Category Archives: Lincoln and Memory

Commemorating Lincoln’s second inaugural in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Capitol will host a celebration of the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s second inaugural on March 4.  Stephen Lang will deliver the same speech Lincoln wrote for his 1865 swearing-in, and the event will also feature remarks from Congressman Ray LaHood, historian Edna Greene Medford, and prominent Lincoln authority Frank J. Williams.

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Ex-slaves and Lincoln’s memory

John McKee Barr, author of Loathing Lincoln: An American Tradition from the Civil War to the Present, takes an interesting look at ex-slaves’ memories of the Great Emancipator at his blog.  Their notions of Lincoln were not uniformly positive; as Barr states, “many African Americans still praised Lincoln, but some did not, for very specific – and instructive – reasons.”

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A documentary on the Lincoln Tomb is in the works

Producer Chris Ryder is working with the Lincoln Monument Association to film a documentary on Lincoln’s tomb to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the president’s death.

You can help fund the project by donating through Indiegogo; a contribution of $25 will get you a copy of the finished film.

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Making of a shrine at Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial

In the first installment of a two-part article at National Parks Traveler, Richard Sellars examines the religious imagery at Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Indiana:

Several of the most prominent Lincoln sites, such as his home in Springfield, Illinois, Ford’s Theatre in Washington, and across the street the Petersen House where he died, portray aspects of the historic Lincoln, the gifted mortal—husband, father, lawyer, president. Other places are more clearly shrines: The imposing neoclassical marble temples found at the Lincoln birthplace in Kentucky and the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., reflect his deification in the public mind.

In Indiana, the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial also suggests his deification, but in a distinctive way. Reflecting a devoted public’s high tribute to Lincoln and his mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, the memorial’s designers rejected neoclassicism and chose traditional Christian symbols.

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Mary Todd Lincoln reconsidered in new book

In a new biography, Betty Boles Ellison argues that the Union’s First Lady doesn’t deserve the bad press she’s gotten for the past 150 years.  Ellison discussed her findings with

Ellison says in her new book, The True Mary Todd Lincoln: A Biography (McFarland: $39.95), that the first lady was both frugal and outspoken, her son Robert a priggish manipulator who had his mother committed while Mary Todd Lincoln masterminded her own release from an asylum by gathering together friends and supporters who did not want to see a first lady humiliated.

“No person should have had to experience what she did, perpetuated by her own son and Lincoln’s so-called friends,” Ellison said in a recent interview at her Lexington home.

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Lincoln is unpopular in some Republican circles

From Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinel:

In Wisconsin, the party of Abraham Lincoln will be deciding this weekend whether it favors not only the right to secession but also the right to nullify federal laws.

Delegates at the state Republican convention are set to vote Saturday on a proposed resolution that directs lawmakers to push through legislation nullifying Obamacare, Common Core educational standards and “drone usage in the state of Wisconsin.”

“Be it further resolved,” the proposal concludes, “that we strongly insist our state representatives work to uphold Wisconsin’s 10th Amendment rights, and our right to, under extreme circumstances, secede, passing legislation affirming this to the U.S. Federal Government.”

…The proposal — which has garnered national attention — was originally approved in March by the GOP’s 6th Congressional District caucus and forwarded to the state party’s resolution committee. The panel approved a slightly modified version of the suggested resolution and forwarded it to the full convention.

Rohn Bishop, treasurer of the Fond du Lac County Republican Party, said he was booed at the March caucus meeting when he brought up Lincoln’s name while arguing against the secession and nullification provisions. He said he also noted that the meeting took place two days after the 160th anniversary of the party’s founding in Ripon.

“I was completely blown away that at a Republican Party event, the presidency of Abraham Lincoln would be controversial,” Bishop said Wednesday.

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Peter Wehner on Charnwood’s Lincoln

Wehner discusses lessons to be learned from Lord Charnwood’s classic Lincoln biography at Commentary.

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