We have encountered more obstacles to the publishing of Day 3 Part I.
We only have circa 1/2 of the photos available to us presently; the others are located within another device. Further, HKI is presently diverting its attention to our online campaign: Save the National Civil War Museum.
I am also unable to access this device while volunteering at the Pikeville-Pike County Museum, as I am presently in Pikeville. Thus until these issues are resolved, we cannot post D3PI -- expect it anytime between Monday-Wednesday, however. HKI and RCD offer our sincerest apologies for this most egregious delay. Nevertheless, we will include some preview photos.
Meanwhile, we wish to briefly call your attention to our campaign: Save the National Civil War Museum. (Note: RCD is not affiliated with the SNCWM Campaign.)
The NCWM of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (the State's seat of government) is under threat by Mayor Eric Papenfuse. Papenfuse has scolded the institution as a monument to corruption due to the alleged manner by which former Mayor Reed procured funds for purchasing the Museum's artifacts. Mayor Papenfuse has since called for the Museum to dissolve and return all artifacts to the custody of the City.
The following is a quote from my personal social media account:
"As I have said of Illinois's Gov. Rauner, I must again say of Harrisburg's Mayor Papenfuse.
The closure of this grand facility, which draws millions in tourism revenue, would be an outright act of unjustifiable cultural deprivation. Your administration itself, Mayor Papenfuse, should thereby morph into a Monument to Corruption; those aligned with such petty partisan officials, so willing to unilaterally dissolve the guardians of culture and human legacy, are themselves worthy only of the annals of bigotry.
Regardless of the manner by which the Museum's collection was obtained, one cannot undo the decisions of Mayor Reed; the artifacts - which Mayor Papenfuse calls to be returned to the City's custody - cannot be ethically rejuvenated or cleansed by the closure of one of the greatest facilities seeking to preserve the narrative of the greatest trial ever faced by these United States. The trial which, indeed, forged what may be first truly termed a, 'Nation.' A trial which has, in conjunction with its subsequent period of Reconstruction, defined us -- one which creates a state of perpetual disunion as well as reinforces the bonds that bind us together. The American Civil War represents an immense societal revolution, testing the very delimitation of our federated state; weaving a new fabric for our people. Among the social and political issues we face to this day, a majority were founded in this conflict; indeed, we are a nation - in all but de jure manners - born of 1865, not of 1776 nor 1787. We must indefinitely labor to, "Bind up the nation's wounds" as the wounds have yet to be bound; in the words of historian David Blight, 'The Civil War isn't over.' Institutions such as the The National Civil War Museum assist in commemorating our troubled past, and resolving our tumultuous present; they permit us to press onward, to progress in our society.
Yet we must now proceed once more unto the breach in order to combat such terrible, inexcusable abuses of position."
Our position maintains that the NCWM - a true cultural treasure for Harrisburg and a revenue producer - should be reformed, not abolished as Mayor Papenfuse so eagerly suggests. Though the Board of Directors has issued a statement in which they defiantly refuse to dissolve, the Mayor has threatened legal action.
We ask any you who so wish to stand with us to sign our online petition, which has amassed nearly 3,000 signatures:
Save the National Civil War Museum
Use these links to share your thoughts, the petition, or for more information:
- The History of Kentucky
- The National Civil War Museum
Thank you for your support and patience.
- Austin R. Justice, History of Kentucky Group.
"In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to 'preserve, protect, and defend it.'
I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature." - A. Lincoln, First Inaugural Address, 1861.
Day 3 Previews
A period mourning cloth - Grand Army of the Republic Memorial Museum of Springfield, Illinois.
Lincoln's abrupt demise resulted in a swift shift in social sentiment. Despite the considerable unpopularity of the President with his constituents but months earlier - political ads proclaiming him, "King Abraham Africanus I" or press openly ridiculing his emancipation policy of 1863 (some even depicting him as and suggesting he is discretely a person of color) - and, indeed, throughout the course of the conflict; the nation swelled with sorrow upon the slaying of the Chief Executive.
Amidst the election of 1864, Lincoln personally admitted that, "...as for some days past, it seems exceedingly probable that this Administration will not be reelected." Moreover, the nomination of the Republican (National Union) Party was far from guaranteed; some suggested John C. Fremont as an alternative: an adamant Garrisonian abolitionist who had consistently spited Lincoln for his unwillingness to adhere to a like-minded doctrine -- Fremont also had the distinction of serving as an officer throughout the war and having been the first candidate the young Party set forth for the Presidency upon its establishment.
Nonetheless these staples of Civil War Era political culture were abandoned; no Executive of the Union had been reelected since Jackson, and certainly none had been slain while in office. A grand mourning solemnly swept across the land; in various cities, i.e. Cleveland, Ohio, entire days were set aside to mourn Mr. Lincoln. A large procession of crowds eagerly followed the lengthy route of his funeral train's return to Springfield. Men and women adorned themselves, as may be expected of the Victorian tradition, with cloths and ribbons such as this one. Foreign dignitaries, including Queen Victoria, dispatched special condolences; entire towns of England were known to print large certificates exclaiming their grief at the nation's loss. (I may well have a photograph of one in my collection.)
Swarms of citizens - a majority of whom had never laid eyes upon their fallen chieftain - trekked from the train upon its arrival in Springfield back to their hometowns, often in other States. The State government began issuing tickets which asserted that guards were not to allow any individual to enter the Capitol (now Old State Capitol, where Lincoln lied in state,) or Capitol grounds without a note signed by a State officer due to the mass overcrowding of the small city. Thousands turned out to catch a brief glimpse of his lanky corpse. There is one account of an elderly woman, circa 90s in age I believe, who had sewn a funeral shawl for Lincoln (as he was well known to wear shawls in public,) who stood near the tracks with her family awaiting the train. Unfortunately, the city wherein the woman resided was not a scheduled stop on the tight itinerary; when she realized the train would not stop, as she had been standing with arms outstretched as it rolled past, her family claims that she fell to her knees and wept.
All the while, Mary Lincoln was in vehement opposition to the grandeur afforded to her late husband in death; Mr. Lincoln, she would explain, had been an all too humble man for such a national display and upset. When the City of Springfield proposed that Lincoln be buried in the center of the city (an awkward ruse to attract tourism,) Mary defiantly insisted he be laid to rest in quiet Oakridge Cemetery; Lincoln lies there to this day, though now with a stunning monumental tomb, whereas he was originally interred in what is presently known as the Receiving Vault.
No definitive account exists which rightly attests to Lincoln expressing a preferred place of burial; some have suggested that he said to Mary that he may like to be buried in Oakridge. Regarding his affection for Springfield, he noted upon first relocating thereto in 1837 that, "This thing of living in Springfield is a rather dull business, after all, or at least it is so to me.." going on to decry that he was as lonely there as anywhere in his life.
We then, however, behold the evolution of Springfield within his mind: in his 1861 Farewell Address, Lincoln writes, "..to this place, and the kindness of these people, I owe everything." Still, being one who is deeply rooted in Frontier culture and oral tradition, Lincoln most enjoyed spinning stories; one of his favorites goes as follows: a Presbyterian minister wished to procure the Capitol (OSC) for a revival. Upon consulting the Secretary of State, the official inquired, "Might I ask what you intend to be the subject of this revival?" The minister replies, "The Second Coming of Jesus." To this, the Secretary adds, "Oh, no, no, that will never do. If he's been to Springfield once he won't be back again."
In the Post-War Era, sources began exaggerating their relationship with Lincoln. Acquaintances who had scarcely known him thirty years prior spoke as though they were the closest of friends; some fabricated having met him whatsoever. This therefore makes for quite an interesting time for Lincoln scholars in discerning what is myth and what is actuality in early Lincoln biographies compiled by his law partner William Herndon and others. Ultimately, the death of Lincoln enacted upon these United States a mourning seemingly unknown for a single man. Entire classes are held on the effects of Lincolnian legacy. The grave marker for Abraham's father, Thomas Lincoln, speaks nothing of his life; rather, it simply reads, "Father of Martyred President."
Earlier this year, Springfield reenacted the funeral of A. Lincoln for its sesquicentennial. You can find highlights of it here: http://www.c-span.org/video/?325631-1%2Fpresident-lincoln-funeral-reenactment
Views of Springfield, including:
Capitol Dome and City (Above)
Old State Capitol (Below, Left)
Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices (Below, Right)
Hi, I'm the website Admin. I look after the website as well as the chapter social media accounts.
Austin R. Justice
PMC of River Cities Chapter and Lincoln Forum & Colloquium Student Scholar.
Spencer M. Dayton