November 01, 2010: Barry Cauchon

The following WHAT IF questions have no bearing on real history and are proposed here solely for entertainment and to provoke intelligent discussion. Feel free to add your own.

WHAT IF… Jack the Ripper had been captured alive and studied by medical men in 1888, and those studies then used years later to help experts in understanding future serial killers. How many lives might have been saved?

WHAT IF… Astronaut Neil Armstrong had broken his leg five weeks prior to the launch of Apollo 11. Would he still have been the first man to walk on the moon?

WHAT IF… Adolf Hitler and other key members of the Nazi party had been passengers on the Hindenburg when it burst into flames as it attempted to dock at Lakehurst , NJ on May 7, 1936? Assuming they did not survive, how would history have been changed without these men there to drive their party’s agenda?

WHAT IF… Elvis Presley had not died at the age of 42 in 1977? Would he have had a huge comeback and produced many more memorable songs that we would all know and consider classics today?

WHAT IF… Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated in 1862, three years prior to his actual death in 1865, and only part way through his first term as President? How would it have affected the outcome of the Civil War?

WHAT IF… all four of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln’s children had lived to ripe old ages. Only one reached adulthood. Might there have been another Lincoln in the White House?




Published in: on Monday, November 1, 2010 at '5:24 pm'  Comments (1)  
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Here are some December birthdays for Lincoln’s friends and foes. And perhaps a few contemporaries who lived during his time but whom he may not have been personally acquainted with.

  George B. McLellan – Major General (Union). Born December 3, 1826. Age 186.

  George Armstrong Custer – Major General (Union) & Indian fighter. Born December 5, 1839. Age 174.

  Henry Wells – Founder of the American Express Co. and Wells, Fargo & Company. Born December 12, 1805. Age 207.

  Mary Todd Lincoln – Wife of President Abraham Lincoln. Born December 13, 1818. Age 194.

general-hartranft-2-tex  Brevet Major General John Hartranft – Read the Order of Execution on the scaffold to the four condemned Lincoln conspirators. He later became Governor of Pennsylvania from 1872 to 1879. Born December 16, 1830. Age 182.

  Edwin M. Stanton – Secretary of War (1861-1865). Born December 19, 1814. Age 198. 

  Dr. Samuel A. Mudd – One of eight Lincoln conspirators put on trial for Lincoln’s assassination. Dr. Mudd set John Wilkes Booth broken leg while on the run. Born December 20, 1833. Age 179.

  Christopher “Kit” Carson –  American frontiersman. Born December 24, 1809. Age 203.

Happy birthday lady & gentlemen!




Mr. Lincoln In Enemy Territory? by Laurie Verge

April 21, 2009: Barry Cauchon

This afternoon I was having a nice discussion with Laurie Verge, the Director of the Surratt House Museum, when she told me about a recent visit the museum had by a large group of Lincolns, Mary Todd Lincolns and one General Ulysses S. Grant. I couldn’t picture this humorous event so I ask her if she could send me a picture. She did one better, Laurie directed me to Abraham Lincoln Online where she posted the following story. As well, the photos were all posted on Flickr  http://flickr.com/gp/pgparks/03YE97 of which some are reproduced here. All photos were taken by Cassi Hayden/M-NCPPC.

Laurie was kind enough to allow me to reprint her article and some of the photos. Thanks Laurie. I enjoyed them a lot.


That's a whole lot of Lincolns here!!!!!

That's a whole lot of Lincolns here!!!!!


Mr. Lincoln in Enemy Territory?  by Laurie Verge

After 144 years, has all been forgiven?

Today, April 17, 2009, fifty Mr. Lincoln presenters, several Mrs. Lincolns, and one General Grant, ventured into the heart of Southern Maryland, a hot bed of Confederate sympathies and espionage activities during the Civil War. Their target? A visit to historic Surratt House Museum, where guns, ammunition, and other supplies had been hidden in March of 1865 as part of an aborted kidnap plot against the president. These items ultimately brought Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth, to the home within two hours of shooting Mr. Lincoln on April 14, 1865 – resulting ultimately in the arrest, trial, and execution of Mary Elizabeth Surratt and bringing about one of history’s mysteries: Did the lady deserve to die?

The Lincoln presenters are holding their annual convention at the Colony South Hotel in Clinton, (once Surrattsville) Maryland, just down the road from Surratt House. Costumed guides at the museum were quick to point out that, in 1860, Mr. Lincoln earned only one vote in the county. He did a little better in 1864. Throughout the war, Surratt House served as a stop on the Confederate underground route that ran from the Potomac River to the Union capital.

Today, both sides were very friendly; and the entourage of Brady photographers that followed the presidents all day captured many memorable pictures – including a group photo posed at the front door that stopped rush hour traffic on the road that runs past the museum.

Laurie Verge, Surratt House Museum

Photos by Cassi Hayden














Mini Posting #1 – “Laura F. Keyes – Congratulations”

March 26, 2009: Barry Cauchon

I want to send out a great big CONGRATULATIONS  to Laura F. Keyes. Last night Laura performed her one woman show as Mary Todd Lincoln for the second time and I hear it went wonderfully. WAY TO GO, LAURA!!!!!!

Laura F. Keyes as Mrs. Mary Todd Lincoln in her own 'one woman show'.

Laura F. Keyes as Mrs. Mary Todd Lincoln in her own 'one woman show'.

If you’d like to learn more about Laura, please read the interview I did with her in January, 2009. Click on the following link: https://awesometalks.wordpress.com/2009/01/26/an-awesometalk-with-laura-frances-keyes-mary-todd-lincoln-performer/




Published in: on Thursday, March 26, 2009 at '5:02 pm'  Comments (2)  
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“An Awesometalk With” LAURA FRANCES KEYES, Mary Todd Lincoln performer

January 26, 2009: Barry Cauchon



Laura Keyes as Mary Todd Lincoln. Photography by Andrioli

Hi and welcome to another “An Awesometalk With”. Today I have the pleasure of speaking with Miss Laura Frances Keyes. Laura is a talented actress and researcher who lives in Rockton, Illinois. She has an impressive resume, having performed in over 30 different plays in the past ten years. But now, 2009 brings a new challenge for her. Laura is taking on her first ‘one woman show’ with a performance of Mary Todd Lincoln, a historical figure who is near and dear to Laura’s heart.




Actress Laura Keyes performs as Mary Todd Lincoln in her own 'one woman show'


BC: Welcome Laura. It’s wonderful to speak with you today.


LK: Thank you. This is really an honor.


BC: Well, it’s actually an honor for me because I have never spoken with a Mary Todd Lincoln performer. So thank you for joining me.


LK: Of course!


BC: I want to start off by asking you about your ‘one woman show’. Would you tell us about it, along with the setting and how you portray Mary?


LK: Well, as you said, it is a one woman show. My working title is called “Mrs. Lincoln”. If I come up with anything snazzier later on perhaps I’ll use it (laughing). It is currently in development, which means that just a couple of weeks ago I was still doing research and I am still finishing up writing and editing the play. And in a sense, it is a play. Some people might call it just a 45 minute monologue but I consider it a short play because it has a setting. It has characters. It will have development. It has a short introduction and it will have an ending and not have me just saying a final sentence and walking out of the room.


BC: What is the time period of the piece?


LK: It will be set in the late afternoon of Friday, the 14th of April, 1865 which, as many scholars will know, is just a few hours before the Lincolns leave the White House to go see the play “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC.


BC: That’s an interesting time period you chose for Mary Lincoln for sure. What lead you to use that particular moment as compared to a different one in her life?


LK: Well, to be perfectly honest, I did choose another time period in her life to start off with. My first thoughts were to set the one woman show in the middle of 1875 when she was confined to Bellevue Asylum after she was declared insane.

But through a number of persuasions and other decisions, I decided to go with this.

I did choose this day because there had been so much sadness in Mary’s entire life. Her mother died when she was 7 years old. And people just kept on dying throughout her life. By 1865, she had lost two of her sons, her father, and her grandmother with whom she was very close. Many of her brothers and brothers-in-law she had lost, not physically, but emotionally, because they had fought for the Confederacy. In essence, they were lost. She never spoke to them again. She had known so much loss in her life.

But then, for five days, from the 9th of April, when the war ended, to the 14th of April, that was probably the happiest time in her life.  There was nothing bad that could happen. The war was ended. She might have been looking forward to reconciling with some of her siblings although that’s very unclear. We do not have definitive evidence one way or the other. So to answer your question I set the play on this day because it was so happy. There is evidence in letters and journals that said Abraham and Mary were both so happy on this day. They took a private carriage ride and were looking forward to when and where they would retire, after his term was over. And then the whole world comes down around her ears.


BC: So by choosing this particular setting, you’ve put Mary in the moment before the crisis, in the calm before the storm. It’s a really nice piece of theatrical staging because your audience knows what’s about to happen, but you, as Mary, are not yet at that stage. You…are still in that happy place.

Briefly how is the play set up? Do you just speak for 45 minutes or is there a preface before the start to help explain the premise?


LK: There will be a short introduction done by another individual. Usually the host of wherever I will be performing. And that introduction will be written by me and I will just hand that person the card to read. And as you said, it will simply set the scene, it will remind the people of the date, because I do think that is important to really make clear that Abraham is still alive. Then the program will be for about 40 minutes followed by a social time for me to answer questions that the audience might have.


BC: You’ve really impressed me with your vast knowledge of Mary Lincoln. You’ve obviously done an incredible amount of research on her. From what you told me before the interview, you have a background in professional research. Do you not?


LK: I do indeed. I have Masters Degree in Library Studies which I earned in 2007. And before that, I was English major. And so I am very used to doing lots of research and writing about it. The difficult thing in this process has been to write this performance because I’m used to writing in a detached, academic way. I’m not used to writing in first person. I’ve had lots of fun while doing it. Many times I would just continue reading the books and then I’d have to go back and remind myself to take notes.

Many of the books written in the past three years have been of great benefit to me because some new evidence has come to light regarding Mary Lincoln. And they have been more…well researched. That’s just my opinion but I think they are better researched than ones from a couple decades ago.


BC: And you’ve obviously combined this talent for research with your love of acting. As I hinted at the beginning of this interview, your resume is quite extensive. I was quite amazed to see that you have performed in over 30 different plays since 1999.


LK: That is correct. And that is how I got involved in this.


BC: And to that point, our audience should know that this is not the first time you’ve played Mary Lincoln.


LK: You’re absolutely right. This whole thing started a little less than a year ago when a friend of mine that I had previously worked with called me up and she said “I’m going to be doing a play in the summer and I want to send you a copy”. Now we’ve acquainted with each other for awhile so I knew that she was not outright telling me that she was going to give me a role. That would have been unprofessional. However she definitely wanted me to read it and she wanted to know my opinion of it. And in conjunction with the sesquicentennial of the Lincoln-Douglas debates (http://www.lincoln-douglas.org/) that were first given in 1858, Freeport, Illinois (which was a site of one of the original debates) was going to produce a play. And their original intent was to produce a play about Lincoln. And when my friend, Lynn Jones, was searching for a play, she actually found that a lot of plays about Lincoln were kind of boring and kind of dull and kind of blah! And they always ended the same way. And so she found one simply called “Mrs. Lincoln”. It was written by Thomas Cullinan published in 1969. It was very gripping. One year ago I did not know everything that went on with Mary and her being declared insane. After reading the play I started my own research. So when it came time to audition I was there the first night. And still, I was shocked when Lynn cast me in the role of Mary. Mary was 56 years old in 1875 and, at that point in time, I was 25 years old. I was shocked. I thought that she had made a joke, but she said that I could do it. And it took me a couple of weeks to be convinced that I could do it.


BC: And just to clarify, the setting for this particular play is 1875 versus 1865 which you will be doing now.


LK: Yes. That play that I did in the summer of 2008 was set in the summer of 1875 when Mary Lincoln was declared insane by a court of law and confined to Bellevue Asylum in Batavia, Illinois. It was very intense, but I found that I was immediately drawn to Mary and to her story and to her struggle that she went through to be understood – to try and convince people that she was not insane. And that’s why I first started to do my research. I shared whatever I found with the rest of the cast.


BC: You mentioned that when you played 56 year old Mary you were 25 at the time. So to age you on stage, that must have been an interesting process. How did they accomplish this and will you be following a similar approach in your current play?


LK: First of all it won’t be a similar situation if only because right now I am portraying Mary at 46 and because I want to keep the idea of her being happy and, in a sense, full of life I’m not going to age myself that much.

However things could change. Perhaps I will receive comments that I should age myself. But for now, my decision is to keep her young looking.


Regarding what happened in the play, early on we made that decision that we were going to age me actually beyond 56. Our aim was early 60s because our thought process was that Mary had been through so much stress in her life. We did have one photograph of Mary taken in 1875. And she looked older; she looked old and tired, like a very stressed woman. And so our aim was to make me look like someone in her early 60s.


I had a team of one hairdresser, two make up artists, and a personal costumer who worked on me every single night. And it was such a process! It took an hour and twenty minutes from start to finish. On the last performance, I asked someone to take photographs of me going through every stage of the process. I wanted to remember this. Not only did I want to remember the people who helped (because I couldn’t have done this on my own), I wanted to remind myself that it took a long time to get into that. And that was just the outward appearance of her. I had to work on adjusting my posture. Not just because I was in two different corsets throughout the play, but it was the idea that one would not have moved very quickly in 1875. Nowadays we are used to moving very quickly – jumping up from your desk or go running and talk to the person over here and answer the phone. But back then there was no reason to move very quickly…unless there was a fire or something.


BC: (chuckles)


LK: I had to work at moving a little bit more slowly, but not so slowly that people thought I was under water. I did read somewhere, but can’t remember the reference, that she did suffer from arthritis so I tried to be careful of that. Also, I added some gestures and little ticks just to make her an interesting person because no person is ever perfectly, perfectly still. They have little habits that people don’t even notice that they are doing. And there are other little things that I added, especially in one scene where Mary has a very long discussion with her son. There were moments of silence which were actually very uncomfortable on stage. As an actor you’re trained to never want silence… you always want something going on. Well there had to be silence in this scene because the silence spoke just as much as the words – there is a reason why these people weren’t speaking. And so I had to think of something to do while there was silence. And so all of these outward appearances, they all came together to be Mary Lincoln.


I put so much time and effort into this, that when it was over I cried because it was such a wonderful experience. But I never thought that it would continue.


BC: You had a lot of really great feedback on your performance and because of that it started you thinking about portraying Mary again. Is that correct?


LK: Yes. Three different people within three weeks called me and asked if I would give a talk on Mrs. Lincoln. And at first they didn’t want me to come dressed up. They thought that I would just come and share my experiences and share the research that I had done. The first person that asked me I said “Oh, maybe. I don’t know. Let me think about it.” And the second person that asked me I said “Oh, well, that would be interesting.” And by the time the third person asked me (and these people did not discuss amongst themselves. I know they didn’t) I was so surprised I actually said “You know, there might be something to this . . .!” And that’s when I started talking to some friends who are Civil War re-enactors. My friend Donna said “Oh Laura, this could be great. You would love to do this. This would be perfect for you.” And so it was through the help of a number of my friends, especially these Civil War re-enactors, that I started down the right path on First-Person Interpretation.


BC: What is the premise of your one woman show? Do you address the more somber side of Mary? Her history of mood swings, ill temperament, etc. Or does the play center on just the happy time you discussed earlier? Is any of Mary’s history brought up in the story?


LK: This one woman play won’t really address the different mood swings and behavioral issues that were very prevalent in the play that I did and have been much commented on. And I’ve decided not to address them because I would like to focus on the good times and the happy moments. I have set up a situation where Mary is talking with her seamstress, Lizzy Keckley, who is also a little known person in history. But Lizzy is slowly making a comeback.


BC: …a former slave who became her seamstress.


LK: That is correct. By many accounts, they were very close friends. Lizzy was a seamstress who owned her own store in Washington DC; She closed that down in order to be a companion to Mary Lincoln. And they were very close. There were many letters showing that they were very close friends. And so the situation that I have set up in my one woman show is that Mary is reminiscing to Lizzy and the audience just happens to be there and be listening in.


BC: I did want to ask about you how you got into theater? Did your family get you into it or visa versa?


LK: Kind of visa versa. I was always interested in theater through elementary school. When I was in 5th grade I had the lead role in the Wizard of Oz – I was Dorothy.


BC: That’s not on your resume (laughing)!


LK: It isn’t because that was 5th grade.


BC: Thirty-one plays and counting!


LK: Throughout high school I took theater classes; I was in the drama club. And it broadened my horizons to learn that sometimes it doesn’t matter how talented you are, the director still casts her favorite.


BC: (chuckling)


LK: So soon after that, I did branch further out into community theater. I became involved with a few theater companies. I was on the Board of Directors of one for a while. And after a few years, I began to get my father involved. My father has a very good singing voice and has always been a bit of a clown. Slowly but surely I got him to audition for things. And to this day, he really enjoys doing it. He’s had some very good roles and I’m very proud of him.


The rest of my family has gotten just a little bit involved. My younger sister was happy to help with costumes and such before she got into Nursing school which takes up a lot of her time right now. And my mother enjoys being on the script committee and participating behind the scenes.



Laura's dress was made by a local seamstress in Rockton, Illinois. Photography by Andrioli

BC: Did you make your own costume or dress for this?


LK: I did not, no. While I do have a number of costume credits to my name, I purposely tried not to volunteer myself for doing a lot of things for the play in the summer of 2008, because I knew I would be really involved learning all those lines. I did do little things such as point out lots of historical inaccuracies (laughing). After awhile I think that those costume and prop ladies didn’t like my suggestions, although I was trying to be nice about it. But I would point out things like “You know, they didn’t have Velcro back then. You might want to change that”. Or “They didn’t have plastic back then, might we get a cup made out of china”? They had a ball point pen on stage …


BC: (laughing)


LK: … and I said “No, no, no. fountain pens I believe were invented in 1885. We’re talking about 1875. No one has a time machine here”!


And so for my presentation, I’ve actually purchased one of the dresses that I wore in the play. It was leant to the theater by a local seamstress and once I knew I was doing this presentation, I called her up and I made her an offer and she accepted it. The dress is very well made. It had to be adjusted just a little bit as the hemline was a little short for me. The dress was adjusted by my friend Donna and now it fits me wonderfully. It looks gorgeous. I had my portrait taken in it…


BC: …which looks fantastic. Two of the photos are posted here in this article.


LK: Yes, thank you for including them. The photographer Andrioli did a wonderful job.


I did make many items that will be used during my presentation – my reticule, things like that that. Also …umm, okay, I made all the underclothing; there I can just say it!


BC: (laughing)


LK: …but you’ll never see those. And that’s actually many layers of underclothing that you’ll never see that I made myself.


BC: Knowing what Victorian undergarments even looked like along with knowing what was required to make those dresses … ahh … ‘puff out’, is definitely not my specialty (laughing) as you can tell.


LK: (laughing)


BC: So I will trust that your sewing talents have been true to form.


Umm…after that awkward little moment, let me ask you this Laura. Where and when is your first performance?


LK: It will be on the 12th of February, Abraham’s birthday. And it will be at Talcott Free Library (www.talcotfreelibrary.com), here in Rockton. The ladies there have always been very good to me. A couple months ago when I when I first started this research they noticed that I was checking out lots of Lincoln books and I was requesting Lincoln books from different libraries.  Eventually they agreed that any new Lincoln books to come in, I was the first one to get them. And so it’s kind of a small town library atmosphere. But I’m really looking forward to it. I will truly be amongst friends when I do it for the first time.


BC: Terrific. Do you have any future plans or hopes?


LK: I did receive, through a third party, a name and phone number of a woman who wants me to give a performance for them back in Freeport.


Also, I have just received an invitation to do the same presentation for a group of librarians in Rockford (IL) in April, so we are just making those final arrangements.


I have applied for membership with the Association of Lincoln Presenters which is an association that has about 250 members.


BC: And that’s nationwide, too!


LK: That is correct. They have number of members from all over the nation. This association does have a website and also a link to Abraham and Mary presenters that interested parties could contact. I’ve yet to learn if I have been accepted into the Association. I had to write some small essays in order to apply for membership.


They have a very good mission statement. On the application form, they asked me what evidence I could give them to show that I have done this before and if I had, had I done it successfully. And so I had nothing to give them except the newspaper clippings that were written for the play. I was interviewed for the newspaper a handful of times during the summer of 2008 while the play was going on. So, I sent that in and hopefully I will learn about that soon.


BC: Laura, I hope it really works out for you. It’s been a very interesting and informative interview and I’ve really enjoyed talking with you today. Is there anything you’d like to share with the folks here before we close off?


LK: I want to say thank you to you, Barry, and everyone else who is reading this interview. I appreciate the interest in Abraham and Mary Lincoln. I really do. Even though I am not a history major, I’ve always been interested in history and as some random famous person once said “Those who do not know history are cursed to repeat it”! I do agree with that in the sense that I think everyone should know their history. My personal mission is that I want to educate people of Mary Lincoln’s true life. There are so many books out there but a lot of people would much rather sit and listen to a 40 minute presentation rather than sit and read a book that would take them a weekend to read. So that is my mission. I can only hope that I accomplish that mission and I thank the people for being interested in reading this blog and for possibly coming to see a performance.


BC: Laura, thank you very much.


LK: Thank you.


BC: If anyone is interested in contacting Laura to book a performance, you can either contact her at the following email address: Keyes97 AT aol DOT com or leave a message on my email at outreach@awesometalks.com and I’ll make sure she receives your inquiry.











Other interviews posted to date:

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

“An Awesometalk With” ROBERT KRAUSS, 509th Composite Group Historian (posted on December 16, 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)



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.





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  
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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.


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




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)