The reader might wonder, as I did, about what ties Lincoln could have had to Oregon. I didn't know that Lincoln was actually offered the governorship of Oregon Territory in 1849, an offer which he turned down.
Welcome to The Abraham Lincoln Blog! This blog serves as a source of information about Mr. Lincoln, covering every aspect of his life plus his continued legacy. Included is a smattering of commentary about modern-day events and politics but only as they pertain to Lincoln. It's hoped that this blog will encourage readers to seek out more information about this complex man. Comments are both welcome and encouraged.
Posted by Geoff Elliott at 2:37 PM
Posted by Geoff Elliott at 12:01 PM
Posted by Geoff Elliott at 11:39 AM
One of the things I most like about being an Abraham Lincoln blogger is that I come across some weird items which fascinate me, and at least hopefully hold the interest of my readers. Just today, I stumbled upon this little article from the McCook Daily Gazette (Nebraska) which talks about a replica of Abraham Lincoln's casket being on display at the local mortuary.
On April 3rd, Sotheby's auction house in New York, NY is holding an auction of incredible presidential letters and other documents. Apparently, the gem of this auction will be a letter President Lincoln wrote in response to a petition sent to him by Massachusetts school children, pleading with him to free the "little slave children." The petition, titled "Children's Petition to the President asking him to free all the little slave children in this country," was signed by 195 boys and girls and was sent to Lincoln in April 1864.
Posted by Geoff Elliott at 1:59 PM
Posted by Geoff Elliott at 5:54 PM
I've been somewhat remiss in keeping up with my posts over the past few days or so. We here in Northeastern Ohio were nearly buried on Friday night and Saturday by over 14 inches of snow and I've been trying to keep up with shoveling, etc. In the meantime, though, I've been keeping informed about the ramifications of the scheduled closure of the Abraham Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
The eminent and nationally known Lincoln expert, Harold Holzer, published an impassioned editorial on March 9, urging the operators of the musem (Lincoln National) to find a home for the valuable and irreplaceable collection of Lincolnania. As Holzer points out, the museum serves as a primary source of information to countless authors, researchers, and fans of Lincoln. It's an excellent editorial and I urge my readers to read it.
From an article published yesterday, March 10, by a Fort Wayne television station comes word that the Lincoln Museum Board Of Directors has voted to try every way possible to keep as much of the collection in Fort Wayne as possible. They will present a plan with various proposals to Lincoln National, based in Philadelphia over the next few months.
Like any good politician, the mayor of Fort Wayne, Tom Henry, weighed in with a statement of his own concerning the closure of the museum. Unfortunately, he probably won't have any impact whether the collection stays or goes.
Finally, there is yet another hard-hitting editorial in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, strongly criticizing Lincoln National for not only turning its back on a community, but for also shutting access to perhaps the finest collection of Lincolnania publicly available. The author, Scott Bushnell, implies (with justification in my opinion) that corporate greed on the part of new management at Lincoln National is the primary reason for the closure.
Of course, it remains to be seen what effect, if any, these pleas and proposed plans will have on the decision by Lincoln National. Let's hope that the management at Lincoln National sees the light and remembers the goodwill and corporate citizenship it has established over the decades. Only an American company, with its focus on the short-term bottom line, would cut off access to such a National treasure.
Posted by Geoff Elliott at 2:38 PM
This is a follow-up to the announcement this week that the Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne, Indiana is closing after being open to the public for 77 years.
Today's Fort Wayne Journal Gazette contains a somewhat moving editorial about the closure, lamenting what it means to Fort Wayne, to small cities around the country, and especially to Lincoln scholars. I never realized the sheer amount of documentation, books, brochures and other items the collection contains, numbering something like 230,000 in all!
I mentioned in my previous post that Lincoln Financial Group is going to try to digitize the documents and share or donate the other items in the collection. Still, it's a major loss to the Lincoln enthusiast community.
One can't help but wonder what the real reasons are for the closure, but I suspect it's due to declining profits or a desire to boost the bottom line at Lincoln Financial. One would have thought instead of just closing the museum, period, that Lincoln Financial could have sought public or private money in an attempt to keep the collection available to everyone. Instead, it has chosen to impact Fort Wayne, its citizens, and the Lincoln community of researchers adversely. That's a shame. By taking this action, Lincoln Financial has no doubt hurt its own corporate goodwill.
Posted by Geoff Elliott at 2:55 PM
This week has brought some unfortunate news to enthusiasts of Abraham Lincoln. Earlier this week, it was announced that the Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne, Indiana is closing its doors this June. The museum, run by the Lincoln Financial Group, has suffered from declining attendance for a while now. The museum's collection includes a shawl worn by Mary Todd Lincoln, some toys played with by the Lincoln children, a cane used by Abe himself, and numerous photos. The prize of its collection has to be a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Lincoln. All said, there are some 79 items in the collection. Unfortunately, roughly 20 employees at the museum will lose their jobs as a result of this action.
There is a slight bright spot, though. Lincoln Financial will explore possible ways of sharing this wonderful collection through exhibitions both real and virtual. Let's hope that the public can have continued access. It would be a shame if these treasures become hidden from public view.
The other unfortunate piece of news for us this week comes from Professor Brian Dirck of Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana. For a few years now, he's run the premier Abraham Lincoln blog, the A.Lincoln Blog, at http://www.alincolnblog.blogspot.com/. His blog is extremely well-written and is an outstanding resource for people who wish to know more about our nation's 16th president. On what is his last post, Professor Dirck states that he will erase this blog within a few more days. Let us hope that he changes his mind and leaves all of his posts up. It would be a great loss of learned insight into Lincoln and his life, career, and presidency. We wish him well, but lament the loss of such an excellent blog!
When I started my own Lincoln blog a few months ago, I had no idea that another one already existed. I've tried very hard to avoid duplication of his efforts by checking his blog before I posted any information to mine. I've personally learned a great deal by reading his blog. While I have a good deal of knowledge about Lincoln, my level of understanding, I'm sure, pales in comparison to Professor Dirck's.
I have a fair number of readers of this blog, and the number who are return visitors is growing. I just want to assure you that I will maintain and continue to add to this blog in the hopes of informing and entertaining those who drop by.
Posted by Geoff Elliott at 12:08 PM
The University of Rochester (New York) has recently put its collection of 72 letters written by Abraham Lincoln online in order to share it with Lincoln researchers and enthusiasts.
One of the most interesting letters is one written by Lincoln on March 14, 1862 proposing the payment to slave owners of $400 per slave in order to achieve "gradual emancipation" so that hostilities might be ended. In the letter to Illinois senator James McDougall, Lincoln then proposed that in exchange for payment, slave-holders in Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, Washington D.C., and Missouri would agree to gradual emancipation within 20 years. Apparently, this suggestion did not apply to the slave-holders in states which were in rebellion against the Federal Government.
Obviously the idea never took off. It took the 13th amendment to the Constitution, after the Civil War, to once and forever end slavery in the United States.
The Rochester University archive is highly educational and informative. I encourage my readers to take advantage of another excellent repository of information about Abraham Lincoln.
Posted by Geoff Elliott at 12:31 PM