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Posted on February 3, 2016 at 4:24 PM by Craig Jacobson
If you would ask people who they would like to meet from the past, many would answer Abraham Lincoln. While we can’t travel back in time, we will be able to see him brought back to life through the portrayal of actor, Fritz Klein, on February 23rd at 6:30. After much study and research, Klein is able to show us the humor and humility of this great president.
While much is known about Lincoln, more is being discovered all the time. Michael Burlingame was an American historian and Lincoln scholar and has written perhaps the best biography about Lincoln. He spent a decade-and-a-half researching and writing all that he discovered in newspapers and in collections of manuscripts. Abraham Lincoln: A Life, Volume One covers Lincoln’s life while he was in Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois and Volume 2 covers his time in Washington. It’s a very well written and readable piece of work.
Lincoln was assassinated at the start of his second term but did you know of the assassination plot against him as he headed to Washington D. C. for his first inauguration? In, The Hour of Peril, we come to learn of the Baltimore Plot and how Allan Pinkerton worked to unravel the details of the plot and keep Lincoln safe. Neither Lincoln nor his advisors believed he was in any danger.
By 1862 things looked pretty bleak for the Union. The U.S. Treasury was bankrupt. The government seemed overwhelmed, and our top general was very sick. On the other hand, things looked great for the South. Their economy was growing and they had great military leaders who were doing well on the battlefield. By the end of that year the tide had slowly turned and in, Rise to Greatness, the reader will see that it was due to the judgement, cunning, and resilience of the unschooled frontier lawyer that now led our country.
Can you imagine working with President Lincoln? John Nicolay and John Hay were presidential secretaries to Abraham Lincoln and in the book, Lincoln’s Boys, you get a glimpse of what it was like to be in Washington at this time and what it was like to be serving under this great leader. Through their letters, diaries, and memoirs, you get to see Lincoln from a very different perspective.
James McPherson is another noted Civil War historian who portrays the many facets of President Lincoln in his book, Tried by War. Up to this point in time, there was never a need for a commander in chief who specified when war was declared and how it was fought. Just as Lincoln was a self-taught lawyer, he was a self-taught military strategist. Not only did he need to come up with battle strategies, he also had to get his generals to follow his orders.
When Lincoln was born, there were roughly 3,000 Jews living in America. By the time of his death, that number had grown to 150,000. Many Americans treated the Jewish population as second class citizens. In Lincoln and the Jews, you will see the special relationship Lincoln had with the Jewish people. From early on, Lincoln promoted Jewish equality, appointed several Jewish people to public office, and had several Jewish advisors and supporters from as early as the 1850’s. He truly was a man for all the people.
There is still a lot to learn about this great man, be it through books or presentations. Please consider joining us on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at 6:30 PM for “An Evening with President Lincoln.” See you at the library!
Pictures courtesy of Easicat.