875.

  John Surratt (Mary’s son) – was age 21 – (Born April 13, 1844). Escaped to Canada and then Europe. Caught and returned for trial in June 1867 but was acquitted with a hung jury. He died at age 72 of pneumonia on April, 21, 1916.

Thanks for playing. If you notice any errors (or mistakes in the age calculations) blame me, laugh, and then feel free to comment with the correct information.

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

—————————————————————–

  

If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by two Lincoln experts:

 

“An Awesometalk With” Harold Holzer, Lincoln Scholar

(posted on November 10, 2008) 

 

  “An Awesometalk With” Dr. Thomas Schwartz, Illinois State Historian 

(posted on December 08, 2008) 

 

—————————————————————–

AFTERMATH … THE TITANIC DISASTER INQUESTS

History books do a pretty good job in covering the circumstances leading up to, and including, ‘major historical events’ but rarely seem to offer as much attention to the aftermath. The details of a tragedy, such as the sinking of the Titanic, have been captured over the years in hundreds of books, articles, films, newsreels, magazines, etc.  But not as much information is found on the trials and inquests that followed. I believe that if you ever want to transport yourself back to those days and get a real sense of the mood, the times and the events themselves, you need to review these transcripts and read the actual words of the people who were there and experienced the event first hand.

The sinking of the Titanic resulted in not one, but two inquests (one US and one British) where witnesses told their stories. In the case of the US Senate hearings, which began on April 19, 1912 (just 5 days after the disaster), you know you are reading the fresh recollections of the survivors whose memories of the events have not been changed by time or opinion.  

According to Amapedia of Amazon.com … “The Titanic hearings were conducted by a special subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee and chaired by Senator William A. Smith, a Republican from Missouri (UPDATE NOTE: June 11- Thanks to a reader, the state of Missouri is mistakenly named in Amapedia’s information. The correct state that Senator Smith represented was actually Michigan). The hearings began on April 19, 1912,  in New York City. The Senate inquiry is particularly useful because it was the most immediate. The inquiry began at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York the day after the survivors landed. James Cameron used the Senate transcripts extensively in researching his Oscar-winning movie. “The Senate records, for example, provide the exact words spoken by the bridge officers in the moments leading up to the collision,” Mr. Cameron has written. “Those scenes in my film are scripted and staged precisely as the event was described by witnesses.”

A week after the proceedings began, the hearings were moved to the new caucus room of the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. They were the first hearings to be held in that room. A total of 82 witnesses testified about ice warnings that were ignored, the inadequate number of lifeboats, the ship’s speed, the failure of nearby ships to respond to the Titanic’s distress calls, and the treatment of passengers of different classes. The hearings concluded on May 28, 1912, when Senator Smith visited the Titanic’s sister ship, Olympic, at port in New York, to interview some of its crew. When the Titanic sank, the Olympic was about 500 miles away.

Within two weeks after the sinking of the Titanic, the British Board of Trade established a Commission of Enquiry, chaired by High Court Judge Lord Mersey. The hearings were opened in the Wreck Commissioner’s Court, Royal Scottish Drill Hall, Buckingham Gate, Westminster, on 2nd May, 1912. The British Inquiry cleared Captain Smith and the White Star Line of any negligence in the loss of the Titanic. The conference confronted issues such as subdivision of ships, lifeboat provisions, wireless telegraphy, the reduction of speed in the vicinity of ice, and the use of searchlights.”

http://amapedia.amazon.com/view/Titanic+Disaster+Historical+Document+Archive/id=786002

One of the best books that I’ve read on the Titanic Inquest is “The Titanic Disaster Hearings” by Tom Kuntz (March 1998). It records the actual transcripts and testimonies from many of the names you’ve read about from Titanic history. Fascinating reading. It’s gripping and you feel like you are right there hearing them tell their story to you for the first time. This book is avaiable at all major book stores or on-line book stores.

Book

Published in: on Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at '10:13 pm'  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , ,

DID YOU KNOW (Part 6) ABRAHAM LINCOLN

1. Did you know … that on April 15, 1865, Abraham Lincoln’s autopsy was performed in the 2nd floor guest room at the front right hand corner (northwest corner) of the White House?

At some point on the day before, April 14, 1865, Lincoln is quoted as saying to his bodyguard, Mr. William H. Crook … “Crook, do you know I believe there are men who want to take my life? And I have no doubt they will do it …. I know no one could do it and escape alive. But if it is to be done, it is impossible to prevent it.”

 2. Did you know … that Major Henry Rathbone and Clara Harris, the couple who attended the play at Ford’s Theatre with the Lincoln’s had a tragic ending. 

 Clara Harris & Major Henry Rathbone

On July 11, 1867, the Rathbone’s were married and began raising a small family. Over time, Major Rathbone became ill with severe mood swings. And then in 1883, while the family was living in Germany, Rathbone finally lost his sanity and attempted unsuccessfully to kill his children. He then shot and stabbed his wife to death. He also tried to kill himself but could not complete the job. After his arrest, he was found insane and sent to an asylum for the rest of his life. Rathbone died in 1911 at age 73.

 

3. Did you know … that on April 27, 1865 at approximately 2:00am, the worst marine disaster in United States history took place. The steamship SULTANA, blew up, caught fire and sank in the Mississippi River killing over 1700 passengers.

The Sultana had been contracted by the US Government to transport Union soldiers released from Confederate prison camps, up the Mississippi River to Ohio. In the early morning hours of April 27, the boiler(s) exploded destroying part of the ship and engulfing the remainder in flames. There were well over 2000 people on board at the time of the disaster (legally the Sultana was allowed to carry a capacity of 376 people). No confirmed number exists on the casualty and survivor count, however it is estimated that upwards of 1800 people perished in the disaster with another 700-800 surviving.

To put this in perspective, the Titanic disaster had a loss of about 1517 lives.

According to Wikipedia, the accepted cause of the tragedy was “determined to be mismanagement of water levels in the boiler, exacerbated by “careening.” The Sultana was severely overcrowded and top heavy. As she made her way north following the twists and turns of the river, she listed severely to one side then the other. The Sultana’s four boilers were interconnected and mounted side-by-side, so that if the ship tipped sideways, water would tend to run out of the highest boiler. With the fires still going against the empty boiler, this created hot spots. When the ship tipped the other way, water rushing back into the empty boiler would hit the hot spots and flash instantly to steam, creating a sudden surge in pressure. This effect of careening could have been minimized by maintaining high water levels in the boilers. The official inquiry found that Sultana ‘s boilers exploded due to the combined effects of careening, low water level, and a faulty repair to a leaky boiler made a few days previously.”

The reason so few people have ever heard of this disaster is because it happened when so much else was in the news of the day. The Civil War had just ended; Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated just two weeks before; but most prominent in the news was that Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth, had been cornered, shot and killed the day before (April 26) in Bowling Green, Virginia.

LINKS to the SULTANA story:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sultana_Disaster

http://www.historynet.com/sultana-a-tragic-postscript-to-the-civil-war.htm

http://sultanadisaster.com/blog/

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

—————————————————————–

To see the entire series, click here “SUMMARY OF THE “DID YOU KNOW” ABRAHAM LINCOLN SERIES (Parts 1-15)”         

—————————————————————–

  

If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by three Lincoln experts:

 

“An Awesometalk With” ROGER NORTON, Webmaster of the ‘Abraham Lincoln Research Site’ (posted on December 30, 2008)

.

“An Awesometalk With” DR. THOMAS SCHWARTZ, Illinois State Historian (posted on December 08, 2008)

 

“An Awesometalk With” HAROLD HOLZER, Lincoln Scholar (posted on November 10, 2008)

 

 —————————————————————-

ABRAHAM LINCOLN WITNESSES THE DEMISE OF FORMER PRESIDENT JOHN QUINCY ADAMS

Here is a quick one for you.

Abraham Lincoln was elected to the 30th Congress and served from 1847 to 1849. On Februrary 21, 1848, while participating in a vote in the House of Representatives at the US Capitol Building, former President John Quincy Adams (6th) suffered a deadly stroke from which he died two days later. Lincoln was present during the ex-President’s collapse.

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

 —————————————————————–

  

If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by two Lincoln experts:

 

“An Awesometalk With” Harold Holzer, Lincoln Scholar

(posted on November 10, 2008) 

 

  “An Awesometalk With” Dr. Thomas Schwartz, Illinois State Historian 

(posted on December 08, 2008) 

 

—————————————————————–

Published in: on Friday, June 6, 2008 at '10:52 pm'  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

DID YOU KNOW (Part 5) ABRAHAM LINCOLN – The Lincoln Duel

In the FIFTH installment of DID YOU KNOW … Abraham Lincoln series, I came across a great story that I had to share with you.
 
1. Did you know … that Abraham Lincoln was once challenged to a duel….AND HE ACCEPTED! If you don’t know the story, I found a great article posted at Failed Success on 04/21/06. For your enjoyment, I’ve reprinted it here. Or you can go to the web page by linking to:
 
 
Enjoy!

The Duel that Could Have Changed the Nation

Posted by Failed Success on 04/21/06 at 02:22 PM

Abraham LincolnA few words of satire from one of our nation’s most famous Presidents very nearly changed history as we know it.

In the early morning hours of September 22, 1842, a young Abraham Lincoln crossed the Mississippi River at Alton, IL on his way to a small island where he would engage in mortal combat with a political adversary.

With hundreds of onlookers present and ready for a good fight; Lincoln, who was known for being levelheaded and gentle, prepared to kill or be killed. How did it come this?

Abraham Lincoln had been elected to the Illinois state legislature as a Whig in 1834. During this time, Illinois had enormous debt problems. These financial issues kept the politicians in the state’s legislature busy, and the Whigs and Democrats were continually at odds with each other over what to do.

James Shields was another politician in the state’s legislature who had been elected in 1836 as a Democrat, Lincoln’s opposing party. While their two parties were arguing over the situation, Lincoln and James were able to constitute a compromise that would save state’s banks and help the state rebound from its financial woes. Even though the two were in opposing parties, they saw eye to eye on many of the issues and were able to work together for the greater good.

The Beginnings of Animosity

James ShieldsThis feeling of mutual understanding and compromise would change over the years, though, when Shields became the State Auditor of Illinois. During this time, Shields was repeatedly scorned for many of the foolish decisions he was making. Shields had issued a proclamation that ordered county tax collectors to accept only gold and silver, rather than its own state-issued paper money, for payment of taxes and school debts. This particular proclamation brought him criticism from all quarters.

Lincoln was one of those who thoroughly disagreed with Shields decisions and proclamations and began writing a series of letters to the editor of the Sangamo Journal under several assumed names, including Jeff and Rebecca.

Putting his renowned sarcastic wit and talent for satire to the task, Lincoln, through his assumed identities, lampooned Shields poor policies and mismanagement of his duties. Throughout this series of letters, Lincoln’s friends Mary Todd and Julia Jayne also began sending letters of their own. The two got carried away and their letters became increasingly more vicious attacking the character and personality of Shields, in which they stated that he was “overly pompous, a hypocrite, and a liar”.

The satire also began to take on a life of its own in the social scene as letters were written from assumed identities recalling fictitious events at parties and social clubs that painted a poor picture of Shields, as well as stating Shields apparent inadequacies with the ladies.

Because of Shields vain and overly pompous personality, he became a natural target for satire. Word spread quickly of these “letters” in the newspaper and Shields was outraged. He was determined to discover who had begun this criticism. Shields pressured the editor of the paper to reveal the sources of these letters. The editor gave Shields only Lincoln’s name, as Lincoln himself had instructed him too. Even though Lincoln was not the only one taking part in this letter writing campaign, he had decided to take the blame for it if things got out of control. He especially wanted to protect Mary Todd, the friend who would soon become his wife.

Shields Presents the Challenge

Shields was hurt and appalled to find out Lincoln’s involvement and demanded, by way of a hand delivered letter, an immediate retraction. The aggressive tone of the letter led Lincoln to refuse until he received a more “gentlemanly” letter. Shields responded by challenging Lincoln to a duel.

Dueling was illegal in Illinois. Lincoln could not believe that Shields was refusing to settle the matter with anything else but an old fashioned duel. Lincoln felt the entire situation was ludicrous and completely silly. However, the public was very fond of duels and felt that they were a true indication of courage. Politicians knew that to refuse a duel would lead to lack of public support and would most likely cost you your office. Word had spread very quickly and it seemed that in no time at all, everyone in the entire state knew of the challenge. Lincoln knew that refusing to accept the duel was out of the question. Many also believed that the driving force behind Lincoln accepting the duel was to impress Mary Todd, who he was courting at the time.

Lincoln Sets the Parameters of the Duel

Abraham LincolnDue to the fact that Lincoln was the one who had been challenged to the duel, tradition gave him the privilege of choosing the time and location of the duel, as well as the weapons that were to be used. Being a man of humor and wit, and having no desire to kill Shields, or allow himself to be killed; Lincoln put together the most ridiculous set of circumstances that he could think of regarding the logistics of the upcoming duel.

Lincoln stated that the duel would be held on an island in the river near the city of Alton, IL. Some historians believe that it was Sunflower Island, while others believe it was Bloody Island. Bloody Island had long been a popular dueling spot because it was in the middle of the river and was claimed by Missouri where dueling was still legal. Either island would have allowed them to escape any legal implications.

Lincoln stated that the weapons he wished to use would be “Cavalry Broadswords of the largest size”. He figured that he could easily disarm Shields using the swords, whereas pistols would most likely lead to one of their deaths, if not both. He also added that he wanted the duel to be carried out in a pit 10 feet wide by 12 feet deep with a large wooden plank dividing the square in which no man was allowed to step foot over.

These “conditions” were designed not only to be ridiculous; but also to give Lincoln, who at 6’ 4” had longer legs and arms and towered over the much smaller Shields, a decided advantage. Lincoln hoped that these unorthodox conditions that gave him an almost unbeatable advantage would persuade Shields to withdraw the challenge and settle things in a more gentlemanly fashion.

Shields, however, was extremely stubborn and refused to yield despite the conditions that Lincoln had requested. He agreed to Lincoln’s conditions and no other negotiations were made. Much to Lincoln’s dismay, the two headed to the appointed island early in the morning on September 22 and prepared to do battle in their “Saber Duel”.

It All Comes to a Head

Bloody IslandWhile their respective parties set up the dueling area, their “seconds” (friends of the duelers who handled negotiations and ensured that all of the conditions for the duel were met in accordance with the agreed upon terms) tried desperately to resolve the issue peacefully. Their pleas for a peaceful settlement began to sway the stubborn Shields as he began to realize that there was no way to win this duel against Lincoln if it was carried out.

At the last minute, Lincoln demonstrated his obvious physical advantage by hacking away at some of the branches of a nearby Willow tree. The branches were high off the ground and Shields could not hope to reach them; while Lincoln, with his long arms holding a long broadsword, could reach them with ease. This final display was enough to drive home the precarious situation that he was now in, and Shields agreed to settle their differences in a more peaceful way.

Their seconds began discussions and finally agreed that a note in which Lincoln admitted authorship of the letter and asserted that he “had no intention of injuring your (Shields) personal or private character or standing as a man or gentleman” would satisfy the honor of both them. The two headed back to Alton with their entourage where a crowd of anxious people awaited on the banks of the river to find out what had happened. Several people screamed and one woman fainted when they spotted a corpse in one of the boats. The “corpse” turned out to be a large log with a red shirt draped over it. Someone had set up the deception just to get a reaction out of the awaiting audience. This led both Lincoln and Shields to laugh hysterically at the “corpse” as well as at just how absurd the events of this day had been.

The Effects of the Duel on Lincoln and our Nation

Lincoln MemorialAfter the duel, both groups had the appropriate after parties and reflected on the fact they both could have met their ends because of a few sarcastic comments and hurt feelings. The two were civil with each other after this unfortunate incident and remained friends and political allies for the rest of their careers.

Lincoln was extremely embarrassed about the whole incident and refused to talk about it very often. Lincoln began to be more careful about what he wrote in letters and other papers, even those he wrote to his closest and most intimate friends. Never again did he so harshly use another person to try to further his political career, which would some day take him to the highest office in the land. In many ways, the duel prepared Lincoln for success as president. During his term, the country became engaged in the Civil War. Throughout that stressful time, Lincoln showed the same iron will and certainty of purpose that was evident during the duel.

It’s interesting to ponder what might have happened if the events of the duel had gone a bit differently. Shields went on to become a brigadier general of the Union army (nominated by Lincoln himself), and of course Lincoln became the President of the United States. If Lincoln had been killed in this duel, the entire course of the nation’s future may have been radically different. Scholars argue over Lincoln’s contributions and impact on our nation’s history all of the time, but most agree that Lincoln made a difference in the way our nation grew leading up to the Civil War, as well as throughout the Civil War until his death. Who knows what would be different today if Abraham Lincoln had died that fateful night on the island.

Further Reading:

Civil War Times Magazine (February 2002 Issue)
Haunted Alton by Troy Taylor (Available at Amazon.com)
Lincoln’s Last Letters to Alton
Lincoln’s Forgotten Duel at Illinois Periodicals Online

http://www.lib.niu.edu/1995/ihy950248.html

Thanks for coming.

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

—————————————————————–

To see the entire series, click here “SUMMARY OF THE “DID YOU KNOW” ABRAHAM LINCOLN SERIES (Parts 1-15)”         

—————————————————————–

  

If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by three Lincoln experts:

 

“An Awesometalk With” ROGER NORTON, Webmaster of the ‘Abraham Lincoln Research Site’ (posted on December 30, 2008)

.

“An Awesometalk With” DR. THOMAS SCHWARTZ, Illinois State Historian (posted on December 08, 2008)

 

“An Awesometalk With” HAROLD HOLZER, Lincoln Scholar (posted on November 10, 2008)

 

 —————————————————————-

Published in: on Thursday, June 5, 2008 at '8:02 pm'  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

DID YOU KNOW (Part 4) ABRAHAM LINCOLN

 

In the FOURTH installment of “Did you know” Abraham Lincoln series, here are a few more unique facts about our 16th President of the United States. 

1. Did you know … that at the time of his election in 1860 in Springfield, Illinois, Abraham Lincoln and his family owned a dog named FIDO. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the Lincoln’s had to moved to Washington DC, they gave it away to two young neighborhood boys named Frank and Johnny Roll with instructions to take very good care of him. Just before leaving, the Lincoln’s took Fido to a local photographer to have his pictures taken. 

2. Did you know … that Robert Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s oldest son, lived until 1926. In 1922 he retired from politics but made his last public appearance on May 30, 1922 at the dedication ceremony for his father’s memorial in Washington DC (the Lincoln Memorial). 

Chief Justice Taft, President Harding and Robert Lincoln at the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in 1922. Chief Justice William Howard Taft (27th President of the United States), President Harding (29th President of the United States), and Robert Lincoln at the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in 1922. 

3. Did you know … that Robert Todd Lincoln had a series of strange coincidences that related to Presidential Assassinations. According to Wikipedia, the following facts are listed: 

“There is coincidence in regard to Lincoln and presidential assassinations. He was either present or was nearby when three of them occurred. [4] 

  • Lincoln was invited to accompany his parents to the Ford’s Theatre the night his father was shot by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865. Citing fatigue from riding in a covered wagon for an extended period of time, he declined and remained behind at the White House, where he immediately went to bed. He was informed of the President’s being shot just before midnight.

4. Did you know … that even a stranger coincidence exists between Robert Todd Lincoln and the Booth family. According the Abraham Lincoln Research Site, in 1863 or 64, Robert Lincoln fell onto the railroad tracks at a New Jersey train station and was saved by Edwin Booth, John Wilkes older brother.  To read the full story which includes a first hand account by Robert Lincoln, please link to: http://rogerjnorton.com/Lincoln59.html 

Best

Barry 

outreach@awesometalks.com 

  

—————————————————————– 

To see the entire series, click here “SUMMARY OF THE “DID YOU KNOW” ABRAHAM LINCOLN SERIES (Parts 1-15)”           

—————————————————————– 

   

If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by three Lincoln experts: 

  

“An Awesometalk With” ROGER NORTON, Webmaster of the ‘Abraham Lincoln Research Site’ (posted on December 30, 2008) 

. 

  

“An Awesometalk With” DR. THOMAS SCHWARTZ, Illinois State Historian (posted on December 08, 2008) 

  

“An Awesometalk With” HAROLD HOLZER, Lincoln Scholar (posted on November 10, 2008) 

  

 —————————————————————- 

Published in: on Wednesday, June 4, 2008 at '7:53 pm'  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

LINCOLN PENNY TURNS 100 YEARS OLD IN 2009

June 3, 2008 by Barry Cauchon

With the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth in 2009, many people may not realize that the Lincoln Penny will be 100 years old as well. A new design (in reality, four different designs) for the Lincoln Penny will be issued in 2009 by the United States Mint. According to their website:

“In 2009, the United States Mint will mint and issue four different one-cent coins in recognition of the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth and the 100th anniversary of the production of the Lincoln cent. While the obverse will continue to bear the likeness of President Lincoln currently on the penny, the reverse will change to bear four different designs, each representing a different aspect of the life of Abraham Lincoln.

The themes for the reverse designs represent the four major aspects of Abraham Lincoln’s life, as outlined in Public Law 109-145.

  • Lincoln‘s Birth in Kentucky (1809-1816)
  • Formative Years in Indiana (1816-1830)
  • Professional Life in Illinois (1830-1861)
  • Presidency in Washington, DC (1861-1865)

A new design will be issued approximately every 3 months in 2009. The designs for the coins will be chosen by the Secretary of the Treasury after consultation with the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission and the Commission of Fine Arts, and after review by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.”

http://www.usmint.gov/mint_programs/lincolnRedesign/index.cfm?flash=yes

The Lincoln Penny first debuted in 1909, replacing the very popular Indian Head penny used since 1859. This change in design was to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth. The obverse (face) side of the coin featured a profile of Lincoln facing to the right.  It was based on a photograph taken by Anthony Berger at Mathew Brady’s Washington photographic studio on February 09, 1864.

This image was chosen by Victor David Brenner, the designer of the coin and then approved by President Theodore Roosevelt for production. The Lincoln Penny was the first American coin to feature a US President.

The reverse (back) side of the coin featured two wheat ears. Collectors of these coins call them Wheats or Wheaties. This design lasted for 50 years until the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s birthday, when in 1959, the wheat ears were replaced by the current design of the Lincoln Memorial.

PENNY TIMELINE:

  • Indian Head Penny 1859 to 1908 – 50 years
  • Lincoln Wheat Penny 1909 to 1958 – 50 years
  • Lincoln Memorial Penny 1959 to 2008 – 50 years
  • Lincoln 200th Anniversary coins – issue to start in 2009

For more info on the penny, see the following link

http://www.usacoinbook.com/coins/small-cents/lincoln-wheat-cent/

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

DID YOU KNOW (Part 3) ABRAHAM LINCOLN

In the third installment of this series, I will tickle your noodle with a few short, but true “Did you know” statements.

1. Did you know … that Abraham Lincoln’s grandfather was named Abraham Lincoln?

2. Did you know …that Abraham Lincoln’s father and mother were named Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks Lincoln. The twist here is that the famous actor Tom Hanks (see the connection?) is a direct descendant from Abraham Lincoln through his mother’s side, Nancy Hanks Lincoln. For the record, he is the third cousin, four times removed. Sorry, but even I can’t trace that one. But it’s true!

3. Did you know … that Abraham Lincoln spoke in a high pitched voice with a Kentucky accent? This is a far cry from the Disney version seen in movies, where he is presented using a deep, commanding voice as would befit the President of the United States. What if Disney had decided to accurately portray Mr. Lincoln giving the Gettysburg Address in his real voice. Do you think it would have sounded a lot like Mickey Mouse? One may never know. 

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

—————————————————————–

To see the entire series, click here “SUMMARY OF THE “DID YOU KNOW” ABRAHAM LINCOLN SERIES (Parts 1-15)”         

—————————————————————–

  

If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by three Lincoln experts:

 

“An Awesometalk With” ROGER NORTON, Webmaster of the ‘Abraham Lincoln Research Site’ (posted on December 30, 2008)

.

“An Awesometalk With” DR. THOMAS SCHWARTZ, Illinois State Historian (posted on December 08, 2008)

 

“An Awesometalk With” HAROLD HOLZER, Lincoln Scholar (posted on November 10, 2008)

 

 —————————————————————-

Published in: on Monday, June 2, 2008 at '5:17 pm'  Comments (1)  
Tags: , , , , ,

CIVIL WAR – THE FORGOTTEN PRESIDENT

Hi all: I came upon a great article by Tom Elben of the Lexington Herald-Leader which begins with this statement of fact:

“He was born in a log cabin in Kentucky, grew up to be president and led his nation through a bitter Civil War.

No, not Abraham Lincoln.

The other guy: Jefferson Davis”.

Great intro Tom to this forgotten history. 

You can read the entire story at: 

http://tomeblen.wordpress.com/2008/05/31/jefferson-davis-life-still-holds-lessons/

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

—————————————————————–

  

If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by two Lincoln experts:

 

“An Awesometalk With” Harold Holzer, Lincoln Scholar

(posted on November 10, 2008) 

 

  “An Awesometalk With” Dr. Thomas Schwartz, Illinois State Historian 

(posted on December 08, 2008) 

 

—————————————————————–

Published in: on Monday, June 2, 2008 at '12:10 pm'  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

KING TUT AND OTHER NEWS ITEMS FROM THE MUSEUM WORLD

KING TUT EXHIBIT(S) SOON TO BE ON THE MOVE AGAIN

May 31, 2008 – by Barry Cauchon 

Having been the original Senior Project Manager for the “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs”, the renowned King Tut touring exhibit, I’d like to do a follow up on where the exhibit presently is and headed next. The collection has been shown in Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, Philadephia and is presently at the O2 in London, England until August 31, 2008. From there, it will travel back to the United States where it opens for a six month run at the Dallas Museum of Art in Dallas, Texas. Showdates are from October 3, 2008 to May 17, 2009.

Due to the overwhelming popularity of this exhibit, the producers and their partners created a second Tut exhibit. This one is presently showing in Vienna, Austria at the Volkerkunde Museum Vienna under the name of “Tutankhamun and the World of the Pharaohs” and runs until Sept. 28, 2008. The exhibit features 50 artifacts from Tutankhamun’s tomb as well as more than 70 artifacts representing other pharaohs and notables.

From Vienna, the exhibit will travel next to the Atlantic Civic Center in Atlanta, Georgia where it will be shown under the banner “Tutankhamun: The Golden King & The Great Pharaohs”. Showdates are from November 15, 2008 to May 22, 2009.

http://www.khm.at/system2E.html?/staticE/page3830.html

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is slotted next on the tour from June 2009 to October 2009.

It’s going to be a busy year for King Tut!

 http://www.childrensmuseum.org/special_exhibits/tutankhamun/press_ready_photos.htm

 

Perot family member give $50 million to planned Dallas science museum

By MICHAEL GRANBERRY / The Dallas Morning News

Friday, May 30, 2008 Summary: The children of Ross Perot, Sr. and his wife Margot have donated $50 million in their honor to the building ofthe Museum of Nature & Science in Dallas, Texas. For the full story, go to:

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/053

More to come later.

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

 

THINGS TO COME … UNIQUE HISTORY

In the coming weeks I will be including entries from a number of historical events including much more on Abraham Lincoln. However, you will also see information on the era of the Great Airships (such as the Hindenburg), the great Ocean Liners (such as the Titanic), the space program of NASA, and even some fascinating unique facts about Jack the Ripper. Please let me know some of the subjects that you would like to know more about.

I usually don’t post the ‘well known historical facts’ as there are vast amounts of this information written in books and found online. However, I do like to bring to you the ‘little known stuff’ from history. Sometimes they are small and seemingly insignificant, but they are all part of the historical record.

So stay tuned. Give me your feedback and let me know what you would like to know more about. 

I look forward to hearing from you.

You can reach me at outreach@awesometalks.com
Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

THE LINCOLN LIFE MASKS

What is a Life Mask?

A life mask is a true 3D representation of a live person’s face
produced from a cast. The technique has been used for centuries
on both living, and deceased, subjects (the latter known as Death Masks).
The process is quite simple. Plaster, wax or clay is used to cover
the face or head of the subject. Once the casting material “sets-
up” (dries), it is carefully removed, resulting in an exact
‘negative’ mold of the person’s features. From this negative, a
positive casting is made, producing the Life Mask.
Life masks have been used for many purposes. Some to capture the
features of a person during life for use by artists and
sculptures to produce busts, statues, etc. Scientists used to
make life, and death masks, of criminals to study their features,
looking for a commonality which would explain their behaviour.
One industry that makes life masks to this day is the
entertainment industry. Following the centuries-old traditions of
the stage, masks are made from film and television performers
today to assist make up artists with their work without actually
having to have the actors present.

Abraham Lincoln had two life masks produced during his life. The first
was cast by sculptor / artist Leonard W. Volk in Chicago in March of 1860,
just prior to Lincoln receiving the Presidential nomination from the
Republican party. He sat for Mr. Volk, who took detailed measurements of
Lincoln’s facial features and upper body. He then made a plaster cast of
Lincoln’s face. As Lincoln did not have a beard at the time (he did not start
growing it until the winter of 1861 during his trip to Washington DC to take
office). The Life Mask shows a young face (age 51) as compared to the second
Life Mask taken five years later in 1865.


     1860 Life Mask by                             1865 Life Mask by
     Leonard W. Volk                               Clark Mills

After five years of Civil War, and a difficult presidency, Lincoln was
re-elected to office for a second term.
As per the Smithsonian Institute…
 
“On February 11, 1865, Abraham Lincoln consented to having
another life mask made of him by the sculptor Clark Mills.
The process began with an application of oil over Lincoln’s face,
followed by the application of a thin coat of wet plaster paste that
dried quickly. After fifteen minutes, Mills asked Lincoln to twitch his
face, and the plaster loosened, falling off in large pieces into
a cloth. The pieces were then reassembled to form the finished
mask. Comparing this mask with the one done in 1860 by Leonard
Volk, it is clear how great a toll the Civil War had taken on
Lincoln’s health. One friend who saw him a few weeks after the
mask was made noted that he “looked badly and felt badly.” To
another friend Lincoln confided, “I am very unwell.”

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

—————————————————————–

  

If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by two Lincoln experts:

 

“An Awesometalk With” Harold Holzer, Lincoln Scholar

(posted on November 10, 2008) 

 

  “An Awesometalk With” Dr. Thomas Schwartz, Illinois State Historian 

(posted on December 08, 2008) 

 

—————————————————————–

Published in: on Sunday, June 1, 2008 at '11:10 am'  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,

DID YOU KNOW (Part 2) ABRAHAM LINCOLN


As we move closer towards the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (February 12, 2009), I will continue to post unique stories and featurettes on the man, as well as locations where you can visit to see artifacts from his life.

To start the ball rolling, I’ll lead you to another great depository of Lincoln artifacts and history.

1. Did you know… that the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois is dedicated to sharing the life of Lincoln and his family to visitors. Displays, exhibits, interactives and many artifacts are part of the museum’s presentation. Visit http://www.alplm.org/museum/museum.html for current information.

For an article written in July, 2007 of the recent acquisition of Lincoln family artifacts by the museum, please link to
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19296033/ .


   Abraham Lincoln’s bloodstained
   gloves and the handkerchief the
   former president carried on the
   night of his death are part the
   Taper Collection acquired
   by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential
   Library and Museum.

2. Did you know… that the there is a medical debate that started in the 1960’s about whether Mr Lincoln had Marfan Syndrome. It is an argument that still goes on to this day. According to an article in About.com titled Abraham Lincoln and Marfan Syndrome the story suggests that  “The diagnosis was based on physical observations of Lincoln: the fact that he was much taller than most men of his day, with long limbs, an abnormally-shaped chest, and loose (lax) joints (based on written descriptions).

What is Marfan syndrome?
Marfan syndrome is an inherited disorder of connective tissue, although about one-quarter of all cases occur without any family history of the syndrome.

It affects both men and women of any ethnic background.

Marfan syndrome affects many parts of the body, including:

  • Heart – The main artery which carries blood away from the heart, the aorta, is weak and fragile, and can tear or burst if left untreated. The heart’s mitral valve can also leak or fail.
  • Bones and joints – People with Marfan syndrome tend to have long limbs and are usually, but not always, tall. The syndrome can also cause spine problems, abnormally-shaped chest, and loose joints.
  • Eyes – The syndrome often causes nearsightedness, and about 50% of the time dislocation of the lens of the eye.

Note: Lincoln also had a droopy right eye.

To view the whole story, link to http://rarediseases.about.com/cs/marfansyndrome/a/092402.htm 

3. Did you know… David Herold, who was one of four Lincoln assassination conspirators hung on July 7, 1865, spent 12 days on the run in the company of John Wilkes Booth. When finally cornered in a barn at the Garrett farm in Virginia, Herold gave himself up to Union soldiers while Booth refused to. Booth was eventually shot in the neck, paralyzed and died at the scene. David Herold was tried with seven suspected conspirators, of which he, and three others were sentenced to death by hanging at the Old Arsenel Penitentiary. By the way, David Herold is the third from the left.

4. Did You Know… that the price of tickets for the production of “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theatre the night of the assassination was as follows: Orchestra (main level, chair seating) $1.00, Dress Circle (first balcony, chair seating) $.75, Family Circle (second balcony, bench seating) $.50.

Have a great day.
Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

—————————————————————–

To see the entire series, click here “SUMMARY OF THE “DID YOU KNOW” ABRAHAM LINCOLN SERIES (Parts 1-15)”         

—————————————————————–

  

If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by three Lincoln experts:

 

“An Awesometalk With” ROGER NORTON, Webmaster of the ‘Abraham Lincoln Research Site’ (posted on December 30, 2008)

.

“An Awesometalk With” DR. THOMAS SCHWARTZ, Illinois State Historian (posted on December 08, 2008)

 

“An Awesometalk With” HAROLD HOLZER, Lincoln Scholar (posted on November 10, 2008)

 

 —————————————————————-

DID YOU KNOW (Part 1) ABRAHAM LINCOLN


In 2009, we will celebrate the bicentenary (200 years) of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809 in Hodgenville, Hardin County, Kentucky. In Lincoln’s own words, written five months before the Republican party nomination, he wrote…   
“I was born Feb. 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky. My parents were both born in Virginia, of undistinguished families–second families, perhaps I should say. My mother, who died in my tenth year, was of a family of the name of Hanks…. My father … removed from Kentucky to … Indiana, in my eighth year…. It was a wild region, with many bears and other wild animals still in the woods. There I grew up…. Of course when I came of age I did not know much. Still somehow, I could read, write, and cipher … but that was all.”
 (see Biography of Abraham Lincoln
http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/al16.html
OTHER INTERESTING FACTS:

1. Did you know . . . that the following Lincoln based artifacts are found at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, D.C.  
Lincoln bullet, skull fragments & probe
 
 The ball (bullet) that killed President Lincoln recovered during the autopsy.

Skull fragments from Lincoln recovered during the autopsy.

The probe used by Dr. Barnes to remove the ball and skull fragments from Lincoln’s injury during his autopsy.

John Wilkes Booth’s 3rd, 4th and 5th Cervical (Neck) Vertebrae (showing the path of the bullet that killed him).

  Booths 3rd, 4th & 5th vertibrae with path of bullet

http://nmhm.washingtondc.museum/explore/anatifacts/6_booth.html

2. Did you know . . .  that Lincoln had two Life Masks made of his face (and one set of his hands). One mask was made in 1860 by Leonard Volk just prior to Lincoln’s nomination for President and the other was made by Clark Mills on February 11, 1865 just two months prior to his assassination. 

 Although many websites discuss these two life masks, the write up on the Smithsonian Institute’s website is of interest. http://www.npg.si.edu/exh/travpres/lincs.htm 

 

“Comparing this mask with the one done in 1860 by Leonard Volk, it is clear how great a toll the Civil War had taken on Lincoln’s health. One friend who saw him a few weeks after the mask was made noted that he “looked badly and felt badly.” To another friend Lincoln confided, “I am very unwell.”

3. Did you know . . . that the contents of Lincoln’s pockets from the night of the assassination are housed at the Library of Congress. Some of these items included newspaper clippings, spectacle and reading glasses and their cases, a pocket knife and even a Confederate five dollar bill. 
 
  
4. Did you know . . . The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, Illinois houses many exhibits, photographs and artifacts.  

http://www.illinoishistory.gov/lib/lincolncoll.htm 

Best
Barry 
 

outreach@awesometalks.com 

 

—————————————————————–

To see the entire series, click here “SUMMARY OF THE “DID YOU KNOW” ABRAHAM LINCOLN SERIES (Parts 1-15)”         

—————————————————————–

  

If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by three Lincoln experts:

 

“An Awesometalk With” ROGER NORTON, Webmaster of the ‘Abraham Lincoln Research Site’ (posted on December 30, 2008)

.

“An Awesometalk With” DR. THOMAS SCHWARTZ, Illinois State Historian (posted on December 08, 2008)

 

“An Awesometalk With” HAROLD HOLZER, Lincoln Scholar (posted on November 10, 2008)

 

 —————————————————————-