Saturday, January 24, 2009

New Lincoln Stamps

New Lincoln stamps will be introduced on Feb 9. Here is a pic of them. I have to get a copy of them. Of course these are for the Lincoln Bicentential.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I don't think that this blog could exist if I did not speak on todays events in Washington D.C. I don't think that Hollywood could have written a better script for Barack Hussein Obama II. If you would have told me one year ago that the first African-American president is brought into office just one month away from the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln & the day after Dr. Martin Luther King Day I would have called you crazy. What a script for our new president.

Now that this ceremony is out of the way, President Obama can work towards uniting our nation and hopefully aiding this economy which is slowly failing before our very eyes. However, I was not impressed with his speech and since I enjoy the inugual addresses I have speak about it. I noticed a few Lincoln moments in Obama's inugual address that I will point out here but before I get to that I recently read a quote that stated that every politican has to "get right with Lincoln" because it seems like "Father Abraham's" shadow covers every president who has ever taken office.

Here are a few interesting quotes from the Obama address which are followed by my comments.

The first line of his speech read as follows and echoes Lincoln.

"I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors."

This one has nothing to do with Lincoln but I find it funny. Obama needs to check up on his presidential history.

"Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath." This is untrue. 43 American have offically taken the presidential oath. Grover Cleveland is counted twice because he was elected to two non-consecutive terms. Therefore, there have been 44 administrations but only 43 men have taken the oath. Therefore, President Obama needs to subtract one person.

I did enjoy his reference to the great heros of our military and he highlighted several battles which cross all eras and time periods.

"For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn."

He sounded like President Franklin Roosevelt when he stated:

"Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America."

I thought of Ronald Reagan when Obama said:

"Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint."

A little Harry Truman appeared in this quote:

"On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord."

Lets face it, he has four years, lets give him our support and see if he will complete the process of "in reaffirming the greatness of our nation."

Monday, January 12, 2009


People have tried to prove that a wider conspiracy existed in 1865 to murder Abraham Lincoln. The most famous "conspiracy" is the murder of President Kennedy in 1963. Both of these murders have hundreds of books, articles and information out there for researchers to read and history buffs to debate about. Historian Henry Steele Commager and historian William Manchester wrote some interesting information about the Kennedy assassination which directly relates to the death of Abraham Lincoln.

Commager wrote "I do think that there has come up in recent years...something that might be explained by ordinary processes...We are on the road to a paranoid explanation of things...The conspiracy theory, the conspiracy mentality, will not accept ordinary evidence...There's some psychological requirement that forces them to reject the ordinary, and find refuge in the extraordinary." It is hard to accept that Lincoln's conspiracy was led by a actor who built a group of "loser" conspirators. Its hard to accept that a low-life like Lee Harvey Oswald decided to shoot Kennedy at the last minute and carried out the process all by himself.

Perhaps William Manchester did a better job describing it better when he wrote (and you could substitute the information about the Lincoln assassination here) "Those who desperately want to believe that President Kennedy was the victim of a conspiracy have my sympathy. I share their yearning. to employ what may seem like an off metaphor, there is an esthetic principle here. If you put six million dead Jews on one side of a scale and on the other side put the Nazi regime---the greatest gang of criminals ever to seize control of a modern state---you have a rough balance: greatest crime, greatest criminals. But if you put the murdered President of the United States on one side of a scale and that wretched waif Oswald on the other side, it doesn't balance. You want to add something weightier to Oswald. It would invest the President's death with meaning, endowing him with martyrdom. He would have died for something.

A conspiracy would, of course do the job nicely."

I feel that Machesters statement says it all.


Kauffman, Michael W. American Brutus : John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies. New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2005.

Posner, Gerald. Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK. New York: Random House, 1993.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

General Porter and a Revolutionary War hero

On of the more interesting post-Civil War stories concerns a Revolutionary War naval hero and a Civil War officer who viewed this navy man as his personal hero. General Horace Porter was born in 1837 and during the American Civil War he rose to the rank of brigadier general. He received the Medal of Honor at the Battle of Chickamauga. In the last year of the war, he served on the staff of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, writing a lively memoir of the experience. Porter believed that honoring the dead was very important. When General Grant was buried it was Porter who supervised the construction of his tomb. After the tombs completion in 1897, he served as President McKinley's Ambassador to France and during his stay in Paris he recovered an American heros remains.

This Revolutionary War hero was John Paul Jones. During that time he became the father of the American Navy and he might have said the most famous words in American Naval history. After the war the American government disbanded the American Navy and this left Jones without a job. But Jones was able to find work with the Russian Navy and served unde Catherine the Great from 1788-1789. He eventually moved to France where he considered a position in the French navy but it was during this time that the French Revolution started. The French government was prepared to offer Jones a important position and toasted him as the "coming admiral of France." Jones never served as a French officer because he died in July of 1792, just three days after the fall of the Bastille which sparked the French Revolution. Since Jones was a Protestant he was buried in a cemetery designated for that use: The St. Louis cemetery. This was at the southwest corner of the intersection of Rue Grange-aux-Belles and Rue de Écluses Saint Martin in Paris. It was officially closed in January 1793 and later sold by the government. There Jones rested for over 100 years.

While in Paris, Horace Porter took it upon himself to find the remains of John Paul Jones. Throughout his life he had heard of the legend that location of Jones remains were unknown. After countless hours of research, Porter was able to find the location of the old cemetery which contained the remains of John Paul Jones. However, the cemetery had desecrated and recently built upon. Porter did have one thing working for him. When the French government buried John Paul Jones, they used a lead coffin which would protect Jones remains from the elements. If Porter could located the coffin then the remains might be identifiable. In 1905 Porter began to excavate the old cemetery and by February of 1905 Porters men had built a labyrinth of tunnels. Eventually the group uncovered two lead coffins but both had intact nameplates which clearly identified their contents. Neither of these were John Paul Jones. On March 31, 1905 a third lead coffin was uncovered but no nameplate could be located.

When the coffin was opened it contained remains that were clearly identified as John Paul Jones. Fortunately for Porter a bust had been made during Jones lifetime and the group used its measurements to make sure that the body was John Paul Jones. Several experts were brought in to confirm the findings and one of them stated "Without forgetting that doubt is the first quality of all investigators and that the most extreme circumspection should be observed in such matters, I am obliged to conclude that all the observations which I have been able to make plead in favor of the following opinion: The body examined is that of Admiral John Paul Jones."

Even with the physical measurements of the face and body in hand there were several people who did not believe that Jones had been found. Plans were made to give the body a proper burial in the United States and the government wanted to make sure that the body's identity was correct. Using Jones military records a autoposy was performed on the body and since the corpse had no wounds, had suffered from pneumonia which was clearly a result of his experiences as a member of the Russian navy. Furthermore, the kidneys presented clear evidence of interstitial nephritis, commonly called "Bright’s disease." This agrees completely with the with 1792 diagnosis of dropsy. John Paul Jones died of dropsy.

Now that his remains were clearly identified John Paul Jones recieved a proper burial. His body was transported to the United States in a special oak coffin. The body was stored while plans were made to give an American hero the burial that he never recieved. The 24th of April 1906 was chosen for the formal commemorative exercises in honor of John Paul Jones by President Roosevelt because it was the anniversary of Jones’s famous capture of the British Ship of War, Drake, off Carrickfergus, in 1778. This date occurred during the session of Congress, the academic year of the Naval Academy and the convention of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Special trains were arranged for the Presidential and Congressional parties and the regular train service was increased from New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington to Annapolis.

President Roosevelt, French Ambassador Jusserand, Horace Porter and Governor Warfield of Maryland were the main speakers. Navy Chaplain Clark closed the exercise with a prayer.

The casket was left in charge of the Academy until it was transferred to crypt in the Naval Academy Chapel. Unfortately Jones travels did not end here. Money had to be raised for his burial. It was seven years later that Jones was finally placed in a ornate crypt below the Annapolis chapel. There his body has remeined for nearly one hundred years.

General Porter died in 1921 and unlike General Grant or Admiral Jones he did not recieve a ornate coffin or a special burial. His remains are in the Old First Methodist Church Cemetery, West Long Branch, New Jersey, Section C, Lot 44. A plain headstone marks his grave.


Horace Porter, "The Recovery of the Body of John Paul Jones," The Century Magazine, October 1905.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

One further comparision between Oswald and Booth

I forgot to add that both men were under six feet tall.

Booth was listed at 5'8 and Oswald was listed at 5'9 1/2.

Ironcally, both Kennedy and Lincoln were over six feet tall.

Kennedy was 6'1 and Lincoln was 6'4.

Did I add that both were shot in the early 1960's??? That is another similiarity between the two men. Crazy isn't it???

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Americas Forgotten Son: Abraham Lincoln Jr.

Do you know who is in the above image????????????????????????

Few people know that President Abraham Lincoln had a grandson who could have carried on his lineage. President Lincoln had four sons and only one son survived until adulthood and he was the oldest child. Robert Todd Lincoln was born in 1843 and after attending Harvard he served in General Grants staff as the Civil War drew to its final curtain. He was present at Appomattox when the Army of Northern Virginia surrendered. He also stood at his fathers bedside when President Lincoln breathed his last.

After the war Robert got married (in 1868) and both he and his wife had three children between 1869-1875. The oldest and the youngest children were girls but the middle child was a boy born in 1873. They christened their child Abraham Lincoln II but nicknamed him "Jack" to avoid any confusion with the childs famous grandfather. It was later said that Jacks personality was very similar to his grandfathers. Jack loved to ride bicycles and he maintained a rock collection. When he was sixteen Jack was living with his father in London because Robert Lincoln was serving as the United States Minister to Great Britain. Jack was about to take entrance exams to Harvard when he contracted blood poisoning and despite two surgeries his life could not be spared. In 1890 the only grandson of Abraham Lincoln died and his name would not live on via a direct descendant. When Robert wrote of his son's death he stated "An so my coal is quenched both Mr. Lincoln's and mine." With that "joke" aside, Robert later added "I did not realized until he was gone how deeply mt thoughts of the future were in him." Robert Lincoln joined his son in death in 1926.

Jack was originally buried with his grandfather in Springfield but after Robert's death the only surviving son of the 16th President was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Jack's remains were removed from the Lincoln tomb in 1930 and he is buried there with his father. Jack's eldest sister, Mary Lincoln lived until 1938. Their sister Jesse Lincoln lived until 1848. Jesse's son, Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith was born in 1904 and since he was the great-grandson og President Abraham Lincoln he would be Lincoln's longest living direct descendant. Robert Todd Lincoln Beckwith died in 1985 and he had no children. With no other direct heirs the direct bloodline to President Lincoln is forever lost and that all started in London, England in 1890 when Abraham Lincoln II died from blood poisoning.

Friday, January 2, 2009

John Wilkes and Lee Harvey

After reading A.P. Hill I decided to move away from the Civil War for a short spell and consume the book Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK by Gerald Posner. Learning more about Lee Harvey Oswald could destroy or at least impair some of the conspiracy theories that were out there. But one interesting comparison between John Wilkes Booth and Lee Harvey Oswald is their relationship with their mother. Both Booth and Oswald were "Mommas Boys".

By the time that he was in high school Lee Harvey Oswald had moved 21 times and he had attended ten different school systems. Oswald was spoiled by his mother and even ordered her around. Once he arrived home from school and was witnessed by another family member ordering his mother to "fix his dinner." Such demands were common for Oswald who was not a people person. A classmate once heard him say "I dislike everybody." Another incident occur ed when people observed Oswald punching his mother in the face after some people that they were living with asked him to turn down the television volume. His mother excused his attack and doted on her son all the time and never thought that her youngest child could do anything wrong. She even had him sleep in the same bed with her until Oswald was eleven years old. Even after Oswald killed JFK she was heard to say "My son did more for his country than any other." Oswald's mother was always in denial.

John Wilkes Booth was in a similar motherly situation as Oswald. Booth was his mothers darling and even prior to murdering Lincoln, Booth wrote a separate letter to his mother which explained his actions. "Heaven knows how dearly I love you." Booth wrote his mother. He even avoided service in the Confederate army and explained his inability to join the rebel army was due to his mother and his desire to spare her any grief. Even his final words on this Earth were directed towards his mother and this reinforces the "Mommas boy" theme. "Tell my mother that I died for my country" Booth stated as he lay dying. Even his final thoughts were directed towards his "mommy". Family members later stated that John Wilkes Booth was his mothers favorite child.

Other similarities between the two men include:

1. Both assassins spent their last days living alone in one room. Booth in a hotel and Oswald in a rooming house.

2. Booth and Oswald were both killed by a single pistol shot.

3. Both shot their Presidents on a Friday. The kill shot was a single bullet to the right side of the head, from behind.

4. Both received poor educations. Booth rarely attended school and Oswald possessed a very low IQ.

5. Booth had brother named Junius. He was known to the family as June. Oswald had a daughter named June.

6. Both men were accidentally shot during their lifetimes and prior to the assassinations.

7. This one is a classic: Booth ran from a theater and was caught in a tobacco warehouse. Oswald ran from a schoolbook warehouse and was caught in a theater.

8. Both men were southerners.

9. Both men had fifteen letters in their names.

10. Both men are referred to by historians by all three of their names (first, middle and last).

11. Both had middle names that were derived from an ancestor.

12. Neither man stood trial or answered for murdering their presidents.

13. Both men lost their fathers when they were young. They were survived by their mothers.

14. Oswald and Booth were both arrested prior to their crimes. Booth was arrested in St. Louis for speaking out against the Federal government which was a crime during the Civil War. Oswald was involved in a communist street fight in New Orleans. Both men were briefly detained and then released.

15. Both men believed in and fought for the major issue of their times. In Booths time it was slavery and for Oswald it was communism. They both wrote speeches about these issue s but never delivered them publicly. The speeches also had tons of spelling errors and were considered rough drafts.

16. Perhaps the most erriely similarity was that both were born in the year '39! Booth was born in 1839 and Oswald was born in 1939.

17. Both me were under 6 feet tall. Oswald was 5'9 1/2 and John Wilkes Booth was listed at 5'8.

18. Both men murdered men who were taller them them and over six feet tall. Kennedy was 6'1 and Lincoln was our tallest President at 6'4.

19. Both men shot their presidents during a decade whose last two digits were 60.


Kauffman, Michael W. American Brutus : John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln Conspiracies. New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2005.

Posner, Gerald. Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK. New York: Random House, 1993.