Monday, July 19, 2010

The Abraham Lincoln Blog Resumes

After weeks of thought about what the future holds for this blog about Abraham Lincoln, I have come to realize that it must continue. I had contemplated deleting the blog or ending it, but now I understand that it would be a mistake to do either.

The past few months have been discouraging for me in regards to the effort I put into writing about Lincoln. At the beginning of this year, I was contacted by a museum (the name of which will remain unmentioned) in the Midwestern United States which was interested in having me speak in conjunction with a Lincoln exhibition. In fact,the original plan was to have me speak at the museum on the 150th anniversary of Lincoln's First Inaugural Address. Needless to say, I was thrilled beyond belief that this museum wanted me, an amateur historian, to give a lecture on an important anniversary associated with Lincoln. Months went by and the museum was still interested, perhaps even expanding my role into a second engagement.

I was informed in June that the museum directors had chosen to go in a different direction and the invitation was withdrawn. I understand the reasons given. To say I am disappointed is an understatement. It has made me doubt both my knowledge and efforts I put into this blog.

I've also been contacted by many other organizations requesting that I give their Lincoln event or website free publicity. I never ask to be paid for publicity, but it would be kind if a discount to the event would be offered in return. And many times, even a simple "thank you" in return would be welcome. Too often, I never hear again from the organization after giving it a "shout out" on the blog. That is also quite discouraging because I don't want this blog to become commercialized.

In spite of these disappointments in recent months, I've also been receiving a great deal of encouragement and support from readers I never knew I had. They've all been asking me to not end the blog and to continue writing, because they are interested in learning more about Mr. Lincoln. There has been a lot of response to my previous post and I'm grateful to everyone who has written.

I was still leaning toward no longer writing about Lincoln until yesterday. I went to see a small but excellent Lincoln exhibit in a tiny village in Northeastern Ohio. There was the typical Lincoln re-enactor to help answer questions of visitors. Then I heard that this little museum has been setting attendance records while the Lincoln exhibit has been on display. It seems that people simply cannot get enough of learning about Mr. Lincoln. People of all ages were there yesterday, children typically showing the most interest. Adults were asking to have their photo taken with "Mr. Lincoln," the re-enactor. Everyone present wanted to be in Lincoln's presence, whether through photos and artifacts, or "in person."

Then it dawned on me. It doesn't matter if I get to speak about Lincoln at a museum. Rude organizations wanting free publicity from me don't matter. What matters is that there is a thirst for knowledge about Abraham Lincoln. Helping people to obtain that knowledge is worth the efforts I put into my writing. That is the sole reason I'm continuing The Abraham Lincoln Blog. Thank you for dropping by.

11 comments:

sssm said...

great news! i look forward to continue reading your blog.

thevangelders.com said...

So glad you're back!!!!

Ryan said...

I love learning about history especially great statesmen like President Lincoln, if you still have the enthusiasm and are still enjoying blogging then don't give it up. Keep up the good work.

Dake said...

Very glad you will continue. You've been in my blog scroll for a very long time and happy to see your article pop up!

Your Life for a Story said...

Whew! Glad you're going to continue the blog. I am a relatively newcomer to learning about Lincoln, and the more I read about him, the more I want to know! I check your blog maybe 5 times a week for new updates. You're a very good and engaging writer. Glad you're going to still be here!!

Adrienne said...

I get the blog in my RSS feed and often forward links. Love reading it and glad you've decided to continue.

Jim said...

One word: YEAH! And I love the new features. Keep it coming!

Geoff Elliott said...

Thank you, everyone, for your words of encouragement and praise. I just want to help people learn about the life story of Abraham Lincoln. And I learn much about him along the way, too.

Thanks for reading.

Blues Historian said...

Its good that you are still doing this. Lincoln needs you:-)

I know that everyone wants free publicity. I face that all the time with my blog, but your voice on all things Lincoln is very important. In this day of alternative history, and Neo-confederate history, it is important that you keep setting the record straight when it comes to Lincoln.

As a history professor I am grateful for the time and energy you put into this project. I also want you to know that you are no amateur historian, you are a real historian!


Tom Gary

jim said...

I am a first time visitor and spent several hours reading through your blog tonight. Thanks for an interesting and educational evening. I believe it was Lincoln who said "I shall return." (Just kidding, but the thanks is serious.)

Geoff Elliott said...

Thanks for the continued kind words about the efforts I put into this little blog about Abraham Lincoln.

I'm especially grateful for the comment calling me a "real historian." Coming from a professor of history, that is high praise.

Indeed, there is a great deal of bad history and incorrect "facts" about Lincoln floating around both the Internet and in print. Neo-Confederates do their best to espouse their hate and vilification of Lincoln. If I can help to counteract their attempts to rewrite history, then that alone is worth my time.

To "Jim" the first-time visitor who dropped by just last night, welcome! Feel free to comment or ask questions any time. That's why I'm here. Thanks!

 
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