Thursday, August 28, 2008

Obama: Realizing The Dream


As I write this blog entry, our nation is on the cusp of history. A little more than two hours from now, Barack Obama will officially accept his party's nomination to be its candidate for President Of The United States of America. He is the first African-American to be the official candidate for president from either major political party. In recognition of this historic achievement, Obama's rival, Senator John McCain is even running a commercial tonight to congratulate him. A class act.

Today also happens to mark the 45th anniversary of one of the most remarkable speeches in American history: the famous "I Have A Dream" address given by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Dr. King spoke of freedom for his people, owed to them by The Declaration of Independence which states that "all men are created equal." His speech was the highlight of the March On Washington, in which hundreds of thousands protested for equality and justice for all people. He spoke of his dream that one day his children and his children's children would be judged "not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." This stunning speech may be found here in entirety.

The nomination of Barack Obama for president partially realizes Dr. King's dream. In the past 45 years, African-Americans have gone from Jim Crow laws, segregated lunch counters and drinking fountains to tonight's historical event. Many people both black and white have fought to achieve this moment. More than a few lives have been lost in the struggle.

Abraham Lincoln spoke of America as being the "last best hope of earth" in his 1862 message to Congress. He stated that by giving slaves their freedom, we assure freedom to the free. Dr. King took that a step farther and demanded "complete" freedom, equality, for his people.

Only time will reveal the outcome of this year's presidential race. But tonight we should all celebrate this momentous occasion in our nation's history. The dream lives on.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Upcoming Lincoln Book Goes Outside The Box


With the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth rapidly approaching, it seems as if every week brings the announcement of yet more upcoming books about his life or career. This week is no exception. An intriguing new book about the Lincoln assassination, written for the middle-school age level, is already garnering some attention for its unusual approach to the subject.

"Lincoln Shot: A President's Life Remembered" is written in the style of an 1860's newspaper. Real-life ads of the era along with real photos of the hanging of the Lincoln conspirators plus photos of the dead soldiers at Gettysburg combine to give a feel for what it would have been like to see experience the event as if the reader lived through these events. Adding to the realism, the pages are faux-aged to give a more authentic look and feel to the book. Warm pen and ink drawings of Lincoln, Booth, and other players in the story round out the book.

Supposedly compiled by the "National News Staff" (a fictitious newspaper) in 1866, the book is actually authored by Barry Denenberg, known for his unconventional approach to history for kids. Scheduled for publication next month (September 2008), the book is a coffee-table size volume (8 x 12 inches) and contains 40 pages in hardbound. Publisher's price will be $24.95 but I found it for less than that on Amazon and have already ordered my own copy. Feiwel and Friends is the publisher.

You can find more information about this book by clicking here. History doesn't have to be a boring jumble of dates, names, and places. Imagination and thinking outside the box can bring history alive to readers of all ages. This book and "Lincoln And His Boys" (reviewed here) are two of those books which can pique a life-long interest in Mr. Lincoln and indeed, in history itself.

Gettysburg Address Returns To Gettysburg


Just five known copies of the Gettysburg Address exist as written in the hand of Abraham Lincoln. One of those copies is going to be put on display for only three days next month at the new Visitor Center at the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. The display of this priceless document, on loan from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, will be part of the grand opening celebration of the center in Gettysburg. The manuscript will be on display from September 26-28, 2008.

This particular copy of the Gettysburg Address is known as the "Everett Copy." Contrary to popular belief, Abraham Lincoln was not the featured speaker at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg on November 19, 1863. That honor fell to Edward Everett, a nationally renowned orator of the day. While Lincoln's famous Address took only two minutes to deliver, Everett's speech took over two hours! A few weeks after the ceremony, Everett asked Lincoln for a copy of the Address in order to include it in a volume that Everett was assembling to mark the dedication. This copy is also the first to feature the words "under God" in the final sentence of the address.

Many myths surround the Gettysburg Address. No, Mr. Lincoln did not write it on the back of an envelope while riding the train to the town. No, it wasn't universally declared to be a brilliant speech in the weeks and months after it was given. Click here to find out the facts behind the legends. Also you may click here to learn more about how and why Lincoln was invited to Gettysburg to give a "few appropriate remarks."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Book Review: "Lincoln And His Boys"


Of the thousands of books written about Abraham Lincoln over the past 150 years, many have been written specifically for children. These books have typically been brief (but complete) biographies or have focused on his presidency or his own childhood. I remember as a young boy being introduced to the world of Lincoln by some of the more famous of these children's books, such as "Meet Abraham Lincoln" and "Abe Lincoln Gets His Chance." The one thing common style in these books was that the author is also the narrator.

An upcoming book titled "Lincoln And His Boys" presents a different and perhaps unique approach to telling the Lincoln story. The book, authored by Rosemary Wells, shows Lincoln through his children's eyes. Targeted for age group 8-12 years, the book's two "narrators" are Lincoln's two younger sons, Willie and Thomas (or "Tad" as he was called). Opening with the year 1859, each "son" relates the major events affecting them and their family. Through the eyes of "Willie" and "Tad" the reader gets to experience their father's preparation for and election to the presidency; the long journey by train from Springfield to Washington; the Civil War; life in the President's House (as the White House was called in those days); and the emotional walk taken through Richmond, Virginia by Lincoln and Tad after it fell. Along the way, the boys share triumph and tragedy with the reader.

The book is scheduled to be published in January 2009 by Candlewick Press. Thanks to Alicia and Laura at the publishing company, I've been given the opportunity to read an advance copy of the book and would like to share my review. I am not associated with Candlewick Press and I have in no way been compensated by the company. The image of the front cover of the book is used by permission and is copyrighted by Candlewick Press.


Initial Impressions:

Rosemary Wells brings Lincoln to life. This Lincoln is much more approachable and real, even to the adult reader. He's not just the crafty politician who becomes president; he's also a father who worships his children, especially Tad, who in real life was apparently uncontrollable. I found this approach to the Lincoln story refreshing and I suspect it will engage younger readers in a way many other books about Lincoln do not.



Positives:

It's obvious that the author spent much time researching the book. Yet the facts never get in the way of the story, an important consideration for a children's book. Minute details are included such as the name of the hotel where Lincoln and Willie stayed while in Chicago, or the name of the boat which carries Tad and his father to Richmond. Wells was careful to have "Tad" refer to his father as "Papa-day" which is how Lincoln was addressed by Tad, who suffered from a cleft palate. "Papa-day" was Tad's way of saying "Papa dear". As the author herself writes, only the dialogue between the characters is fictional.

Emotions come through beautifully in the writing. "Willie" is worried about his mother's reaction to Lincoln's decision to run for the presidency. The reader experiences both the excitement and boredom of the long trip to Washington. "Tad" shares his devastation and loneliness he feels when his beloved brother Willie dies. The reader feels the grief his parents feel as well.

The illustrations were done in oils, which adds a measure of warmth to the book. The illustrator, P.J. Lynch, has done a fine job in bringing to life the stories told by the boys. The paintings are of a much higher quality than you'd find in most other children's books. They convey movement quite well and are beautiful to look at. Some of the illustrations of Lincoln don't resemble him very accurately, but this is not a major problem.

Finally, the book at only 96 pages is just the right length for the targeted age group. It's tells the important events in the Lincoln family's lives, but does not go on so long as to lose the young reader's interest and attention.


Things Which Made Me Think "Hmmmmm...."

As I was reading the book, a couple of concerns came to mind, one of which I think is fairly major. SPOILER ALERT! Do not read this paragraph and the next one if you don't wish to know just how the book ends. OK? OK. Don't say you've not been warned. "Lincoln And His Boys" concludes on the evening of April 11, 1865 with Lincoln giving a speech in celebration of the surrender of Lee's army. "Tad" tells the story to the reader, letting us know that his "Papa-day" asks for the band to play "Dixie" and how Tad is picking up the pages from his father's speech. "Tad" asks his father if they can go home now, Lincoln smiles, and basically says they can. And that is how the book concludes. It gives the appearance that everyone lived happily ever after, and of course, they did not. Lincoln was shot three nights later and died the morning after that. I've gone back and forth in my mind about the ending for a few days now whether or not I think the ending is appropriate. Other children's books about Lincoln, including ones I read early on, discuss the assassination. It's a tragic ending to the Lincoln story, but it's possibly THE event which helped to gain his entry into the pantheon of American history. On the other hand, the evening of celebration in Washington that night just might have been the last happy night of poor Tad's life. His mother never recovered from losing two sons (Eddie and Willie) and she truly became unhinged after the death of her husband. Tad himself would live only 6 more years, succumbing to tuberculosis at the age of 18. In some respects, I can understand why the horrible endings were left out of the book.

Still, I think some mention of the assassination needs to be made. I would suggest the addition of an epilogue or an afterward in which the final facts are explained at an age-appropriate level. In the epilogue, it could be the author telling the reader about what happened, as opposed to "Tad" talking about it. The important thing to consider is that this book could be the first introduction to Abraham Lincoln and his family for many young readers. These readers need to know the entire story, especially since the rest of the book is so accurate.

(end of spoiler!)

Another thing which struck me, albeit on a less important level, is that Ms. Wells makes no mention of the Lincoln family dog left behind in Springfield. "Fido," as he was known, was not taken to Washington with the family because he was terrified of loud noises. Lincoln felt that the dog would not survive the journey on the loud train, and the dog was left in the care of another family. However, Fido was a special member of the family and strict instructions were left with his new owners on how to care for him. Even his favorite horsehair sofa was left so Fido could have some measure of comfort. It is known that Tad, especially, begged Lincoln to not leave Fido behind. Sadness is not avoided in the book and it would've made the overall story about Lincoln and his boys even more endearing if this episode would've been talked about by "Willie" or "Tad."

Finally, I think a basic "table of facts" should have been included. Kids might like to learn more about Lincoln or his boys and birth dates, birthplaces, important events, and so on would have been very helpful.


OVERALL:

"Lincoln And His Boys" is a much-welcomed addition to the world of children's books written about Mr. Lincoln. Indeed, it has the potential to become a classic read for children who want to learn more about our nation's 16th president. The unique approach to the story is refreshing, educational, and very entertaining. It helps the reader, no matter his or her age, to see Lincoln as he was, instead of as some long-dead president who is frozen in time. The ending does leave something to be desired, which is a shame considering how delightful and accurate the story telling is. Nonetheless, I will recommend it to anyone of any age who is interested in learning more about Abraham Lincoln.



RATING:




4.5 out of 5 Log Cabins - Highly recommended.




Publishing Information:


"Lincoln And His Boys" is due for publication in January 2009 by Candlewick Press.

Author: Rosemary Wells

Illustrator: P.J. Lynch

96 Pages Hardbound - $16.99

Monday, August 18, 2008

Investigating Lincoln's Murder



In Washington, D.C. this summer, a new walking tour has begun in which the investigation of Lincoln's assassination is re-created. Beginning at Ford's Theater, the site of the shooting, an actor leads tour participants in a 90-minute walk during which people are encouraged to look for clues in hunting the assassin. Stops along the way include the alley behind the theater in which John Wilkes Booth mounted his horse during his escape; sites of hotels and houses that Booth was known to frequent; and the site of the Kirkwood House, where vice-president Andrew Johnson lived and who was once a target of the assassination plot.

The tour ends at the White House, where the final results of the investigation are revealed, including the hangings of four co-conspirators of Booth.

Actor Kip Pierson portrays Detective James McDevitt, a real-life Washington police officer who was on duty the night of the assassination. The tour costs $12.00 a person and will be on Wednesdays August 20 and 27 at 7:00 p.m. Beginning on September 13, the tours will be on Saturday mornings at 10:00 a.m. The last tour of the season will be on October 25. Contact Ford's Theater at 202-638-2367 or by visiting the Ford's Theater website.

Lincoln In Pennies Video


While on my daily search for anything related to Abraham Lincoln, I came across this very cool stop-motion video of someone assembling a portrait of Lincoln out of Lincoln cents. Nothing very profound about it, but it certainly took a lot of talent and searching for the right shades of the coins.

The link to the video is here. Something fun and interesting for your viewing pleasure.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Lincoln Artifacts Soaring In Price And Demand


The Voice of America (VOA) website has an interesting report on its website today about the growing interest and prices in Lincoln artifacts. On the webpage I provided, you'll find a link to a video report (at the top of the VOA webpage) from the VOA discussing the recent sale of incredibly rare Lincoln letters and signatures at Sotheby's. I posted about this sale back on April 3, 2008 talking about the one letter which brought $3.4 million! The video report interviews the Sotheby's archivist in charge of the auction, a gentleman who has also appeared on the Antiques Road Show. The owner of the Abraham Lincoln Bookshop in Chicago is also interviewed. If you ever get a chance to visit the Bookshop, you should do so, as it's an incredible treasure trove of Lincoln books, signatures, photos, and other artifacts. All are for sale and all are extremely expensive. I provide a link to the Bookshop under "Lincoln And History Links."

I can attest to the stunning prices in Lincoln collectibles, although on a far lower scale. In recent weeks on eBay, I've seen a rare carte-de-visite (CDV) photo of Mary Todd Lincoln and two of her sons fetch over $2,300; a Fremont-Lincoln campaign ribbon from 1856 bring $1,7000; and an incredibly rare signed photo of Lincoln sold for an astounding $180,000 (not including the buyer's premium!). Even fairly common Lincoln biographies from the 1860's are now selling easily for more than $150 or so.

No doubt these prices are skyrocketing thanks to growing interest in the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth. I can attest to the interest in artifacts about Lincoln thanks to the increasing number of hits on this blog from people searching for information about them. Additionally, I'm a collector of Lincoln items, but certainly not at the level of these prices. I own a copy of the first Lincoln biography (The Wigwam Edition); a complete set of the 1890 10-volume biography of Lincoln written by his private secretaries John Hay and John Nicolay; and some other old and rare books. But to be able to buy the truly rare items I previously mentioned would take far more money than I have to blow on "junk" as my wife calls it. :-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates Revisited

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates. Over the course of three months from August to October, 1858, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas debated each other in seven towns in Illinois as they competed for the U.S. Senate. The debates were mostly about slavery, Lincoln in opposition and Douglas in favor of "popular sovereignty," in which each state's citizens would have determination whether to accept slavery or prohibit it. Although Lincoln lost the election to the U.S. Senate (a decision made in those days by the legislature in Illinois, direct election of senators didn't happen until decades later), the debates thrust him into the national spotlight and helped him win the presidency two years later.

Two eminent Lincoln scholars, Rodney Davis and Douglas Wilson of Knox College (Galesburg, Illinois) are the co-editors of a new book about the debates. Titled "The Lincoln Douglas Debates: The Lincoln Center Studies Edition" is promoted by the gentlemen as a more accurate account of the debate speeches than has previously been written. The original debate sources scholars have to go by are two Chicago newspapers, one being a Republican paper, the other a Democrat publication. Each newspaper varied wildly in reporting the debates, including what each candidate said, how he reacted, crowd emotions, and so on. By performing a "critical analysis" of the original sources, Davis and Wilson claim that their new book is a "fuller and more accurate account of the speeches" made by Lincoln and Douglas.

Interestingly, Davis and Wilson have created podcasts of their in-depth analysis of each debate and have made them available on the web for those of us who are interested in learning more about the debates. Their podcasts are available here, courtesy of Knox College.

It should be noted that in those days, debates were "real" debates and not the so-called "debates" we are subjected to in modern times. Debates were not moderated, were not scripted, and were most certainly not limited to two minutes per response per candidate. The debates between Lincoln and Douglas sometimes took up to three hours and each candidate was allowed to speak freely. The voters (only white men in those days, of course) were thus able to truly understand each man's position on the critical issues of the day. It's a shame that we the people cannot have the same experience today.

Knox College in Galesburg was the site of one of the seven debates between Lincoln and Douglas on October 7, 1858. It's "Old Main" building is the only structure remaining from any of the debate sites. To learn more about the college itself, click here. To learn more about the college's association with Abraham Lincoln, including its Lincoln Center, click here.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Abraham Lincoln's Political Experience


In recent weeks, I've been noticing a growing number of "hits" on this blog resulting from searches of "Abraham Lincoln political experience" and searches similar to this. Although I did post an "opinion piece" back in January which very briefly mentioned Lincoln's political experience, I thought I'd use this post to discuss it in greater detail.

Abraham Lincoln's political experience began with a loss when he ran for the state legislature of Illinois in 1832. Although he won nearly all of the votes in his own village of New Salem, he lost the overall vote across the district. Later in life, Lincoln loved to point out that it was the only time in his life that he lost an election on a direct vote of the people. He ran again in 1834, was this time the second highest vote getter and obtained a seat in the legislature. He served 4 consecutive terms in the Illinois legislature, eventually rising to become the Whig party leader there. It was in this capacity as a state representative and party leader that Lincoln learned the fundamentals of politics which would later serve him so brilliantly.

Lincoln's national political experience prior to running for and being elected president was limited to a single term in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1846 to 1848. A lot of searches I've been noticing are for "Lincoln U.S. Senate." No, Mr. Lincoln was a Congressman, not a senator. His single term in the House (as a member of the Whig party) was mostly undistinguished. His one shining moment came in January 1848 when he made a powerful speech in Congress criticizing President James K. Polk for leading the nation into an unnecessary war, that being the Mexican War (which had begun in 1846). He challenged President Polk to provide proof of the need for the war, the amount of money spent on it, and the future plans of the administration once the war was over. He also claimed that the president's actions were unconstitutional. Unfortunately for Lincoln, his speech was ignored by the administration, unnoticed by the national press, and angered many of his constituents, who ended up questioning his patriotism. The speech was used against him in future years. After having promised to limit his time in Congress to a single term, Lincoln returned to private law practice in Springfield in 1849.

Lincoln continued to be involved in politics although he did not hold any elective office after his Congressional term until he won the presidency in 1860. After the collapse of the Whig Party in the early 1850's, Lincoln joined the new (at that time) Republican Party and was for a time considered to be a possible vice-presidential candidate in the 1856 election.

It was not until his contest for U.S. Senator in 1858 that Abraham Lincoln truly burst onto the national political stage. The series of debates with his opponent, Stephen Douglas, captured the attention of the nation. At that time, U.S. Senators were chosen by the legislatures of the respective states, and Lincoln eventually lost his bid for the Senate, the more politically experienced Douglas emerging as the winner. But through these brilliant debates, mostly argued over slavery, Lincoln became the towering national figure he was apparently destined to be.

To summarize, Lincoln was a state legislator for 8 years and a U.S. Congressman for 2 years before he was elected president. He didn't have much experience as an office-holder, but he went on to become the country's greatest president. Other men (see John Quincy Adams and James Buchanan) had far more experience than he, yet failed miserably in their presidencies. This is why in my opinion, at least, political experience is not a predictor of success or failure of a potential president.

For an outstanding recounting of Lincoln's early political career in the state legislature of Illinois and his term in Congress, the reader can do no better than David Herbert Donald's superb biography, "Lincoln." Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team Of Rivals" focuses more on Lincoln's politics at the national level, but is also quite good. Entire books have been written about the Lincoln-Douglas debates, but the classic reference work is Harold Holzer's "The Lincoln-Douglas Debates, the First Complete Unexpurgated Text" from 1993.

I hope this brief "lesson" about Mr. Lincoln's political experience is helpful. Please feel free to comment.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Illinois Tourists Already Angered


Fallout has already begun from the short-sighted decision by the state of Illinois to close Abraham Lincoln historic sites just as the country is preparing to celebrate Mr. Lincoln's 200th birthday. Back on Friday August 1, 2008, I posted this story about how thanks to budgetary concerns, the re-created village of New Salem, the Old State Capitol, the Lincoln Tomb, and the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices will be closed parts of each week. The law offices will be open just once a week, while the other sites will be closed at least two days per week.

The decision has already angered tourists who were caught unaware by the new schedules. The State Journal-Register of Springfield (Illinois, of course) ran an article on Monday about how over 100 visitors planning on touring New Salem showed up only to find it closed. The article describes the shock that visitors felt, especially considering that websites for New Salem and other attractions hadn't been updated to reflect the new operating schedule. Visitors from as far away as Washington state and California were disappointed and very angered. Residents from Iowa cancelled the rest of their two day stay in Springfield because the other sites they wanted to see were also closed and would be on Tuesday as well.

While it's not the fault of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, it's ironic that it has a special website helping visitors find Lincoln. The logo, which I've posted above, is "Looking For Lincoln." Well, my friends, you can still find him. You just have to look at bit harder now. Way to go, Illinois. How many of these tourists will now never return?

Sunday, August 3, 2008

How Lincoln Recovered From Three Hour Debate?

It's amazing to me how limitless the stories about Abraham Lincoln seem to be. Now thanks to some research by an Illinois woman, we now are learning how Abe might have dealt with the exhaustion he felt after a three-hour long debate with Stephen A. Douglas in Quincy, Illinois on October 13, 1858.

The article from yesterday's Quincy Herald-Whig newspaper relates how a local historian, Iris Nelson, stumbled upon an article in a 1907 issue of McClure's Magazine recounting how Lincoln was on the verge of collapse from exhaustion after the debate. According to the author of the McClure's article, George P. Floyd, Lincoln was taken back to his hotel and treated to a "rum sweat" in which a pan of rum was placed under a chair which Lincoln sat on, lit on fire, and then had Lincoln inhale the vapors of the burning rum. Afterwards, he was put to bed and the profuse sweating from the liquor vapors caused him to exude the stress from the debate. Supposedly later that night, Lincoln felt restored and was able to join his supporters for a torchlight parade.

Mr. Floyd was writing about this story some 50 years after it was alleged to happen. It was he and his wife who "prescribed" the treatment to Lincoln back in 1858. While it's always difficult to prove these anecdotes, the historian, Ms. Nelson, who serves on the local Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, feels that the story is accurate. She explains that Lincoln's supporters would have kept this story of the "rum sweat" from the press due to the vicious nature of the opposition papers of the day. No doubt, it would have led people to claim that Lincoln was a drinker, when in fact, he was not.

Who really knows if the story is true or not. Lincoln was of course in Quincy on that date, and it can be documented that Mr. Floyd was indeed a resident of Quincy, who served as a marshal in a parade of Lincoln supporters. In any case, it makes for an interesting story, yet another to add to the legend behind Lincoln.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Illinois Strikes Out With Lincoln Fans


Say you want to journey to Illinois, the "Land of Lincoln" as it so proudly calls itself, in order to learn more about Abraham Lincoln. You've read about all the Lincoln sites in Springfield, the state's capital, and are eager to see them. Perhaps you've read about the time he spent in New Salem and want to see the reconstructed village about 25 miles from Springfield. Or maybe you really want to see the beautiful and historic old capitol building, where Lincoln gave his famous "A House Divided" speech in 1858. You've heard that the Lincoln Herndon Law Offices are worthwhile for a quick tour in order to learn more about Lincoln's law career. And of course you absolutely want to see Lincoln's tomb, an impressive and beautiful structure set in a lovely cemetery in town.

Well, you'd better plan ahead. In its infinite wisdom, the state of Illinois has dramatically slashed the budget of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency due to a financial crunch. To be sure, the state is suffering a $2 billion deficit and apparently nothing in the state budget will be spared. Not even it's most famous resident.

As a result of the crisis, the recreated village of New Salem and the old capitol building will be closed two days per week. Even Lincoln's tomb itself will be closed two days each week. And Lincoln's law office will be open only on Saturdays! Don't worry, though. You can still see "Disney-fied" history at the Lincoln Presidential Museum, even if you can't visit real historic sites associated with Lincoln when it's convenient for your vacation.

You have to wonder about the state government in Illinois. We're coming up on the bicentennial of the birth of the nation's greatest president, a national commission has been formed to celebrate the occasion, and countless other states are getting in on the act. But Illinois? It shuts down many of the best Lincoln sites in the country just as interest in Lincoln is hitting a peak! This decision might save money now, but in the long run, it will greatly affect tourism and the money it brings into the state. But what can one expect when one of the ideas for celebrating Abe is for store owners to put "Happy Birthday, Abe" on marquees in front of their stores.

Simply brilliant. So, Indiana or Kentucky, would either of you like to be the new "Land of Lincoln"? It's obvious that Illinois is willing to give up the title.

 
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