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Category Archives: general info
Smithsonian.com features Doris Kearns Goodwin’s account of the Lincoln assassination from her bestseller Team of Rivals, along with an interactive map you can use to follow the evening’s events across Washington, D.C.
Maybe so, according to Philip Mackowiak’s fascinating piece of speculation in The Atlantic. “Optimal management combining early mobilization, a multidisciplinary approach to treatment, and early aggressive rehabilitation might have saved Lincoln,” he writes. “However, it could not have restored his neurological function to normal. At best, he would have been left with several permanent neurological deﬁcits,” such as lack of impulse control, partial paralysis, and problems with speaking and writing.
The National Constitution Center’s blog recently featured a concise overview of James Buchanan’s controversial political career:
In his inaugural address, Buchanan called the territorial issue of slavery “happily, a matter of but little practical importance.” He had been tipped off about the Supreme Court’s decision in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case, which came shortly after the inauguration. Buchanan supported the theory that states and territories have a right to determine if they would allow slavery. (There were also reports Buchanan may have influenced the court’s ruling.) The Dred Scott decision angered and solidified Buchanan’s Republican opponents, and it drove a wedge into the Democratic Party. The country also went into an economic recession as the Civil War approached.
CBS News Sunday Morning spent some time with a few notable scholars to examine this question.
This month marks the 180th anniversary of Lincoln’s first political defeat. In 1832, at the age of twenty-three, he kicked off his career in politics with a run for the Illinois legislature. The election took place on August 6th. Out of thirteen candidates, Lincoln placed eighth. Only the top four (Edmund D. Taylor, Lincoln’s future senior law partner John T. Stuart, Achilles Morris, and Peter Cartwright) went to the legislature.
The young upstart failed to win office, but he was making a local name for himself; Lincoln received 277 out of 300 votes cast in his own precinct of New Salem. Two years later, he ran again, this time successfully.
The Civil War Sesquicentennial blog of The New York Times has an interesting post on Francis Carpenter and Lincoln. Carpenter stayed at the White House while working on his painting of Lincoln reading the Emancipation Proclamation to members of his cabinet. The painting itself got mixed reviews, but Carpenter’s book about the time he spent in the Executive Mansion has been a gold mine for historians.