Monthly Archives: March 2014

Liam Neeson on backing out of Lincoln

Liam Neeson, who was Steven Spielberg’s original choice for the title role in Lincoln, talked about his decision to back out of the project in an interview with GQ. The Huffington Post has an excerpt:

“We started reading this, and there was an intro, and then I see ‘Lincoln’: where I have to start speaking, and I just — a thunderbolt moment. I thought, ‘I’m not supposed to be here. This is gone. I’ve passed my sell-by date. I don’t want to play this Lincoln. I can’t be him,'” Neeson said. “It was a very strange feeling, and it was partly grief. I read very, very poorly by any standards, but then some people come up afterward and say, ‘Oh, you’re made to play Lincoln.’ I just was cringing with embarrassment.”

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Possible new photos of Lincoln’s funeral procession identified

A historic photograph enthusiast from Maryland believes he has identified two previously unknown images of Lincoln’s hearse in New York. The photos show a crowd gathered in front of a church and a blurred vehicle draped in black. The Washington Post has the details.

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2014 Lincoln Symposium at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum

The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum (ALLM) will host Lincoln scholars from around the country for the 2014 Lincoln Symposium April 4-5, 2014, in Harrogate, Tenn.

Entitled “Lincoln and the War,” the symposium will address issues facing Lincoln during his administration as a war president. Featured speakers include Warren Greer, director of Kentucky’s Lincoln Heritage Trail Alliance, Dr. Anne Marshall, professor of history at Mississippi State University; Dr. Brian McKnight, professor of history at University of Virginia at Wise; Dr. Daniel Stowell, director and editor of The Abraham Lincoln Papers; and Frank J. Williams, retired chief justice of Rhode Island Supreme Court.

The program will open with a banquet featuring McKnight as the keynote speaker on Friday evening. Saturday will open with a continental breakfast followed by the four remaining speakers and a panel discussion to close the symposium. Each speaker will discuss a different aspect of the Civil War and how Lincoln managed it.

Registration for the symposium is open. The cost to attend the entire program is $60, or $25 for the Friday banquet and $35 for the full-day session on Saturday. For more information or to register, contact Program and Tourism Director Carol Campbell at 423.869.6439.

The Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum is located on the historic campus of Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. Housing one of the top five Lincoln and Civil War private collections in the world, the Museum is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about this and other programs at the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum, call 423-869-6235.

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“Abe Lincoln would not have done it”

Asking what Lincoln would do in a given situation has become a venerable American political tradition.  Bill O’Reilly recently criticized President Obama’s appearance on a comedy website, saying, “All I can tell is you is Abe Lincoln would not have done it. There comes a point when serious times call for serious action.”  Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer disagreed, telling Media Matters that Obama’s use of a humor site to get his message across “is absolutely in the Lincoln tradition.”

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Papers of Abraham Lincoln researchers shed light on mysterious document

A manuscript dealer asked the Papers of Abraham Lincoln staff to make sense of a mysterious Lincoln letter with an unidentified recipient and subject:

Researchers at the Papers of Abraham Lincoln project concluded Lincoln was writing to an ally to ask him to maintain a secret relationship with a political insider during the 1860 election campaign.

Lincoln asked his cohort to “keep up a correspondence” with the person, a phrase that gave researchers their best clue. They ran it through a searchable database of Lincoln’s papers and found several matches.

One was in a letter to Lincoln from fellow attorney and Republican Leonard Swett of Bloomington, Ill.

The two men, it turns out, were conspiring to keep tabs on a New York political figure. The mystery note was Lincoln’s response to Swett’s letter, the researchers surmised.

The subject of the letter was probably Thurlow Weed, a newspaper publisher and politician who ultimately opposed the president’s emancipation policy.

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