FRANK J. WILLIAMS
The Spoken Word and Group Activities
For 21 years, Duke Russell has produced and directed the Annual Abraham Lincoln Remembrance in Los Angeles on February 12. This year, Jack Girardi, Esq., delivered Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg declaration.
The University of Illinois-Springfield hosted the symposium, Slavery and Emancipation: Global Perspectives, from February 28 to March 2.
The 19th annual convention of the Association of Lincoln Presenters was held in Columbus, OH, April 19-21, with three dozen Abes and 30 Mary Todd Lincolns.
On May 17, Frank J. Williams spoke about “Judging Lincoln as a Judge” at the Middlesex (MA) County Superior Court.
Frank J. Williams was the keynote speaker for the 44th Annual Memorial Day Program at Triton Regional High School, Runnemede, NJ, on May 24, honoring the nine graduates who gave their lives during the Vietnam War. He also presented “Winning the War: Civil War Baseball” at the 25th Anniversary Conference of the Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball & American Culture, Cooperstown, NY, on May 30.
James Tackach presented a paper, “The Emancipation at 150: Impact and Legacy,” at the annual American Literature Association Conference in Boston on May 25. He also discussed “Lincoln and the Fourteenth Amendment” at the Central Massachusetts Civil War Round Table (Holden, MA) on June 26.
Frank J. Williams and David H. Leroy served on the panel Lincoln on Ethics and Professionalism for the Washington State Bar Association (Seattle) on June 18.
On June 21, Frank J. Williams delivered “Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis as Presidents” at Lee Park & Arlington Hall Conservancy (Dallas, TX).
On June 22, George Buss, as Abraham Lincoln, and Gary Declue, as Senator Stephen A. Douglas, delivered half-hour performances replicating the Quincy, IL, debate.
On June 26, Sara Gabbard presented “1863: Lincoln’s Pivotal Year” at the Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, IN.
Richard Norton Smith’s lecture, “Hail to the Chief,” was presented at the DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX, on July 14. It was accompanied by an exhibit, Hail to the Chief: Presidential History in Word and Image.
The Museum of the City of New York hosted a discussion, “The Civil War Draft Riots at 150: Remembering and Depicting the Largest Civil Insurrection in the Nation’s History,” with Craig Steven Wilder as moderator and Ric Burns, Kevin Baker, and Joshua Brown as panelists on July 15.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, IL, hosted Thomas Mackey as the first of its 2013 Summer Authors. Mackey signed copies of his A Documentary History of the Civil War Era: Volume 1, Legislative Achievements on July 16. He was followed by John Burt on July 24 (Lincoln’s Tragic Pragmatism: Lincoln, Douglas, and Moral Conflict) and John Stauffer (co-author of Battle Hymn of the Republic: A Biography of the Song That Marches On) on August 22.
New York City’s Century Club Committee on the Archives hosted The City, The Century and The Civil War panel with Harold Holzer, Kenneth T. Jackson and Barnet Schecter on July 18. It was followed by a dinner that might have been served in President Lincoln’s White House.
Fred Zillian produced A Tribute to the Battle of Gettysburg that was performed at the Newport (RI) Casino Theater on July 26, with Zillian as Abraham Lincoln and Ray Rickman as Frederick Douglass, along with a 42-piece orchestra conducted by Troy Quinn. Frank J. Williams moderated.
Frank J. Williams presented “Gettysburg at 150” at the Beechwood Center for Life Enrichment, North Kingstown, RI, on July 26.
The Lincoln, Colored Warriors and the Spirit of Freedom, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, was held on August 3 at the Old State Capitol State Historic Site in Springfield, IL, with Hari Jones, Director of the African-American Civil War Memorial in Washington as keynote speaker.
The Lincoln Shrine, Redlands, CA, hosted the conference, 1863: The Turning Point Civil War Symposium, on September 21 and 22.
The Twenty-eighth Annual Lincoln Colloquium was held on September 28 at Knox College, Galesburg, IL, Rethinking Herndon: Has His Role in Lincoln Studies Changed?, with Douglas L. Wilson (“Herndon on Lincoln’s Fatal Attraction”); Thomas Schwartz (“Not Even Wrong: Herndon and His Informants”); Richard Carwardine (“Simply a Theist: Herndon on Lincoln’s Religion”); and Michael Burlingame (“Why a New Biography of Herndon?”).
Matthew Karp, “Transnational Significance of the American Civil War: A Global History,” appeared in the Bulletin of the German Historical Institute (Spring 2013).
Leonie O’Hara, “The Irish,” appeared in Ireland of the Welcomes (July/August 2013). It argues that Bram Stoker’s Dracula may have come from Irish horror stories.
Robert J. Lenz, “Juan Rafael Mora and Abraham Lincoln: Men of Steel,” appeared in For the People (Summer 2013).
Frederick C. Skvara, “Battle of Gettysburg,” appeared in American Philatelic News (June 2013). It discusses the 2011 St. Kitts souvenir sheet showing Robert E. Lee and George C. Meade.
Elizabeth Lowry reviewed Jim Steinmeyer’s “Who Was Dracula” for the Wall Street Journal (June 29, 2013).
Sierra Leone issued a souvenir sheet of the Lincoln Memorial on its 90th anniversary (A605); St. Kitts issued a souvenir sheet of Lincoln (A233); and the Marshall Islands issued a Lincoln stamp as one of a pane of 45 American presidents.
Crown/Random House has published Lincoln in the World: The Making of a Statesman and the Dawn of American Power by Kevin Peraino.
John Boyko has written Blood and Daring: How Canada Fought the American Civil War and Forged a Nation (Knopf).
Fergus M. Bordewich discussed “How America’s Civil War Changed the World” in the April 9-10 Wall Street Journal. Bordewich believes the war changed the world “for the better” with Union victory even though it was not a world war. America could not have become a super power to “intervene on behalf of democracy around the world, without such a victory.”
Arts & Entertainment
From June 7-29, the Lincoln Boyhood Drama Association hosted performances of the musical, A. Lincoln: a Pioneer Tale, at the Lincoln Boyhood Home, Lincoln City, IN.
Bill Bleyer wrote about the dedication of sculptor Frank Porcu’s Lincoln bust at the New-York Historical Society in the June Civil War News.
Sculptor Mel Zapata has produced half-sized reproductions of all three versions of John Rogers’s Council of War (email@example.com).
A new edition of James Daugherty’s Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, with illustrations by the author and an afterword by Gabor Boritt, has been published by Albert Whitman & Company.
Lincoln sculptor John McClarey is at work on his new Abraham Lincoln, Leadership, which will emphasize Lincoln’s stewardship and healing of a “House divided.”
After three years of uncertainty, a seven-foot bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln is now standing on the marble steps of the Adams County Library in Gettysburg. Utah sculptor Stanley J. Watts created the statue which was donated by a New York City businessman.
Divided: Mary Lincoln and Emilie Todd Helm: Divided Families, Divided Loyalties, Divided Country was performed on July 14 at the Lincoln Home Visitor Center, Springfield, IL.
Civil Wars ran through August 16 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York’s West Village. Produced by Theatreworks USA’s free summer theater program, it was written by Arthur Perlman who also wrote the songs’ lyrics.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened its exhibition, Photography in the American Civil War, on April 1.
Objects of Valor: Commemorating the Civil War in Pennsylvania is on view at the state museum in Harrisburg. Mark Yost wrote about it in the May 15 Wall Street Journal.
Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum’s exhibit in Allentown, PA, Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Greatness, explores Pennsylvania’s impact on the 16th president’s life. The spring issue of Pennsylvania Heritage described the exhibit.
Lincoln artist Wendy Allen exhibited her paintings of Abraham Lincoln at the Adams County Arts Council’s Arts Education Center, Gettysburg, as part of the Council’s Battle of Gettysburg Sesquicentennial Observance. An artist’s reception for her book, Lincoln Into Art: 1983-2013, opened the exhibit on June 7.
The Yale University Library featured Hail to the Chief: Presidents in the Gilmore Archives.
The Library of Congress exhibit, The Civil War in America, now has 230 new items including recruitment posters, original manuscripts of President Lincoln’s First and Second Inaugural Addresses and the haversack that Walt Whitman carried as he visited soldiers in Washington hospitals. The exhibit will run through January 4, 2014.
Civil War Sesquicentennial
The Gettysburg 150th anniversary commemoration observed the Battle of Gettysburg for 10 days from June 28 through July 7 with some 400 events, including special tours and exhibits, the opening of the Seminary Ridge Museum, and living history programs.
To help commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, Emily Brennan provided “36 Hours: Gettysburg, PA” in an op-ed for the June 30 New York Times.
The 2015 Lincoln Funeral Coalition produced a video which can now be viewed on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGjSBNdI3-k. Katie Spindell, chair of the coalition, indicated that the commemoration will begin on April 14, 2015 with a reproduction of Our American Cousin at the Springfield Theatre Center with the reenactment of the funeral occurring on May 3, 2015—a day before the actual funeral which was held on May 4, 1865.
Awards and Prizes
Former President William Jefferson Clinton accepted the 2013 Lincoln Leadership Prize from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation on May 4, 2013.
Beginning in February 2014, a new $50,000 prize for the best book in military history will be awarded. Known as the Guggenheim-Lehrman Prize, it is intended to restore military history as important in university curricula. The Guggenheim Foundation and Lewis E. Lehrman are financing the prize jointly.
Dan Weinberg of the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop has published his Catalog 172 (www.alincolnbookshop.com).
The property where Abraham Lincoln lived while visiting General George B. McClellan after the battle of Antietam is for sale. It comes with some acreage and a horse barn. The cost: $450,000.
Springfield, IL Mayor J. Michael Houston dedicated the new main entrance to Oak Ridge Cemetery where Abraham Lincoln is interred on June 4.
Two professors at Illinois State University, Nerida Ellerton and Ken Clements, have figured out that a fragment of Abraham Lincoln’s math homework, currently housed in Harvard’s Houghton Library, is part of a larger arithmetic manuscript. No other manuscript is known that predates it, believes Leslie Morris, Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts at the Harvard Houghton Library. Housed at Harvard since 1954, it was originally part of a collection from Lincoln’s law partner, William H. Herndon. According to the research, the page is the 11th leaf in Lincoln’s arithmetic set completed by him while attending schools in Indiana between 1820 and 1826. The problem included the following questions: “If the tuition of 3 boys for two quarters of a year be $40-20 cts how much will the tuition of 60 boys amount to for 4 ½ years?” “If 4 men in 5 days eat 7 lb. of bread, how much will be sufficient for 16 men in 16 days?” If 100 dollars in one year gain 3 ½ dollars interest, what sum will gain $38.50 cents in one year and a quarter?”
Photographer William A. Frassanito, who has created a legacy of identifying Civil War photographs and their locations taken at Gettysburg and Antietam, was profiled by Michael E. Ruane in the June 30 Washington Post.
Michael E. Ruane wrote about the “hidden” room at the Gettysburg National Military Park’s Visitor Center with its vast collection not on display (Washington Post, July 2, 2013).
On July 21, The State Journal-Register, in an article by Tara McClellan McAndrew, published “Accidental Landmark” with a profile of Ford’s Theatre.
Kathryn Rem wrote about the little known GAR Memorial Museum in Springfield, IL, which houses many Civil War artifacts (The State Journal-Register, July 28, 2013).
The State Journal-Register, Springfield, IL, asked in a July 30 editorial that funding for the Lincoln Papers Project be restored. A five-year, $1.4 million grant has expired with no promise of renewal. 60% of the project’s $775,000 annual budget has been cut, threatening the end of the project. There are about 75,000 Lincoln-related documents that still need to be examined and archived.
The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency announced the placement of a marker to commemorate Thomas Lincoln’s (Abraham’s father) militia service during the War of 1812 when he served in the Kentucky state militia’s 3rd Regiment for Hardin County. A marker recognizing his military service was placed on his grave August 31 at the Thomas Lincoln Cemetery, near the Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site, Decatur, IL.
Books and Pamphlets
Benjamin Franklin Cooling, III, wrote The Day Lincoln Was Almost Shot: The Fort Stevens Story (Scarecrow Press).
Martin P. Johnson has authored Writing the Gettysburg Address (University Press of Kansas).
John C. Rodrigue is the author of Lincoln and Reconstruction, the latest volume of the “Concise Lincoln Library” from Southern Illinois University Press.
John W. Schildt (P.O. Box 145, Sharpsburg, MD 21782) has written Lincoln at Antietam—In the Footsteps of Lincoln: A Self-guided Tour.
John Stauffer and Benjamin Soskis are the authors of The Battle Hymn of the Republic: A Biography of the Song that Marches On (Oxford University Press).
Visits With Lincoln: Abolitionists Meet the President at the White House by Barbara A. White has been published by Lexington Books.
Lincoln’s Citadel: The Civil War in Washington, D.C., by Kenneth J. Winkle, has been published by W.W. Norton.
Civil War Sesquicentennial and Related Books
Gettysburg: The Last Invasion by Allen C. Guelzo has been published by Knopf.
Victor Davis Hansen’s The Savior Generals: How Five Great Commanders Saved Wars That Were Lost—From Ancient Greece to Iraq includes “Atlanta is Ours and Fairly Won” about General William Tecumseh Sherman’s “gift to Abraham Lincoln” in the summer of 1864.
The Politics of Faith During the Civil War by Timothy L. Wesley has been published by LSU Press.
Deborah Willis and Barbara Krauthamer are the authors of Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery (Temple University Press).
The Winter 2012 Lincoln Herald included “Lincoln’s Men Offer Their Advice” by Patricia Owens and “Belated Revelations of the Assassination Committee-From the Archives” by the late Hans Trefousse.
The March Civil War History included a historian’s forum on the Emancipation Proclamation with Martha S. Jones, Kate Masur, Louis Masur, James Oakes, and Manisha Sinha. Also in this issue was Michael Robinson’s “William Henry Seward and the Onset of the Secession Crisis.”
“Meditation on Mortality” by John J. Miller explored Thomas Gray’s Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard, which Abraham Lincoln quoted to liken his early life to “…the short and simple annals of the poor,” appeared in the May 18-19 Wall Street Journal.
The June Atlantic included Mark Bowden’s “Abraham Lincoln is an Idiot—the Difficulty of Recognizing Excellence in his own Time.”
National Review online, on June 5, contained Rich Lowry’s “Lincoln Defended, the Case Against the Critics of our 16th President.” (www.nationalreview.com).
David H. Leroy wrote “A Lincoln Legacy for the West” for the Abraham Lincoln Association’s summer newsletter For the People.
Eric Foner wrote “The Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Origins of Birthright Citizenship” for the summer Marquette Lawyer.
The summer issue of Notre Dame Magazine included an article by John Nagy about Civil War chaplain Father William Corby.
Matthew C. Hulbert wrote “How to Remember ‘This Damnable Guerilla Warfare:’ Four Vignettes from Civil War Missouri” for the June Civil War History. This issue also included Stephen Cushman’s “When Lincoln Met Emerson,” Christopher Phillips’s “Lincoln’s Grasp of War: Hard War and the Politics of Neutrality and Slavery in the Western Border States, 1861-1862,” Jonathan M. White’s “The Strangely Insignificant Role of the U.S. Supreme Court in the Civil War,” and Gary W. Gallagher’s “The Civil War at the Sesquicentennial: How Well Do Americans Understand Their Great National Crisis?” Yael A. Sternhell provided a review essay, “Revisionism Reinvented? The Anti-war Turn in Civil War Scholarship.”
Megan Kate Nelson wrote “Lights, Camera…Abe-Mania” for the August Civil War Times. Robert Wilson’s “Stealing the Sun: Mathew Brady’s Gettysburg Photographs” was in the same issue.
Bob Greene wrote “The Forgotten Gettysburg Addresser” (about principal speaker Edward Everett) in the June 22-23 Wall Street Journal.
Sara Gabbard interviewed David S. Reynolds, author of Mightier Than the Sword: Uncle Tom’s Cabin and the Battle for America, Frank J. Williams, author of Lincoln as Hero, and Joseph Fornieri, author of Abraham Lincoln’s Political Faith, in the summer Lincoln Lore #1903.
Gregory A. Borchard, Abraham Lincoln and Horace Greeley, rev. by Matthew Pinsker, the Journal of the Civil War Era (June 2013).
Michael Burlingame, Lincoln and the Civil War, rev. by Matthew Pinsker, the Journal of the Civil War Era (June 2013).
Benjamin G. Cloyd, Haunted by Atrocity: Civil War Prisons in American Memory, rev. by John M. Coski, the Journal of the Civil War Era (June 2013).
Brian R. Dirck, Lincoln and the Constitution, rev. by Matthew Pinsker, the Journal of the Civil War Era (June 2013).
Jim Downs, Sick From Freedom: African-American Illness and Suffering During the Civil War and Reconstruction, rev. by David Silkenat, the Journal of the Civil War Era (June 2013).
Keith A. Erekson, Everybody’s History: Indiana’s Lincoln Inquiry and the Quest to Reclaim a President’s Past, rev. by Richard M. McMurry, Civil War News (August 2013).
Richard W. Etulain, editor, Lincoln Looks West: From the Mississippi to the Pacific, rev. by Michael Burkhimer, The Lincoln Herald (Winter 2012).
A. James Fuller, editor, The Election of 1860 Reconsidered, rev. by Edward Bonekemper, Civil War News (June 2013).
Michael S. Green, Lincoln and the Election of 1860, rev. by Matthew Pinsker, the Journal of the Civil War Era (June 2013).
Allen C. Guelzo, Fateful Lightning: A New History of the Civil War and Reconstruction, rev. by Rachel A. Sheldon, Civil War History (June 2013).
Allen C. Guelzo, Gettysburg: The Last Invasion, rev. by David W. Blight, The New York Times Book Review (June 30, 2013); rev. by Ernest B. Furgurson, Washington Post (June 30, 2013); rev. by George F. Will, Washington Post (July 1, 2013).
Chester Hearn, Lincoln and McClellan at War, rev. by Jonathan Steplyk (Spring 2013).
Earl J. Hess, Lincoln Memorial University and the Shaping of Appalachia, rev. by Wayne C. Temple, The Lincoln Herald (Winter 2012).
Harold Holzer and Sara Vaughn Gabbard, editors, 1863: Lincoln’s Pivotal Year, rev. by Robert Grandchamp, Civil War News (June 2013).
David C. Keehn, Knights of the Golden Circle: Secret Empire, Southern Secession, Civil War, rev. by Charles H. Bogart, Civil War News (June 2013).
Michael J. Kline, The Baltimore Plot, The First Conspiracy to Assassinate Abraham Lincoln, rev. by Thomas R. Turner, The Lincoln Herald (Winter 2012).
Phillip W. Magness and Sebastian N. Page, Colonization After Emancipation: Lincoln and the Movement for Black Resettlement, rev. by Mark J. Fleszar, the Journal of the Civil War Era (June 2013).
James M. McPherson, War on the Waters: The Union and Confederate Navies, 1861-1865, rev. by Michael Burkhimer, The Lincoln Herald (Winter 2012); rev. by David G. Surdam, the Journal of the Civil War Era (June 2013).
Mark E. Neely, Jr., Lincoln and the Triumph of the Nation: Constitutional Conflict in the American Civil War, rev. by Jennifer L. Weber, Civil War History (June 2013).
James Oakes, Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865, rev. by Gary W. Gallagher, the Journal of the Civil War Era (June 2013); rev. by Mackubin Thomas Owens, Weekly Standard (July 2013).
Brooks D. Simpson, editor, The Civil War: The Third Year Told by Those Who Lived It, rev. by Robert Grandchamp, Civil War News (June 2013).
Andrew L. Slap and Michael Thomas Smith, editors, The Distracted Anarchical People: New Answers for Old Questions About the Civil War-Era North (Essays in Honor of Mark E. Neely, Jr.), rev. by John Foskett, Civil War News (June 2013).
Walter Stahr, Seward: Lincoln’s Indispensable Man, rev. by Elizabeth D. Leonard, the Journal of the Civil War Era (June 2013).
Stephen R. Taaffe, Commanding Lincoln’s Navy: Union Naval Leadership During the Civil War, rev. by Michael J. Bennett, the Journal of the Civil War Era (June 2013).
Larry Tagg, The Battles That Made Abraham Lincoln: How Lincoln Mastered His Enemies to Win the Civil War, Free the Slaves, and Preserve the Union, rev. by Jeffrey D. Wert, Civil War News (June 2013).
John Taliaferro, All the Great Prizes: The Life of John Hay, From Lincoln to Roosevelt, rev. by Thomas Mallon, The New York Times Book Review (May 19, 2013); rev. by Lewis L. Gould, The Wall Street Journal (June 7, 2013).
Barbara A. White, Visits With Lincoln: Abolitionists Meet the President in the White House, rev. by Stacy Pratt McDermott, Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society (Winter 2012).
Kenneth J. Winkle, Abraham and Mary Lincoln (Concise Lincoln Library of SIU Press), rev. by Richard Lawrence Miller, The Lincoln Herald (Winter 2012); rev. by Matthew Pinsker, the Journal of the Civil War Era (June 2013).
Kenneth J. Winkle, Lincoln’s Citadel: The Civil War in Washington, D.C., rev. by Frank J. Williams, Civil War Times (October 2013).
Keith Poulter, founder and publisher of the highly respected North & South magazine, has announced that he has ceased publishing the magazine after almost 16 years.
Rochester Institute of Technology has created a Center for Statesmanship, Liberty, and Law with Professor Joseph Fornieri as Director. The first conference of the center will be held in April 2014 on the statesmanship and political leadership of Abraham Lincoln.
Lincoln and Political Culture
Retired General Stanley McChrystal (“Lincoln’s Call to Service—and Ours,” Wall Street Journal, May 30) advocates a universal national service in which every young man and woman serves, at 18, a term in the military or civilian service branches involving education, health care, and poverty. The general cited Abraham Lincoln for challenging us as a nation in his Gettysburg Address to reach out to all citizens to serve and to honor their sacrifice as well: “It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.” This is an ongoing duty of citizenship for all but it has “fallen from the national agenda.”
Rich Lowry, in “O’s Lincoln Delusion” for the New York Post on June 7 argues that while President Obama continually invokes Abraham Lincoln, “our endlessly obstructive government would presumably have been mystifying to Lincoln, as would its support of non-working able-bodied adults and its effective subsidy for social breakdown.” As Abraham Lincoln’s efforts “were geared toward independence and opportunity,” the current president should spend “time communing with the true Lincoln,” and “he might learn a thing or two about the errors of his ways.”
Rich Lowry again wrote for the New York Post on June 16, “The Lost Lesson of Lincoln,” in which he praises Lincoln’s hard work, discipline and self-improvement. “We need a revival of what the great historian of the Whigs, Daniel Walker Howe, called Lincoln’s ‘pre-occupations with self-control, order, rationality, industriousness.’”
Robert Hicks wrote “Why the Civil War Still Matters” for the July 3 New York Times, opining that we still have much to commemorate on this anniversary of the Civil War as “The American Century, the Greatest Generation and all the rest is somehow borne out of the sacrifice of those 750,000 men and boys. None of it has been perfect, but I wouldn’t want to be here without it.”
With the brouhaha over Edward J. Snowden’s revealing the National Security Agency’s surveillance efforts, David T.Z. Mindich, in “Lincoln’s Surveillance State” (New York Times, July 5), suggests that after President Lincoln appointed Edwin M. Stanton his Secretary of War in early 1862, the new secretary requested vast powers, including control of the telegraph lines. Stanton would assemble large amounts of intelligence as the lines ran through his office. Lincoln authorized these powers by writing on Stanton’s letter, “The Secretary of War has my authority to exercise his discretion in the matter within mentioned.” Mindich accepted the “Draconian” measures taken by the Lincoln administration because of the “enormous challenges” of civil war. He believes that this was “acceptable” because the powers were not permanent. As the war ended, such measures were reduced. Now it is important that the war on terror “reach its culmination.” “If history is any guide, ending the seemingly endless state of war is the first step in returning our civil liberties.”
“Flashbacks” by Patrick M. Reynolds (Washington Post, July 14 and 21) contained a graphic description of Abraham Lincoln’s embarrassing role as local counsel in the reaper patent case where he was ignored and humiliated by lawyer Edwin M. Stanton, who would later become Lincoln’s Secretary of War.
Tony Horwitz wrote “Glorying the Civil War” for The Week on July 19. Horwitz wonders whether the war that ended slavery was worth the slaughter of 750,000 Americans—a figure up from 618,000, a toll accepted for decades until a demographic historian used census records to revise the toll upward by 20%. A comparable war today per capita would cost 7.5 million lives. “In some respects, the struggle for racial justice, and for national cohesion, continues still.”
The Lincoln Memorial in Washington was shut down on July 26 after a vandal splashed green paint on the base. The iconic neo-classical memorial, designed by Henry Bacon with Daniel Chester French’s statue, has become a sacred place in the nation’s capital. The perpetrator has been arrested.
Mapmaker Kieran McAuliffe has revised his map of the John Wilkes Booth escape route (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Frederick Hatch’s annual issue of his Journal of the Lincoln Assassination (Vol. XXVII) has been published by Autograph Press (P.O. Box 2616, Waldorf, MD 20604). Included are Frederick Hatch’s “Booth on April 14, 1865,” a reprint of Isaac N. Arnold’s “The Baltimore Plot to Assassinate Abraham Lincoln,” which originally appeared in the June 1868 issue of Harper’s new monthly magazine; and Frederick Hatch’s “A Catholic Conspiracy?”
Randal Berry has, to date, published four issues of the Lincoln Assassination Occasional Papers—Journal of the Ongoing Research Into America’s Greatest Murder Mystery (email@example.com).
David O. Stewart’s latest historical novel about the conspiracy at the heart of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, The Lincoln Deception, has been published by Kensington Publishing Corp.
Works in Progress
Viking will publish Joshua Zeitz’s Lincoln’s Boys: John Hay, John Nicolay and the War For Lincoln’s Image in October.
John Barr’s Loathing Lincoln: An American Tradition From the Civil War to the Present will be published by LSU Press, spring 2014.
Donald Dow, student of Abraham Lincoln and the assassination for over 40 years, and the owner of the Dow Art Galleries in Fort Worth, TX, died on September 22, 2009.
Playwright/director Chris Dickerson died in June after a short bout with cancer. Mr. Dickerson authored To Bury Caesar, a one-man play about John Wilkes Booth. The play gained notoriety about 25 years ago when the National Park Service at Ford’s Theatre booked an abbreviated version of it for visitors, gratis. When the politically influential director of the Ford’s Theatre Society, Frankie Hewitt, heard about it, she demanded that the Park Service cancel it, saying that mounting a play about Booth at Ford’s Theatre is akin to presenting a play about Lee Harvey Oswald at the Kennedy Center. The play did not glorify Booth, but Mrs. Hewitt got her way. Mr. Dickerson found many other venues for the play over the next two decades.
I want to thank Thom Bassett, Randal Berry, Roger Billings, Kenneth L. Childs, Aaron Crawford, Harold Holzer, Richard Sloan, Tom Lapsley, William D. Pederson, Dennis E. Stark, Joseph Fornieri, Wayne C. Temple, Edward Steers, Jr., David J. Stiller, Jo Dzombak, Guy Fraker, Malcolm Garber, Mike Marlow, Ralph S. McCrea, William K. Miller, Tracey Minkin, David Warren, John Schildt, Philip W. Stichter, Thomas J. Trimborn, Justice William P. Robinson III, Judges W. Dennis Duggan and Dennis Curran, Frank and Virginia Musgrave, and Virginia Williams for providing information for this column. I welcome news concerning Abraham Lincoln. Please contact me at 300 Switch Road, Hope Valley, RI 02832; fax (401) 364-3642; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.