Mr. Lincoln and Mrs. Partington

October 17, 2018

by Dr. James M. Cornelius Was Abraham Lincoln a rube or a well-read man? His brief meeting with one of England’s wealthiest and oldest aristocrats casts an interesting light upon this debate. The young Marquis of Hartington, heir to the Duke of Devonshire and representing a cotton-manufacturing district, held a junior post in Lord Palmerston’s Cabinet in 1861-1862. Like so many well-off Britons of his day, he felt it time to learn about the sister-nation and arranged a visit to the White House. When the privately educated, sensitive, and aloof lord was introduced to the president, the poor boy from Kentucky blurted out, “Hartington? That rhymes with Partington!” Read The Full Newsletter Below

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Lincoln’s Second Inauguration

October 15, 2018

by Thomas F. Schwartz In the autumn 1999 issue of this newsletter I published an excerpt from the diary of Solomon Wieder Hagerty (February 28, 1842–January 29, 1867) who served in the United States Marine Corps, from 1864 through 1866. The following entry vividly describes the events of March 4, 1865, for Abraham Lincoln’s second inauguration. Characteristic of the era’s racism, Hagerty refers to blacks as “niggers.” Spelling, punctuation, and grammar reflect that found in the diary. Read The Full Newsletter Below (Please allow a few minutes to load the file)  

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Abraham Lincoln’s First Visit to Hampton Roads

October 11, 2018

By Anna Gibson Holloway and Jonathan W. White In April 2016, several members of the board of directors of the Abraham Lincoln Association joined the mayor of Springfield, Illinois, for a visit to U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln, which was undergoing repairs in Newport News, Virginia. The presence of a vessel named after the nation’s 16th president in Hampton Roads is fitting. Lincoln’s most famous visit to the area occurred on February 3, 1865, when he and Secretary of State William H. Seward met with several Confederate leaders for the Hampton Roads Peace Conference. But, in fact, the president had visited the region twice before, in the spring and summer of 1862. Read The Full Newsletter Below (Please allow a few minutes to load the file)

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Governor Bruce Rauner Addresses 2017 ALA Banquet

October 11, 2018

Illinois’s 42nd governor, Bruce Rauner, delivered spontaneous and personal remarks at the Abraham Lincoln Association 208th Birthday Banquet. Before his remarks, the audience watched a video about the Spirit of Lincoln Youth Leadership Academy, featuring Antonio Neal’s “I Am America.” The Governor was introduced by former ALA president Don Tracy.

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Governor Bruce Rauner – 2017 Banquet Speaker

October 11, 2018

Governor Bruce Rauner will be the 2017 ALA Banquet Speaker. Rauner, an Illinois native, was born in Chicago and grew up in Deerfield, Illinois, a suburb north of Chicago. His mother, Ann, was a nurse, and his father, Vincent Joseph Rauner, was a lawyer and senior vice president for Motorola.

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William Freeman, Found

October 11, 2018

By Kathleen Heyworth William Freeman, born a slave in 1840 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, made his es-cape to freedom when the 1st Illinois Cavalry came through in 1861. Although not allowed to enlist in the U.S. Army that summer, he became “contraband” and a personal servant to Capt. John McNulta. Late in 1862, McNulta, who by then was Colonel of the 94th Illinois, asked Free-man to help escort a soldier’s remains home from Missouri to McLean County, Illinois, for burial. Read The Full Newsletter Below (Please allow a few minutes to load the file)

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ALA Makes Major Gift to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library

October 11, 2018

In May of this year, James Cornelius, curator of the Lincoln Collection at the Presidential Library, and Ian Hunt, its new chief of acquisitions, learned that an unknown 3-volume set of Isaac Arnold’s The Life of Abraham Lincoln would be sold at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in Chicago. The set bears the bookplates of Frank O. Lowden, who was elected governor of Illinois in 1916, and contains 100 original manuscripts by figures of the Lincoln period — including two by Abraham himself, one by Mary, and one by Robert — and 125 fine steel engravings It also contains the handwriting of 9 additional Presidents of the United States, Stephen A. Douglas, Schuyler Colfax, cultural figures like Holmes and Greeley, and a dozen high-ranking Army or Navy officers.

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Abraham Lincoln’s “Forgotten” Act to Encourage Immigration

October 11, 2018

By Jason H. Silverman Ellison Capers Palmer, Jr. Professor of History Winthrop University Lost in the media and scholarly attention to the sesquicentennial was one of President Lincoln’s signature pieces of legislation, The Act to Encourage Immigration, July 4, 1864 — the first and only major law in American history to encourage immigration. As immigration is in the daily news on global basis, this is a surprising omission of an act that he saw as the bright future of the United States. Long before he spoke about the evils of slavery, Abraham Lincoln spoke about the need for free labor, and he consistently articulated an economic philosophy that relied heavily upon immigrant labor. In his earliest speeches, Lincoln saw immigrants as farmers, merchants, and builders who would contribute mightily to the nation’s economic future. There seems to have been no significant pressure for a public role in immigration until, in his Annual Message to Congress on December 8, 1863, Lincoln called for government assistance: Read The Full Newsletter Below (Please allow a few minutes to load the file)

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Bernice A. King – 2016 Banquet Speaker – Daughter of Coretta Scott King and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

October 11, 2018

Bernice A. King is the Chief Executive Officer of The King Center, which was founded by her mother in 1968. Born the youngest daughter of the late Coretta Scott King and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Bernice began her oratorical journey when she spoke in her mother’s stead at the United Nations at age 17. In the summer of 2000, she narrated the Lincoln Portrait with a symphony orchestra in Kiel, Germany. She is a graduate of Spelman College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, and holds a Master’s of Divinity and a Doctorate of Law degrees from Emory University. Read The Full Newsletter Below (Please allow a few minutes to load the file)

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At 31, Lincoln Falls For Matilda, 18

October 11, 2018

By Michael Burlingame ALA Director Naomi B. Lynn Distinguished Chair in Lincoln Studies University of Illinois Springfield In 1840, thirty-one-year-old Abraham Lincoln became engaged to Mary Todd but later that year he broke the engagement in large part because he had fallen in love with Matilda Edwards, the beautiful, “very bright” eighteen-year-old cousin of Mary’s brother-in-law, Ninian W. Edwards. Though abundant evidence supports this explanation, some historians have denied it.1 Among them are Mary Todd’s hyper-defensive biographer, Ruth Painter Randall, and David Herbert Donald, a protégé of Mrs. Randall’s husband, James G. Randall. Professor Donald stated that people “who blamed Matilda Edwards for the rupture [in Lincoln’s relationship with Mary Todd] seem to have their information from Mary Todd, who was looking for a face-saving reason for Lincoln’s actions. There is no credible evidence that Lincoln was in love with Matilda Edwards.2 Mrs. Randall similarly maintained that Matilda Edwards “had no part in the broken engagement.” Read The Full Newsletter Below (Please allow a few minutes to load the file)

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