Saturday, February 14, 2009

Great Lincoln line

I found this while searching Lincoln news articles today.

As Lincoln traveled via train to Washington D.C. in 1861 his transportation made several key stops along the way. One of these was in Painesville, Ohio which is located just east of Cleveland.

"I have stepped out upon this platform that I may see you and that you may see me," President-elect Abraham Lincoln announced when his inaugural train steamed into tiny Painesville, Ohio, on a chill February morning in 1861. "And in the arrangement," he quipped to the curious crowd lining the tracks, "I have the best of the bargain." Lincoln was commenting on his "beautiful face" and Lincoln expert Harold Holtzer wrote an excellent article detailing this at the U.S. News.

Historians have given Lincoln credit for understanding the power of the photograph and using it to catapult him to elected office. Some claim that this insight goes as far back as when Lincoln was running for the U.S. House of Representatives. Despite his opinions on his own beauty he was willing to have himself photographed and so many photographs of Lincoln have been uncovered since his death that one can see the effects that the war and deaths in the family had on him from 1861 to '62 to '63 to '64 '65.

After reading the article I did not realize that author Nathaniel Hawthrone called Lincoln "the homeliest man I ever saw." Lincoln could always find humor in his "beauty". Once he quipped to a person painting his portrait "It is allowed to be ugly in this world, but not as ugly as I am." Truth be told Abraham Lincoln was no beauty, he did not possess the dapper elegence of John Kennedy or the bearing of George Washington but he was our greatest president and he will always be our greatest president.


1 comment:

troutbirder said...

Very well done and interesting. I won't even dispute your assertion that he was our greatest President, although I would put Washington second in that category and first in the category "greatest American."