Hey, where are you from?

June 13, 2011: Barry Cauchon

Public Viewing of Lincoln's Body (Harper's Weekly - May 06, 1865)

Hi all: Sorry to have been missing in action for so long. This month is a busy one for me schedule-wise.

In spite of that, I have been wanting to find out where some of my readers come from. So please, in the COMMENTS section below, please let me know who you are, where you live and what interests you about history. Tell me what kind of history intrigues you the most and if you have any connection to it through family or other avenues.

I look forward to reading about you.

Best

Barry

Advertisements
Published in: on Monday, June 13, 2011 at '9:04 am'  Comments (9)  
Tags: ,

LINCOLN PHOTOS – REAL, FAKE OR ‘WHO KNOWS’!

NOTE: These two articles below have been updated on August 20, 2008.

July 24, 2008: Barry Cauchon:

1. What is the current thinking about the purported John Badger Bachelder photo of Lincoln in death? Is it genuine, an outright fake or still up for debate?

Unauthenticated photo of Lincoln after death, April 16,1865

Unauthenticated photo of Lincoln after death, reported to be taken in the White House on April 16,1865 by John B. Bachelder.

For those of you who are not familiar with this disputed photo, the controversial image was apparently taken at the White House on April 16, 1865, the day after Lincoln died.  
The photographer was John B. Bachelder who took the photo in low light conditions to use as a reference shot for making an engraving. Like many photos of the day, it was touched up by adding more hair to Lincoln’s chin.
John B. Bachelder and wife 1890

John B. Bachelder and wife 1890

You rarely see this image published in Lincoln-related documentation because it’s authenticity is highly in dispute. On the other hand, there are still some true believers. I assume the debate continues.
To date, there is only one photograph of Lincoln in death that is accepted as authentic.
It was taken while he was lying in state in NYC during the Funeral Train tour from Washington DC to Springfield, IL.
Authenticated photo of Lincoln in his casket taken by John Gurney, Jr. on April 24, 1865 in New York City

Authenticated photo of Lincoln in his casket taken by Jeremiah Gurney, Jr. on April 24, 1865 in New York City

The photo was taken by Jeremiah Gurney, Jr. on Monday, April 24, 1865 in the rotunda of New York’s City Hall while the president’s body was being prepared for public viewing. Lincoln historians have accepted this photo as genuine and is not in question.

Truth is sometimes hard to find, so the question still remains. Is the Bachelder photo genuine, an outright fake or still up for debate?

NOTE: As this is a ‘very hot topic’ on some websites, I would prefer that the battles be waged elsewhere. However, if you wish to add ‘your view’ without name calling, I’ll gladly post your comments. Debate is good but don’t get beligerent! It won’t be tolerated. Thank you.

  

 

2. Lincoln at Gettysburg – Images of President Lincoln may have been found in Alexander Gardner photos taken on November 19, 1863.

Two photos taken by Alexander Gardner on November 19, 1863 at the dedication ceremonies for Soldier’s Cemetery at Gettysburg were discovered to have images of what looks like Abraham Lincoln in the crowd.

Enhanced image from Alexander Gardiner photo of Gettysburg Dedication Ceremonies taken on Nov. 19, 1863. Is this Abraham Lincoln in the stovetop hat?

Enhanced image from Alexander Gardner photo of Gettysburg Dedication Ceremonies taken on Nov. 19, 1863. Is this Abraham Lincoln in the stovetop hat?

In December, 2006, John Richter, the director for the Center for Civil War Photography was viewing images from a collection of over 5000 Civil War photos made available online to the public by the Library of Congress. Mr. Richter was focusing on a series of 3-D stereoscope images of the crowds at the Gettysburg Soldier’s Cemetery dedication ceremonies taken on the day that Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address.

“I noticed there were three negatives from the dedication that were taken close together,” he said. “That struck me as odd because of the difficulty and cost of taking pictures back then. I also noticed the camera was not pointed at the stand but more toward the right. I zoomed in, and that was when I saw this figure.”

In the distance, a tall bearded man wearing a stovepipe hat was spotted. The man is on horseback and is part of the procession leading to the stage.

One of the enhanced images shows Lincoln passing by a row of soldiers, and a second shows him saluting them while wearing white gloves. The third was not clear. He has his face partially turned away with his back to the camera.

Although there is not 100% proof that this is Lincoln, the series of photos was presented at the Lincoln Forum Conference at Gettysburg held in November, 2007. Harold Holzer, vice chairman of the forum and respected Lincoln author and historian, indicated that many experts, including himself, spoke highly of the photos and confirmed their belief that these are genuine pictures of Lincoln at Gettysburg taken a short time before his famous address.

Detractors argue that the person identified as Lincoln could actually be Ward Hill Lamon, Lincoln’s friend and self appointed bodyguard. He also wore a beard and favored wearing stovepipe hats. Lamon accompied Lincoln to the Gettysburg ceremonies that day.

Ward Hill Lamon

Up to this point, the only authenticated photo of Lincoln at Gettysburg was found by Josephine Cobb at the National Archives in Washington DC in 1952.

Lincoln at Gettysburg

Enhanced photo of Lincoln on stage prior to giving Gettysburg Address.

So, is the figure that Mr. Richter found really Abraham Lincoln? Many want to believe that it is. What do you think?

If you go to the attached link from USA TODAY, they have done a wonderful job of posting the images. Use their ‘Pan and Zoom’ feature to examine the details of both photos. Kudo’s to the folks who put this together.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-11-15-gettysburg-images_N.htm

Library of Congress Images: The actual photographs, which belong to the public, can be seen at the Library of Congress Web site, lcweb2.loc.gov/pp/pphome.html. Enter “stereograph+civil war” in the search field.

Center for Civil War Photography: You can see the photos at the Center for Civil War Photography’s Web site, www.civilwarphotography.org.

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) 

 

—————————————————————–

DID YOU KNOW (Part 10) ABRAHAM LINCOLN

In this version of DID YOU KNOW (Part 10) ABRAHAM LINCOLN, you’ll discover that there are an amazing amount of unique facts found about Mr. Lincoln after his death.

1. Did you know … that Abraham Lincoln was the first President of the United States to be embalmed?

2. Did you know … that after the president’s death, over one million people looked upon Lincoln’s face in open casket viewings?

It’s true. After it was decided that Lincoln would be buried in his hometown of Springfield, Illinois, a special funerary train trip was planned. Lincoln’s Funeral Train would essentially take the reverse route used by the President-elect in 1861 from Springfield to Washington. This time however, both Cincinnati and Pittsburgh would be bypassed in favor of Chicago.

The train car called "United States" was used as Lincoln's Funeral Car.                                                                             This car, called the United States, carried the coffins of both President Lincoln and his son, WIllie.

The Lincoln Funeral Train in Harrisburg, PA.

The Lincoln Funeral Train in Harrisburg, PA.

The coffin with the remains of Lincoln’s 11 year old son, Willie, who died of typhoid fever in the White House in 1862, was placed on the train with his father. Both would be buried together in Springfield.

The train dubbed “The Lincoln Special” left Washington DC on April 21, 1865 and arrived in Springfield on May 3rd.

Lincoln Funeral Train Route (Apr 21 - May 3, 1865)

Lincoln Funeral Train Route (Apr 21 - May 3, 1865)

During the 1,654 mile, 13 day trek, the train traveled through 180 towns and cities, of which only 11 were allowed to host open-casket viewings. These cities were:

1.   Baltimore, MD

2.   Harrisburg, PA

3.   Philadelphia, PA

4.   New York, NY

5.   Albany, NY

6.   Buffalo, NY

7.   Cleveland, OH

8.   Columbus, OH

9.   Indianapolis, IN

10.  Chicago, IL

11.  Springfield, IL

Sidebar:As early as the New York stopover, observers noticed that Lincoln’s face was showing signs of blackening and discolorization. For the remainder of the trip, undertakers would frequently apply white chalk powder, rouge and amber makeup to make the President appear as normal as possible.

3. Did you know … that only one photograph is known to exist of President Lincoln lying in his open coffin? It was taken on Monday, April 24, 1865 in the rotunda of New York’s City Hall while the president’s body was prepared for public viewing. New York photographer Jeremiah Gurney, Jr. took several photographs of Lincoln while lying in state. The following day, after hearing about the existence of these photographs, a furious Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton ordered that all the plates, prints and engravings be destroyed. This order was carried out with the photographer’s cooperation. One print did escape this fate and was sent to Stanton himself. He kept it hidden in his papers for fear of rebuke by Mary Lincoln. In 1887, Stanton’s son Lewis, discovered it and sent it to John Nicolay believing that he, and John Hay, Lincoln’s former secretaries, would use it in their 10-volume life of Lincoln.  They did not. It remained out of the public eye until July 20, 1952 when a fourteen-year old boy named Ronald Rietveld, found it amongst John Nicolay-John Hay’s papers at the Illinois State Historical Library. 

Lincoln lies in state in NYC's City Hall on April 24, 1865

Sidebar: When Stanton found out about the photographs, he sent a telegram to Brigadier-General Townsend accompanying the President’s body on his final journey. Taken from the book “Lincoln: An Illustrated Biography” by Philip B. Kunhardt Jr., here are the series of telegrams that went back and forth between Stanton and Townsend regarding this incident. 

 

Washington City,

April 25, 1865 – 11:40 p.m.

Brigadier-General Townsend,

Adjutant-General, New York:

    I see by the New York papers this evening that a photograph of the corpse…was allowed to be taken yesterday in New York. I cannot sufficiently express my surprise and disapproval of such an act while the body was in your charge. You will report what officers of the funeral escort were or ought to have been on duty at the time this was done, and immediately relieve them…. You will also direct the provost-marshall to go to the photographer, seize and destroy the plates and any pictures or engravings that may have been made, and consider yourself responsible if the offense is repeated.

 Edwin M. Stanton

Secretary of War.

 

 ****

 

Albany, N.Y.

April 26, 1865

(Received 10:40 a.m.)

Hon. E. M. Stanton

Secretary of War:

    Your dispatch of this date is received. The photograph was taken when I was present…. I have telegraphed General Dix your orders about seizing the plates. To whom shall I turn over the special charge given me in order to execute your instructions to relieve the officer responsible…?

 E. D. Townsend,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

 

****

 

 

Washington City,

April 26, 1865 – 12:30 p.m.

Brig.Gen. E. D. Townsend,

 … You being in charge, and present at the time, the sole responsibility rests upon you; but having no other officer … that can relieve you and take your place you will continue in charge of the remains under your instructions until they are finally interred….

Edwin M. Stanton,

Secretary of War.

 

****

 

Albany, N.Y.

April 26, 1865

 Hon. E. M. Stanton

General Dix, who is here, suggests that I should explain to you how the photograph was taken. The remains had just been arranged in state in the City Hall, at the head of the stairway, where the people would ascend on one side and descend on the other…. The photographer was in a gallery twenty feet higher than the body, and at least forty distant from it. Admiral Davis stood at the head and I at the foot of the coffin. No-one else was in view. The effect of the picture would be general taking in the whole scene, but not giving the features of the corpse.

 E. D. Townsend

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)

 

 —————————————————————-

GETTYSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARK and HISTORIC AREA

If you are interested in this country’s history and the Civil War holds a particular interest, then you should consider a road trip running north to south, or visa versa, between New York and Florida. Almost every town along the way was involved in the Civil War conflict in one way or another and each marks their involvement with historical markers, cemeteries, statues, museums and even battlefields.  

 

In a recent road trip from Toronto to North Carolina, I experienced many of these towns and enjoyed discovering their local Civil War stories and flavor. However, the grand daddy of them all had to be Gettysburg, the site of the largest and bloodiest battle to ever be fought on American soil in history.

 

HISTORY

On July 1-3, 1863, the three day battle was fought in Union territory between the defending Federal Union army and the Robert E. Lee’s advancing Confederate troops. Although both sides suffered tremendous losses (over 51,000 dead, wounded or missing), the Confederate army could not sustain the fight and Lee ordered his army to pull back into Virginia. 2008 marks the 145th anniversaries of the battle as well as Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address which he gave at the dedication to the Gettysburg National Cemetery on November 19, 1863.

 

LOCATION

Gettysburg is located in the southern part of Pennsylvania just a few miles north of the Maryland border. The main highway Business US 15 took me right into the center of town.

 

WHAT TO SEE

Although there are many attractions and non-Civil War related things to see and do in the Gettysburg area, I will address the ones that relate the history itself. For more information on attractions and events, go to www.gettysburg.travel .

Gettysburg National Military Park Map

Gettysburg National Military Park Map

 

HISTORY TO SEE

To truly appreciate the Gettysburg experience, you must give yourself no less than one full day. Two days is highly recommended. I will quote information from the Gettysburg National Military Park Pennsylvania brochure put out by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. It will be in italicized font. Where I add other information will be in regular type face (non-italicized).

 

SEEING THE PARK AND THE BATTLEFIELD

The fighting at Gettysburg is history. Upon these peaceful, till Pennsylvania fields, more men fell than in any other battle fought in North America before or since. Many of the Union soldiers who died here are buried in Soldiers’ National Cemetery where Abraham Lincoln delivered that poignant statement of purpose – the Gettysburg Address.

 

Much has been written and said about this, the greatest battle of the Civil War. There are also many treasured artifacts collected in museums here and across the country. But the most tangible link to those three days in July is the battlefield itself, parts of which look much as they did in 1863. Fences, hill, rocks, cannon and even the monuments provide an opportunity to ponder and try to understand what happened here.

 

You have probably come to Gettysburg by car. By following the Self-guided Auto Tour on the other side of this brochure, you can easily drive around the battlefield in two to three hours. At most of the numbered stops, exhibits and tablets describe significant action during the three days of battle.

 

The Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center and Museum contains the film “We are Met on a Great Battlefield,” the “Battle of Gettysburg” cyclorama, and the Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War, which place the campaign and battle in the larger context of the war.

 

Note: The Visitor Center and Museum are brand new, having just opened in the spring of 2008. Admission is free to the Visitor Center and Museum only. It is broken up into a series of galleries that cover various aspects of pre-war activities, weapons, uniforms, daily life in the field, and the battle and subsequent aftermath. Each gallery is filled with a volume of artifacts, information and a series of really good AV media presentations timed to run about every five minutes or so. I particularly like the way the museum tells the story of the three day battle by running an AV presentation segment for each. As one ends, you leave that gallery to go to then next where the story is picked up again in another presentation. This process is done with the intention of moving the crowds along from ‘station to station’ and keeps the traffic flow going. Although finding your way from gallery to gallery can be confusing once in awhile it’s still a wonderful experience. Again, give yourself adequate time to go through the entire museum (several hours) and the also see the film and cyclorama program (which will be mentioned below). Artifact highlights for me included seeing Robert E. Lee’s field office furniture (such as his sleeping cot, desk, etc); the stretcher which carried the mortally wounded General Stonewall Jackson on, after his own men accidently shot him; and the display on John Brown, the abolitionist who took matters into his own hands at Harper’s Ferry. He killed several people during the event and was arrested, tried and hung. The door from his prison cell is displayed along with a hand written letter from the widow of the husband who Brown killed.

 

 The building also contains a book and museum store, a “Refreshment Saloon” food service area, licensed battlefield guides, current schedules of ranger-conducted programs, and information about visiting Eisenhower National Historic Site.

 

The film “A New Birth of Freedom” and Gettysburg Cyclorama program is a 45-minute ticketed experience designed as a starting point for visitors. The “Battle of Gettysburg” cyclorama is a sound and light show of the spectacular 377-foot painting by Paul Philippoteaux of Pickett’s Charge, completed in 1884. (Note: the Cyclorama is currently undergoing conservation but will be opened again in September, 2008)

For a fee ($55.00 at time of writing), a licensed battlefield guide will conduct a two-hour tour of the battlefield in your auto or bus (Note: I did not get an opportunity to take this tour, but from those who have, I understand that it is well worth it!).

Groups and individuals may make advance reservations for the Theater/Cyclorama experience, a tour with a licensed guide, and a visit to Eisenhower National Historic Site by calling 1-877-874-2478.

 

During summer months, park rangers give walks, talks, and programs at various locations on the battlefield to help you understand the battle and its impact on the soldiers, civilians, and the nation.

 

The best way to sense the land and Gettysburg’s past is to walk the battlefield as thousands of soldiers once did. The Cemetery Ridge Trail, about 1.5-miles long, begins at the visitor center and covers the ground defended by Union soldiers in repulsing Pickett’s Charge.

 

The National Cemetery Trail begins at the National Cemetery parking area and covers the cemetery grounds, where the Union dead from the battle are interred and Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address.

 

For longer hikes, inquire about the 9.5-mile Billy Yank Trail or the 3-mile Johnny Reb Trail. Both trails are used by the Boy Scouts of America as part of their Heritage Trails Program.

 

For information about motel accommodation, restaurants, privately owned campgrounds, museums, and other facilities in the community, check at the visitors’ center with a representative of the Gettysburg Convention & Visitor Bureau. You can also write them at P.O. Box 4117, Gettysburg, PA 17325, or check www.gettysburg.travel.

 

For more information contact: Gettysburg National Military Park, 1195 Baltimore Pike, Gettysburg, PA 17325. Phone: 717-334-1124. Website: www.nps.gov/gett.

 

OTHER WAYS TO EXPERIENCE GETTYSBURG

 

Some of the other ways to experience Gettysburg, including other historical attractions are as follows: This information is taken, in part, from the Official 2008 Gettysburg Convention & Visitors Bureau Attractions and Dining Guide.

 

EVENTS REMAINING IN 2008:

 

July 4-6, 2008

Annual Civil War Battle Reenactment, Gettysburg Anniversary Committee, PO Box 3482, Gettysburg; 717-338-1525, www.gettysburgreenactment.com

 

November 1-2, 2008

Autumn Gettysburg Civil War Show, Thomas Publications, Allstar Events Complex, Gettysburg; 717-642-6600, www.thomaspublications.com

 

November 19, 2008

145th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, Soldiers’ National Cemetery, Gettysburg; 717-337-6590.

 

November 22, 2008

Remembrance Day Parade and Ceremonies, Downtown Gettysburg; 717-334-6274.

 

November 24 – December 15, 2008

Candlelight Christmas Tour, Shriver House Museum, 309 Baltimore Street, Gettysburg; 717-337-2800, www.shriverhouse.org.

 

There are many other events listed in the guide. Please go to www.gettysburg.travel for more details.

 

ATTRACTIONS

 

On pages 8 to 23, there are over 50 attractions listed that would take you probably two-weeks to see them all. However, here is a very brief highlight of some of the things you can see and do while in Gettysburg relating to the history of the event.

 

American Civil War Museum

297 Steinwehr Avenue, Gettysburg; 717-334-6245, www.gettysburgmuseum.com. History comes alive! Utilizing life-sized wax figures, the two-part guided tour features 35 dioramas, followed by a digitally enhanced Battle of Gettysburg re-creation. Presentation includes with an animated Abraham Lincoln delivering the immortal Gettysburg Address. Great orientation to the four-year conflict; a must see for all ages.

 

American Stories Historic Walking Tours & Programs. By appointment; 717-624-8154.

 

Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides. Private guides tested and licensed by the National Park Service. Tours provided in the comfort of your own vehicle; 877-874-2478.

 

Battlefield Driving Tours. CD & Cassette self guided tours. Various locations; 717-337-1217.

 

David Wills House. Museum about President Lincoln and the Gettysburg Address. The David Wills House is the home where President Lincoln spent the evening (Nov 18, 1863) the night before he delivered the Gettysburg Address on November 19; 717-334-1124. www.mainstreetgettysburg.org.

 

Fields of Freedom at Gateway Theater. “Through discovered diaries, the 30-minute film immerses you in the lives of two soldiers preparing for the onslaught and unimaginably heroic charge, the ferocity of the battle and the anguish of its aftermath; 717-334-5577. www.gatewaygettysburg.com.

 

General Lee’s Headquarters. Historic Civil War Museum is housed in the Gettysburg headquarters of Confederate General Robert E. Lee where he and his staff planned the Battle of Gettysburg; 717-334-3141. www.civilwarheadquarters.com.

 

Gettysbike Tours. Guided bike tours by a National Park Service Licensed guide or rent a bike for your own touring; 717-752-7752. www.gettysbike.com.

 

Gettysburg Battlefield Bus Tours. Licensed bus tours open year round. 717-334-6296. www.gettysburgbattlefieldtours.com.

 

Gettysburg Diorama at Artillery Ridge Campground. This is a 35-minute narrated program using a 3-D miniature diorama of the entire battlefield. The presentation is uses narration, light and sound effects to tell the story of the three-day battle; 717-334-6408. www.artilleryridge.com

 

Gettysburg Expedition Guide by TravelBrains. The Guide includes a computer CD-ROM, a driving tour (tape or CD) and a 56-page full-color guidebook filled with detailed maps, photographs and trivia. Available online and at the Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center. 888-458-6475. www.travelbrains.com.

 

Gettysburg National Military Park Museum & Visitor Center (previously mentioned above). 866-889-1243. www.gettysburgfoundation.org.

 

Gettysburg National Military Park & Ranger Tours. Offers a full range of summer ranger programs, battlefield walks, evening campfire programs, special events, living history groups and band concerts related to the Battle of Gettysburg and President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Available mid-June through mid-August. 717-334-1124. www.nps.gov/gett.

 

Guided Historic Walking Tours. Tours providing quality interpretation and education that gives a better understanding of what life was like for the civilians in a town caught between the battle lines before, during and after the Battle of Gettysburg. 717-339-6161. www.mainstreetgettysburg.org.

 

Historic Battlefield Bus Tours. 717-334-8000.

 

Historic Church Walking Tours. 717-337-0733. www.historicchurchwalkingtours.org.

 

Jennie Wade House Museum. 717-334-4100. www.gettysburgbattlefieldtours.com

 

Lincoln Train Museum. Toy train museum featuring over 1000 trains and dioramas illustrating the railroad’s role during the Civil War. Also features the Presidential Train with President Lincoln as he travels to Gettysburg to dedicate the National Cemetery. 717-334-5678. www.gettysburgbattlefieldtours.com.

 

National Riding Stables at Artillery Ridge Campground. Two-hour guided horseback tours of Gettysburg National Military Park. 866-932-2674. www.artilleryridge.com.

 

The Rupp House. Features exhibits about the Rupp family, who lived in town during the Battle of Gettysburg. 717-334-7292. www.friendsofgettysburg.org. Admission free.

 

Shriver House Museum. Museum highlighting the Confederate occupation of Gettysburg through the story of George and Hettie Shriver who were residents during the Battle of Gettysburg. 717-337-2800. www.shriverhouse.org.

 

Soldier’s National Museum. 717-334-4890. www.gettysburgbattlefieldtours.com.

 

U.S. Christian Commission Museum. Visit the birthplace of Jennie Wade, and hear the story of brave civilians that helped soldiers during the war. 717-339-0339. www.usccgettysburg.org.

 

Underground Railroad Tours of Adams County. By appointment. Tours include a visit to two National Park Service’s Network to Freedom sites, the Yellow Hill Cemetery and the historic Menallen Friends Meetinghouse in Quaker Valley, where free Blacks and Quakers collaborated to help others find freedom. 717-528-8553. http://www.gettysburghistories.com.

 

There are also several ‘ghost and haunted Gettysburg’ tours available in town.

 

NOTE: I have done my best to accurately list correctly the names, phone numbers and website addresses here. If a mistake is found, please let me know and I will fix it ASAP.


Thanks and I hope you get a chance to go to Gettysburg one day soon.

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) 

 

—————————————————————–

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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 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: , , , ,

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

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: , ,

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)

 

 —————————————————————-

BARRY CAUCHON & AWESOMETALKS

INTRODUCTION

IMG_2846.1

Barry Cauchon is a professional speaker and Senior Project Manager working in the corporate, museum and touring exhibit industries since 1996. In 2004-2005, he was the Senior Project Manager for the touring exhibits “Diana: A Celebration” and “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs”; the renowned King Tut tour!

As a professional speaker, Barry brings his enthusiasm for history along with his own personal experiences from “behind the scenes”, to educational and professional organizations, sharing some of the ‘best practices’ from around the globe.

He is a champion of museum and corporate outreach programs and is presently developing, partly through this blog, a network of museums, schools, corporations, and other groups interested in sharing their expertise to the betterment of student education.

Barry takes this approach when speaking at high schools and colleges. His program “A Little Touch of History” is a lively, in-class presentation, where students are treated to a unique history lesson from a well known, major event and then allowed to interact with related artifacts. By allowing the students to physically ‘touch’ an actual piece of history, a personal attachment to the event is created. Barry writes:
“Thank you for joining me at AWESOMETALKS. As you can see, my career has blessed me with many amazing opportunities to ‘touch’ history and go behind the scenes where most people would never be allowed. It’s been fantastic and still continues to be. So this year I began thinking of ways to share this with others. Other than my own presentations to schools, I want to develop some teaching tools for educators that use some of the best practices from museum and corporate outreach programs around the world. I certainly don’t have all the answers so I encourage professionals and students alike to join me in building this blog and exchanging some really great ideas for our teachers to take into their classrooms. With your assistance, we can share ideas and experiences to benefit everyone.

Best

Barry

outreach@awesometalks.com

Published in: on Thursday, May 22, 2008 at '9:56 pm'  Comments (2)  
Tags: , ,