Lincoln Courtesy of Walt Disney

Not bad as a simplified version of Lincoln and his role in American history.  The speech of the animatronic Lincoln consists of a compilation from various Lincoln speeches and writings:

The world has never had a good definition of the word liberty, and the American people, just now, are much in want of one. We all declare for liberty; but in using the same word we do not all mean the same thing.

What constitutes the bulwark of our liberty and independence? It is not our frowning embattlements, our bristling sea coasts. These are not our reliance against tyranny. Our reliance is in the love of liberty, which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands everywhere. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors.

At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some trans-Atlantic military giant to step the ocean and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined could not, by force, take a drink from the Ohio or make a track on the Blue Ridge in a trial of a thousand years. At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, that if it ever reach us, it must spring from amongst us; it cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we ourselves must be the authors and finishers. As a nation of free men, we must live through all times, or die by suicide. (more…)

Published in: on September 28, 2022 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Bishop Sheen: Life of Abraham Lincoln

The things you find on the internet!  Bishop Sheen retells the life of Abraham Lincoln.  Originally broadcast in 1954, it is an interesting take on the Great Emancipator.  Completely fascinating.  A great tribute by a son of Illinois to the greatest son of Illinois. (more…)

Published in: on September 13, 2022 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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September 3, 1864: Proclamation of Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving

Lincoln Quote

Something for the weekend.  Battle Hymn of the Republic.
Abraham Lincoln understood that with the capture of Atlanta, victory in the War was almost assured, and he reminded the American people who to thank for it.
Executive Mansion,
Washington City September 3d. 1864

The signal success that Divine Providence has recently vouchsafed to the operations of the United States fleet and army in the harbor of Mobile and the reduction of Fort-Powell, Fort-Gaines, and Fort-Morgan, and the glorious achievements of the Army under Major General Sherman in the State of Georgia, resulting in the capture of the City of Atlanta, call for devout acknowledgement to the Supreme Being in whose hands are the destinies of nations. It is therefore requested that on next Sunday, in all places of public worship in the United-States, thanksgiving be offered to Him for His mercy in preserving our national existence against the insurgent rebels who so long have been waging a cruel war against the Government of the United-States, for its overthrow; and also that prayer be made for the Divine protection to our brave soldiers and their leaders in the field, who have so ofen and so gallantly perilled their lives in battling with the enemy; and for blessing and comfort from the Father of Mercies to the sick, wounded, and prisoners, and to the orphans and widows of those who have fallen in the service of their country, and that he will continue to uphold the Government of the United-States against all the efforts of public enemies and secret foes.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN

 

Published in: on September 3, 2022 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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August 3, 1864: Lincoln to Grant

Anti-Lincoln Cartoon

The gaunt man, Abraham Lincoln, lives his days.
For a while the sky above him is very dark.
There are fifty thousand dead in these last, bleak months
And Richmond is still untaken.
                              The papers rail,
Grant is a butcher, the war will never be done.
The gaunt man’s term of office draws to an end,
His best friends muse and are doubtful.

Stephen Vincent Benet, John Brown’s Body

By the beginning of August 1864 Lincoln began to suspect that he was going to lose re-election and the Union was going to lose the War.  Grant, at an immense cost in blood, had pushed Lee back to Richmond and Petersburg, but both cities still were controlled by the Confederates and Lee’s army was still a force to be reckoned with.  The North was still reeling from Early’s victories in the Shenandoah, his daring raid on Washington and his burning of Chambersburg on July 30.  In the West the Confederate Army of Tennessee still clung to Atlanta, and the Confederacy still controlled almost all of its heartland.  The War seemed to be entering a stalemate, and if it remained so until November, Lincoln would be a one term president and the Union would be permanently sundered.  With that on his mind, Lincoln sent a warning telegram to Grant.  Lincoln never lost his faith in Grant, but clearly he wanted Grant to understand that unless victories were forthcoming the Union was in peril.  Ironically, in this telegram Lincoln approves Sheridan being place in command in the Shenandoah, and it was Sheridan’s string of victories in the fall that probably ensured Lincoln’s re-election:

 

(more…)

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July 10, 1864: Lincoln Telegraphs Grant for Help

AHOL-EHCvW-JubalEarly

 

On July 10, 1864 Jubal Early’s men were approaching the outer suburbs of Washington and panic was seizing the city.  Lincoln’s telegram to Grant does not indicate any panic on the part of Lincoln, but worry about whether Early would take the city: (more…)

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July 8, 1862: Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act

The Republican party platform of  1856 had the following resolution:

Resolved: That the Constitution confers upon Congress sovereign powers over the Territories of the United States for their government; and that in the exercise of this power, it is both the right and the imperative duty of Congress to prohibit in the Territories those twin relics of barbarism — Polygamy, and Slavery.

After the Republicans took control of Congress in 1860, they acted against both polygamy and slavery.   Sponsored by one of the legislative powerhouses of the day, Senator Justin Smith Morill (R. Vt.), the Morill Anti- bigamy Act sailed through Congress and was signed President Lincoln on July 8, 1862.   Thereafter Lincoln, acting with his usual wisdom, ignored the Act, instructing General Patrick Edward Connor, commander of Federal troops at Fort Douglas, Utah, not to confront the Mormon leadership over the Act or for any other reason.  Lincoln had made clear to Brigham Young that so long as the Mormons in Utah stayed loyal to the Union, he would leave them alone.  Young had no intention for the Latter Day Saints to get involved in the immense blood letting on the side of the Confederacy, so a bargain was struck.  This tacit understanding remained in force as long as Lincoln lived. 

The constitutionality of the Morill Anti-bigamy Act was upheld by the United States Supreme Court in Reynolds v. United States, 98 US 145 (1878).  The Court rejected the assertion of the Defendant that the Act violated the First Amendment: (more…)

June 16, 1864: Lincoln’s Speech at the Great Sanitary Fair

 

The United States Sanitary Commission was a private organization established in 1861 to aid sick and wounded Union soldiers.  During the War it raised 25 million dollars in private contributions, and sent thousands of volunteers, many of them women, to work in camps as nurses and cooks, and to administer hospitals and hospital ships and to establish rest homes and soldier’s homes for Union troops.  The Sanitary Commission was quite successful in improving the health and living condition of the common soldiers and was much appreciated by them.  Fairs were held by the Sanitary Commission in Northern cities to raise funds and Lincoln spoke at such a fair in Philadelphia on June 16, 1864.  Lincoln was a highly unusual politician and we see this in the speech.  He does not sugarcoat the horrors of war and while acknowledging that everyone is anxious for the ending of the War, that he, and he assumes the nation, are willing to fight on if it takes three more years to attain the goals for which the War was initially begun.  Here is the text of Lincoln’s speech: (more…)

Published in: on June 16, 2022 at 5:30 am  Comments (4)  
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Lincoln Portrait

 

Something for the weekend.  Lincoln Portrait by Aaron Copland.  From 1942 a patriotic composition combining the music of Copland with readings by Carl Sandburg from his writings on Lincoln.

Published in: on June 11, 2022 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Lincoln Portrait  
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Mr. Lincoln’s Patent

Abraham Lincoln throughout his life was always fascinated by mechanical devices, a trait which would serve him well during the Civil War, when he would champion new devices over the resistance of a hidebound War Department.  He is the only President to be granted a patent.  The patent was for a device to lift vessels over shoals in a river, something he had experience in during a flatboat trip to New Orleans as  a young man.

The application for his patent reads as follows:

March 10, 1849

To the Commissioner of Patents.

The Petition of Abraham Lincoln, of Springfield in the county of Sangamon & State of Illinois

Respectfully represents.

That your petitioner has invented a new and improved manner of combining adjustable buoyant chambers with steam boats or other vessels which has not, as he verily believes been heretofore used or known, and that he is desirous that Letters Patent of the United States may be granted to him therefor, securing to him and to his legal representatives, the exclusive right of making and using, and of vending to others the privilege to make or use, the same, agreeably to the provisions of the Acts of Congress in that case made and provided, he having paid thirty dollars into the Treasury of the United States, and complied with other provisions of the said Acts.

And he hereby authorises and empowers his Agent and Attorney, Z. C. ROBBINS, to alter or modify the within specification and claim as he may deem expedient, and to receive his patent; and also to receive back any moneys which he may be entitled to withdraw, and to receipt for the same. A. LINCOLN.

County of Washington District of Columbia SS.

On this 10th. day of March 1849 before the subscriber, a Jus Peace in and for the said county personally appeared the within named Abraham Lincoln and made solemn oath according to law, that he believes himself to be the original and first inventor of the within described improved manner of combining buoyant chambers with steam boats or other vessels and that he does not know or believe that the same has been before used or known; and that he is a citizen of the United States. I L. SMITH, JP

To all whom it may concern:

Be it known that I, Abraham Lincoln, of Springfield, in the county of Sangamon, in the state of Illinois, have invented a new and improved manner of combining adjustable buoyant air chambers with a steam boat or other vessel for the purpose of enabling their draught of water to be readily lessened to enable them to pass over bars, or through shallow water, without discharging their cargoes; and I do hereby declare the following to be a full, clear, and exact description thereof, reference being had to the accompanying drawings making a part of this specification. Similar letters indicate like parts in all the figures.

The buoyant chambers A. A. which I employ, are constructed in such a manner that they can be expanded so as to hold a large volume of air when required for use, and can be contracted, into a very small space and safely secured as soon as their services can be dispensed with.

Fig. 1. is a side elevation of a vessel with the buoyant chambers combined therewith, expanded;

Fig. 2. is a transverse section of the same with the buoyant chambers contracted.

Fig. 3. is a longitudnal vertical section through the centre of one of the buoyant chambers, and the box B. for receiving it when contracted, which is secured to the lower guard of the vessel.

The top g, and bottom h, of each buoyant chamber, is composed of plank or metal, of suitable strength and stiffness, and the flexible sides and ends of the chambers, are composed of india-rubber cloth, or other suitable water proof fabric, securely united to the edges and ends of the top and bottom of the chambers.

The sides of the chambers may be stayed and supported centrally by a frame k,—as shown in Fig. 3,—or as many stays may becombined with them as may be necessary to give them the requisite fullness and strength when expanded. (more…)

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May 6, 1865: Executive Order Establishes Military Commission to Try Conspirators

Lincoln Miliary Tribunal

 

 

One hundred and fifty-seven years ago an executive order establishing the military commission to try the accused Lincoln conspirators was issued.  There was some newspaper opposition to not according the alleged conspirators a civil trial, but by and large a military tribunal met with approval throughout the North.  As Commander-in-Chief in time of war it was argued that the murder of Lincoln was a military offense.  Additionally it was pointed out that passions were running so high in the weeks after the assassination that empaneling an unbiased civil jury would have been impossible.   Since the Confederacy was defeated, I can see little justification for trying civilians before a military tribunal in time of peace.  Edward Bates, former Attorney General under Lincoln, and Gideon Welles, Secretary of the Navy, criticized the use of a military tribunal instead having the accused conspirators tried in a civilian court.   Here is the text of the order: (more…)

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