Menu Close





The Spoken Word and Group Activities

Dr. Wayne C. Temple discussed Abraham Lincoln’s military experiences for the Sangamon River Chapter of the U.S. Daughters of 1812 on October 28, 2017.

Frank J. Williams was the keynote speaker at the unveiling of the Captain Lincoln – Blackhawk War Burial Detail Sculpture on June 23 at the Blackhawk Monument, National Historical Site, Kellogg’s Grove, IL.  The sculpture was crafted by former Navy Seal and Vietnam Veteran R. Jay Castro.  Maquettes of the statue can be purchased from the sculptor at or from the State Bank of Freeport, Captain Lincoln Project, 1713 South Dirck Drive, Freeport, IL 61032.

Harold Holzer participated with “Lincoln and the Civil War Press” at the Oklahoma Civil War Symposium on June 25 at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Chickasha.

Frank J. Williams moderated the panel Grant and Lincoln at the Fourth Annual Mississippi Book Festival on August 18 in Jackson.

On September 11, Ronald C. White presented the 2018 R. Gerald McMurtry Lecture at the Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne: “A New Vision for America: Re-thinking Ulysses S. Grant.”

Ed Bearss in “Ask Ed Anything,” appeared before the Civil War Round Table of New York on September 12.   

On September 22, William Hanna discussed Lincoln’s only extended visit to Massachusetts on behalf of Whig presidential candidate Zachary Taylor before The Lincoln Group of Boston.

On September 24, Harold Holzer presented “Lincoln and West Virginia Statehood: The ‘Other’ Big News of January 1, 1863” at the David C. Hardesty Jr. Festival of Ideas at West Virginia University.

On September 25, the Columbus Bar Association presented its Master Class in Law and Military History, Resilience: Then and Now, with Frank Williams presenting “Abraham Lincoln and the 13th Amendment:  Resilience, Political Courage, and Empathy” and David Shearon discussing “Modern Practical Lessons: The U.S. Military and Cultivating a Culture of Resilience.”   

The 33rd Annual Lincoln Colloquium, The Long Goodbye: Grieving Lincoln in the Heartland, sponsored by the Indiana Historical Society, was held on September 29 in Indianapolis.

On October 11, Walter Stahr discussed his Stanton: Lincoln’s War Secretary at the Puget Sound Civil War Round Table.

The Friends of the Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection hosted the Lincoln Symposium “The Measure of Character in Leadership: Has it Changed Since Lincoln’s Time?” on October 25 in Fort Wayne, IN.  Panelists included: Paul Helmke, former Mayor of Fort Wayne; Jo Young Switzer, retired Manchester University President; and Magistrate Judge Susan CollinsAndy Downs, Director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics, was moderator.

On October 29, Doris Kearns Goodwin discussed her latest book, Leadership In Turbulent Times as part of a fundraising event for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation; she appeared in “Conversation with Harold Holzer” at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute, New York, on November 27.

On November 1, Dr. George Rable presented “Lincoln and Religion” at the second Frank and Virginia Williams Lecture on Abraham Lincoln and Civil War Studies at Mississippi State University.

On November 5, Frank J. Williams presented “Judging Lincoln as a Judge” for the Lincoln Group of New York.

Former State of Washington Chief Justice Gerry L. Alexander discussed “Abraham Lincoln and his influence on Washington Territory” at the November 8 meeting of the Puget Sound Civil War Round Table, Seattle.

Jane Gastineau discussed “Civil War Christmases” on November 11 at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne.

The Public and Private Wars of Abraham Lincoln was the theme of the 23rd Annual Lincoln Forum Symposium in Gettysburg featuring Edward K. Ayers, David W. Blight, Andrew Delbanco, Harold Holzer, John F. Marszalek, Craig L. Symonds, and Frank J. Williams.  Novelist George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo, was special guest (November 16-18).

George C. Rable presented the 57th Annual Robert Fortenbaugh Memorial Lecturer at Gettysburg College on November 19.

Guy C. Fraker discussed Abraham Lincoln on the 8th Judicial Circuit at the December 4 meeting of the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia.

Caroline Janney, Director of the University of Virginia’s John L. Nau, III Center for Civil War History, was the 2019 Lincoln Dinner speaker at the Watchorn Lincoln Memorial Association, Redlands, CA.

The 28th Annual Civil War Weekend will be hosted by Virginia Tech March 22-24, 2019.  Speakers include James I. “Bud” Robertson, Jr., Gary W. Gallagher, Joan Waugh, and William C. “Jack” Davis.

International Legacy

Norman W. Provizer (Metropolitan State University of Denver) delivered the annual Constitutional Democracy lecture at Louisiana State University Shreveport on September 17.  His topic was “The Darkening Hour:  Challenges Facing Constitutional Government.”


Gary Kline (Georgia Southwestern State University) gave the annual Frank and Virginia Williams Abraham Lincoln Lecture at LSUS on October 20.  His topic was, “Can Lincoln Still Point the Way?”


The triennial Deep South international conference was held at LSUS on October 18-20.  The topic was on Great Legislators and Legislation.  Among the 35 presenters were Prafulla C. Kar, Director of the Centre for Contemporary Theory in Baroda, India.  His presentation was “Lincoln on the Root of American Democracy”; and Rory Hopkins (Maynooth University, Ireland), who spoke on “Lincoln and the Irish.”


Mark E. Neely’s final Civil War book, Lincoln and the Democrats (Cambridge University Press, 2017) features a concluding chapter on how Lincoln was able to pioneer America’s first major contribution in international law in the area of human rights.


Niall O’Dowd’s, Lincoln and the Irish has been published by Skyhorse Publishing.


The International Lincoln Association’s 2019 issue of Abraham Lincoln Abroad features Jason H. Silverman, “‘One War at a Time’:  Lincoln’s Latin American Foreign Policy;” Michael R. Hall, “Casablanca’s Hotel Lincoln,” and Fatimah Smith and Navdeep Singh, “Lincoln’s Legacy in Burkina Faso.”


The Association of Global South Studies featured a Lincoln panel at its annual international conference held this year November 18-20 in Albuquerque, NM.  Presenters included: Elisabeth Liebert, “Lincoln in Basij Khalkhali’s Epic;” Melissa Rolfe, “The Case of Haile Selassie and Lincoln;” and William Pederson, “The Lincolns in the Pacific.”


The International Lincoln Center at LSUS was the recipient of two awards during its 35th anniversary.  The first was presented at the annual Kemp Forum on Public Education on September 24.  LSUS Chancellor Larry Clark distributed 200 copies of a booklet outlining the achievements of the center and presented a trophy to William Pederson, the program’s founding director.

The program was also honored at the Lincoln Forum’s Annual Symposium in Gettysburg.  Frank Williams presented the 2018 Wendy Allen Award to the center noting its annual Constitutional Democracy Lecture series, the Lincoln Lecture series and its Washington, DC program, the triennial Deep South Conference series, and participation in conferences abroad, as well as its extensive publication record.


     William D. Pederson’s articles on Lincoln stamps abroad have continued in Americana Philatelic News with “Lincoln Stamps in Oceania” (April/June); “Lincoln Stamps in Asia” (July/September),

and “Lincoln Stamps in the Middle East,” (Oct/Dec).


A gallery reception honoring the winners of the 2018 Capitol City Visitor cover art contest of Illinois Times was held on April 6.

Granville Burgess has created a new musical, Common Ground, about Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, which premiered on September 6 and 13 in New York City.

RJM Productions, LLC is planning to produce The Wilderness, a Ulysses S. Grant feature project based upon the book by H.W. Brands.


The giant fiberglass statute of Abraham Lincoln next to the main gate of the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield is the creation of folk-art sculptor Carl Rinnus.



Highlights from The Lincoln Collection from the Lincoln Financial Foundation Collection at the Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, IN, went on exhibit at the Jeffery R. Krull Gallery on July 11.

Garner Holt Productions, Inc. (GHP) presented a themed attraction, The Lincoln Memorial Shrine Presents: Reflections of the Face of Lincoln, featuring special effects, multi-media elements, and animatronics of a portrait of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War performed at the Lincoln Memorial Shrine, Redlands, CA on July 7 and continuing to December 29.

From Illinois to the White House: Lincoln, Grant, Reagan, and Obama opened at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum on March 23.  The exhibit honors presidents Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Ronald Reagan, and Barack Obama, who all lived in Illinois for a time.

Awards and Prizes

Philanthropist Lewis E. Lehrman received the Logan Hay Medal from the Abraham Lincoln Association on February 12, 2018.  In addition to co-chairing The Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History, he is the author of Lincoln at Peoria: The Turning Point and Lincoln & Churchill: Statesmen at War.


The Harold Holzer Collection of Lincolniana was auctioned by Swann Gallery on September 27.  Sale 2461 garnered $258,000.  Some of the treasures included a portrait of the beardless Lincoln as he appeared in June 1860 (oil on board) attributed to John C. Wolfe which fetched $40,000, a portrait delivering his first inaugural address (oil on canvas) by F. R. Harper which brought $4,000, and a penciled sketch of A Council in the Cabin of the Miami by Charles S. Reinhart with Lincoln planning the attack on Norfolk, VA brought $2,000.  Julia Jacobs wrote about the collection in “A Trove of Lincoln Artifacts Heads to Auction” for the September 17 New York Times.


Oakridge Cemetery, Springfield, IL held a reception on May 4 to mark the completed restoration of “Lincoln internment book No. 1,”   which lists the burial of President Lincoln. Graphic Conservation Co. did the work and it was funded by the City of Springfield.

The University of Illinois Springfield has established a Center for Lincoln Studies.  Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences James Ermatinger set forth the mission: “Through education, research, and outreach programs, The Center for Lincoln Studies will provide students, faculty, scholars, and the public with opportunities to understand Lincoln’s life and times and his continued impact on our world and society.  There is perhaps no better time for us to study the ideas and humanity of our 16th President.”

Books and Pamphlets

Dan Abrams and David Fisher are the authors of Lincoln’s Last Trial: The Murder Case that Propelled him to the Presidency (Andover Square Press).

Young Lincoln, a historical fiction novel for readers of all ages, was written by Jan Jacobi and published by Reedy Publication.

Mary Stockwell’s Interrupted Odyssey: Ulysses Grant and the American Indians, one in a series of the World of Ulysses S. Grant, has been published by Southern Illinois University Press.

Sixteenth President-in-Waiting: Abraham Lincoln and the Springfield Dispatches of Henry Villard, 1860-1861 has been edited by Michael Burlingame (Southern Illinois University Press).

Leadership in Turbulent Times, including sections on Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, FDR, and Lyndon B. Johnson, by Doris Kearns Goodwin, has been published by Simon & Schuster.

William W. Freehling is the author of Becoming Lincoln (University of Virginia Press).

Historic Houses of Lincoln’s Illinois by Erika Holst is the new book in the Looking for Lincoln series (Southern Illinois University Press).

Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times, with a section on Abraham Lincoln, by Nancy Koehn has been published by Scribner.

Michael Beschloss is the author of Presidents of War: How American Presidents Waged Wars and Expanded the Power of the Executive Branch (Crown).

Lincoln, Seward, and U.S. Foreign Relations in the Civil War Era by Joseph A. Fry has been published by the University Press of Kentucky.

Paul D. Escott’s Rethinking the Civil War Era: Directions in Research has been published by the University Press of Kentucky.

James Tackach has authored Lincoln and the Natural Environment for the concise Lincoln Library of Southern Illinois University Press.

Collateral Books

Joseph M. Beilein, Jr. and Matthew C. Hulbert are the editors of The Civil War Guerrilla: Unfolding the Black Flag in History, Memory, and Myth (University Press of Kentucky).

Wayne C. Temple is the author of Lincoln’s Confidant: The Life of Noah Brooks (University of Illinois Press).

Andrew Delbanco is the author of The War before the War: Fugitive Slaves and the Struggle for America’s Soul from the Revolution to the Civil War (Penguin Press).


Judge Michael L. Stern wrote “Lawyer Lincoln’s Trial Tactics” for the July Advocate (Journal of Consumer Attorneys for Southern California).

Allen Guelzo, author of the recent Reconstruction: A Concise History, was interviewed in the October Civil War Times.  Wendy J. Sotos’s “Abraham Lincoln’s Funeral Train Traveled Across Seven States” was in the same issue.

Lewis E. Lehrman’s “Lincoln and Churchill: The Rhetoric of Leadership” appeared in the spring For the People (A Newsletter of the Abraham Lincoln Association).

Michael Lynch wrote “Up from Obscurity: The Influence of Lincoln’s early life on his thought and Politics” for the spring 2018 Loyal Legion Historical Journal.

Sara Gabbard interviewed Harold Holzer on the 160th anniversary of the Lincoln-Douglas debates for the summer Lincoln Lore.  She also interviewed Ronald C. White, author of American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant for the same issue and Frank J. Williams on the concept of Just War.  Also included was Jason H. Silverman’s “The Long Twisting Road: Abraham Lincoln’s Evolving World with the Foreign Born,” and Allen C. Guelzo’s “Lincoln’s Strangest Document: The ‘Blind Memorandum’ of August 23, 1864.”

The summer Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association included Ian de Sylva’s “Evaluating Lincoln’s Patented Invention,” John A. O’Brien’s “Seeking God’s Will: President Lincoln and Rev. Dr. Gurley,” and Jonathan W. White’s “The Presidential Pardon Records of the Lincoln Administration.”

“Lincoln and the Art of Transformative Leadership” by Doris Kearns Goodwin from her new book Leadership in Turbulent Times, appeared in the September-October Harvard Business Review.

“Mr. Lincoln and the Monitor” by Anna Gibson Holloway and Jonathan W. White appeared in the fall Civil War Monitor.

“Stanton’s Hitman” (Judge Joseph Holt) by William Marvel was included in the December Civil War Times.

Ibram X. Kendi authored “A House Still Divided” for the October Atlantic.

Harold Holzer wrote “The Debate over the Debates: How Lincoln and Douglas Waged a Campaign for History” for the fall Lincoln Lore.  Also included was: “Abraham Lincoln on Civil Liberties” by Frank J. Williams; “Abraham Lincoln’s Cyphering Book” by Nerida F. Ellerton and M. A. (Ken) Clements; Richard E. Hart’s “Entertainment in Lincoln’s Springfield (1834-1860);” Ed Breen’s “Portfolio of the Lincoln-Douglas Debate Sites” in his “What I did Last Summer;” and “The Lincoln Family Album” compiled by Jane Gastineau.

“Five for Freedom: African-American Soldiers in John Brown’s Army” by Eugene Meyer was the theme of the October Maryland Line published by the Civil War Roundtable of Montgomery County, MD.  The November issue was “President Ulysses S. Grant” by Kenneth Serfass.

Michael Burlingame’s “‘Plato-Western Aristotle:’ James Quay Howard’s Reminiscence’s of Abraham Lincoln” was in the summer For the People: A Newsletter of the Abraham Lincoln Association.  Also in this issue was Reg Ankrom’s “Lincoln Twice Considered Quitting his 1858 Campaign.”

The fall Lincoln Forum Bulletin included William M. Palmer’s “Unpardoned by Lincoln: Stephen A. Douglas’s House Servant,” and Lewis E. Lehrman’s “Lincoln and Churchill: Magnanimous War Leaders.”  “Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass Meet at the Civil War White House” by the late John T. Elliff was also included.

The fall Marquette Lawyer included David J. Barron’s “When Congress and the Commander-in-Chief Clash over War.”

“Lincoln and his Biographers” by Allen Carl Guelzo appeared in the September Civil War History.

The fall Lincoln Herald included Jason H. Silverman’s “The Short and Tortured History of Abraham Lincoln’s Act to Encourage Immigration” and “Did Abraham Lincoln have a Female Cabinet Member?”  From the Archives included Joseph E. Suppiger’s “Sheridan, The Life of a General Part II,” and Frank J. Williams’s “Lincolniana.”

Stephen Davis’s “Critic’s Corner” in the December Civil War News discussed Ulysses S. Grant’s Personal Memoirs and in the same issues, Carl L. Sell, Jr. discussed “Hatcher’s Meeting with Lincoln.”


Dan Abrams and David Fisher, Lincoln’s Last Trial: The Murder Case that Propelled him to the Presidency, rev. by David J. Kent, The Lincolnian of the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia (Vol. XXXV, No. 3); rev. by Stewart Shiffman, Illinois Times (August 16-22, 2018).

Terry Alford, Fortune’s Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth, rev. by Sarah Meer, Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association (Summer 2018); rev. by Christopher C. Moore, The Journal of Southern History (August 2018); rev. by Joseph Truglio, Civil War New (October 2018).

Michael Burlingame, editor, Sixteenth President-in-Waiting: Abraham Lincoln and Springfield Dispatchers of Henry Villard, 1860-1861, rev. by David Marshall, Civil War News (November 2018).

James B. Conroy, Our One Common Country: Abraham Lincoln and the Hampton Roads Peace Conference, rev. by R. Boyd Murphree, Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association (Summer 2018).

D.H. Dilbeck, Frederick Douglass: America’s Profit, rev. by Shelby Shrader, Civil War News (November 2018).

Don H. Doyle, editor, American Civil Wars: The United States, Latin America, Europe, and the Crisis of the 1860s, rev. by Gary Helm Darden, The Journal of Southern History (November 2018).

William C. Harris, Lincoln and Congress, rev. by Patricia Richard, The Journal of Southern History (August 2018).

Stanley Harrold, Lincoln and the Abolitionist, rev. by James Tackach, The Lincoln Herald (Fall 2017).

William C. Kashatus, Abraham Lincoln, The Quakers, and the Civil War: “A Trial of Principle and Faith,” rev. by A. Glenn Crothers, Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association (Summer 2018).

Edna Greene Medford, Lincoln and Emancipation, rev. by James Tackach, The Lincoln Herald (Fall 2017).

Eugene L. Meyer, Five For Freedom: The African American Soldiers in John Brown’s Army, rev. by Frank J. Williams, Civil War Times (October 2018).

Lucas A. Morel, editor, Lincoln & Liberty: Wisdom for the Ages, rev. by Harold Holzer, Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association (Summer 2018).

Michael D. Robinson, A Union Indivisible: Secession and the Politics of Slavery in the Border South, rev. by Gary Helm Darden, The Journal of Southern History (November 2018).

Christian G. Samito, Lincoln and the Thirteenth Amendment, rev. by James Tackach, The Lincoln Herald (Fall 2017).

John E. Washington with edits by Kate Masur, They Knew Lincoln, rev. by Wayne L. Wolf, Civil War News (September 2018).

Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis, editors, Herndon on Lincoln: Letters, rev. by Allen C. Guelzo, Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association (Summer 2018).


Edwin Bearss, Emeritus Chief Historian of the National Park Service was profiled in the Maryland Line.

Dr. Wayne C. Temple, author of many books over 50 years, presented and signed copies of his books at Books on the Square, Springfield, IL.

After twenty-three years as Chair of The Lincoln Forum, Frank J. Williams retired to the position of Chair Emeritus at the XXIII Lincoln Forum in Gettysburg.  Harold Holzer succeeded him.

John O’Brien has succeeded John T. Elliff as President of the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia.

Lincoln and Political Culture

The author of What Would Ben Say? sponsored a full-page ad in the New York Times on February 13 that began: “Mr. President, in anticipation of President’s Day consider the following words of counsel and caution.”  Included were the following Lincoln quotes:

“The people are the rightful masters of both Congresses and courts – not to overthrow the constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it.”

“Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow.  The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”

“No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.”

The ad closed with this Lincoln quotation: “I appeal to you again to constantly bear in mind that with you, and not with politicians, not with Presidents, not with office-seekers, but with you, is the question, ‘shall the Union and shall the liberties of this country be preserved?’”

Fascism: A Warning by Madeleine Albright with Bill Woodward bemoans the fact that after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 there was plenty of optimism for democracy and international friendship.  Albright bemoans the fact that this optimism has diminished greatly and she asks in her book: “Are we once again talking about fascism?” Despite all this, she is hopeful.  She ends by referencing leaders like Abraham Lincoln and Nelson Mandela, who helped their countries move past periods of intense violence and division.  Democracy’s problems can, Albright assures us, be overcome, but only if we recognize history’s lessons and never take democracy for granted.  “The temptation,” she notes, “is powerful to close our eyes and wait for the worst to pass, but history tells us that for freedom to survive, it must be defended, and that if lies are to stop, they must be exposed.”

The controversy surrounding the threatened sale of Lincoln treasures by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation continues unabated and has caused national concern, if not outcry.  In 2007, the Foundation agreed to buy Lincoln artifacts from the Taper Collection, headed by Louise Taper, who was also a Foundation board member, for $23 million.  The artifacts would be housed in the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield.  Concerns have been raised since about the valuations of the collection, the issuance of bonds by the City of Springfield to pay for the collection, and the payoff of the debt.  The plan was for the private Foundation to transfer funds from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum on an annual basis as the debt was reduced.  According to Bruce Rushton of the Illinois Times (May 17-23, 2018), this did not occur.  The pledge agreement was ignored until 2012, when the agreement was changed so that the state lost rights to assume ownership of the artifacts – even if the loan was paid in full.  The Foundation is now saying, and this is the cause of great controversy, that some of these treasures may be sold to make good on the $9.7 million remaining on the debt.  If the $9.7 million debt is not paid, then many of these one-of-a-kind artifacts will be sold on the private market.  There has already been a sale of some 100 documents, prints, photographs, campaign torches, and other artifacts.  The sum of $86,000 received from the sale of these artifacts was used to pay down the debt and the items were among the more than 1,500 purchased in 2007 by the Foundation from Louise Taper.  Rushton believes that the trail of the Taper Collection is a “…classic Illinois tale of insider deals and potential conflicts of interest,” with the state now being asked to bail out the Foundation or see iconic Lincoln artifacts, some reportedly worth millions of dollars, sold.  The 2007 deal to buy the Taper Collection went ahead even though a state-hired appraiser asked questions about the provenance and at least one item – a clock allegedly belonging to Lincoln had no probative provenance.  So, in 2012, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (now out of business) removed language requiring that artifacts be transferred annually pursuant to this pledge agreement. The artifacts in the Collection were collateral for the loan.  Bruce Rushton continues to churn the waters with “Leveraging Lincoln,” that appeared in the Illinois Times for August 23-29,  exploring yet again how the foundation is still threatening an auction of Lincoln treasures.  In early August, the foundation disclosed that it was seeking an auctioneer to sell off the artifacts.  $9.7 million needs to be raised by the end of 2019.  Outgoing Governor Bruce Rauner (IL) has told the foundation that state money will not be free: “Like any other request, on behalf of the taxpayers of Illinois, we have lots and lots of questions,” says Patty Schuh, spokeswoman for the Governor.  Rushton opines, “And if the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation won’t open its books and answer questions, if the board would rather hold an auction than present a plan, then perhaps we’re better off without any foundation at all.”

Stay tuned, as the saga continues under a new Illinois Governor.

Adam Rowe wrote “Edwin Stanton was part of the ‘resistance’ – in 1860” for the September 13 Wall Street Journal.  With President Donald Trump compromised by one of his senior officials in the White House, Rowe argues that this is not the first time.  “On December 20, 1860, Edwin Stanton, who had joined the cabinet of lame-duck president James Buchanan as Attorney General, offered himself to several prominent Republicans as a spy within the administration after South Carolina had seceded from the Union on December 20, 1860.  His representations to Republicans including Senator Henry Wilson of Massachusetts may have been misstated, as he was able to convince everyone, Democrats, Republicans, President Buchanan – that he was their faithful ally.  Stanton soon became Secretary of War under Lincoln despite condemning Lincoln to his old Democratic friends.

But Lincoln did not mind.  Stanton was competent, energetic, and served the 16th president well.

Rowe writes, “History’s recurring rhythms are never exact repetitions.  But if Stanton’s example is any guide, President Trump’s harshest anonymous critic may also be his warmest admirer.”


The State-Journal Register (Springfield, IL) reported on October 8 that the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum director, Alan Lowe, has cut its ties to the Library and Museum Foundation which has been paying $25,000 a year consulting fees to Lowe in order to lure him away from the George W. Bush Presidential Museum in Dallas.  Alan Lowe reported to the Associated Press that he was dissolving his $25,000 a year consulting deal with the Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.


Natasha Trethewey was profiled by the November 11 New York Times Book Review in “By the Book.”  The former poet laureate and author came into poetic language via Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address said “Before I ever committed my poems to memory, I had memorized his speech.”  … “I think that what made me fall in love with poetic language (if not exactly poetry at first) – the lyricism and rhythm of syntax, the power of the figurative to make the mind leap to a new apprehension of things – was Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.


A new play about Edwin Booth by Angela Iannone, This Prison Where I Live, premiered on August 24 at the Tenth Street Theater, Milwaukee.  The play covers the ghosts of Edwin Booth’s past interrupting his rehearsals for Shakespeare’s Richard II.

The Boardman-Smith Funeral Home, Springfield, IL, exhibited one of only five authentic replicas of President Lincoln’s coffin.

The first installment of documents put online by the Papers of Abraham Lincoln project includes what Lincoln wrote and what he read between 1809 and 1842, his last year as a state representative in the Illinois General Assembly.  The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield, the sponsor of this project, believes that it is the most complete collection of primary documents covering the first three decades of Lincoln’s life.

The Grand Army of the Republic Museum closed.  The museum, privately funded, will reopen on April 5, 2019 with a new curator, Chuck Hill.  It features relics and documents from the Civil War.  It is owned and operated by the National Woman’s Relief Corps, an auxiliary to a defunct Civil War veteran’s organization.


Bob Maher, founder of the Civil War Education Association and a co-founder of The Lincoln Forum, died on July 27.

           Charles (“Chuck”) Hand who graced many Lincoln Forum Symposium with his Lincoln and Civil War books and pamphlets, passed away on October 10, 2018.  He was a retired educator at Mayo Middle School and Paris (IL) High School, as well as the owner and operator of history hardbacks and a dealer in Lincoln ephemera for more than 25 years.

           John T. Elliff, President of the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia and a member of the Board of Advisors of The Lincoln Forum died suddenly on August 15, 2018.

           Another member of The Lincoln Forum and member of its Board of Advisors, Tina Grim, died on August 9.  She served for years as administrator of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College and then as development officer at the Gettysburg Foundation as well as President of the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania.


Author’s Note

I want to thank Florence J. Baur, Randal Berry, Roger Billings, Kenneth L. Childs, James M. Cornelius, Aaron Crawford, Judges W. Dennis Duggan and Dennis Curran, Jo Dzombak, Joseph Fornieri, Sybil and Bill Forsythe, Guy C. Fraker, Malcolm Garber, Mike Gross, Robert F. Henderson, Harold Holzer, Thomas Horrocks, Tom Lapsley, Dave Leroy, Mike Marlow, Ralph S. McCrea, William K. Miller, Larry Morris, Frank and Virginia Musgrave, William D. Pederson, Benjamin A. Pushner, Justice William P. Robinson III, Edward Steers, Jr., David J. Stiller, John Schildt, Richard Sloan, Philip W. Stichter, Wayne C. Temple, Thomas J. Trimborn, David Warren, and Virginia Williams for providing information for this column.