Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Independence Day

The promise of the Declaration of Independence: that all men are created equal.

"[............ ............... ...................] is a monstrous usurpation, a criminal wrong, and an act of national suicide." "It will be known in all history as the most wicked, atrocious and revolting deed recorded in the annals of civilization."

"Mr............... will go down to posterity as the man who could not read the signs of the times, nor understand the circumstances and interests of his country; who could not calculate his own resources nor appreciate those of his enemy; who had no political aptitude; who plunged his country into a great war without a plan; who failed without excuse, and fell without a friend."

"....the craftiest and most dishonest politician that ever disgraced an office in America."

"........... is by all odds the weakest man who has ever been elected......he is vain, weak, sterile, hypocritical, without manners.....swears more than Uncle Toby, and is beneath contempt in every particular, morally and mentally."

I gleaned the above quotations from a book entitled The Political Cartoons of the Whispering Gallery. The gallery is in the new Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield, Illinois which we visited this past weekend. The political cartoons framed and hanging on the walls of the gallery remind me that the years can come and go, but people do not change that much in the process. Lincoln's contemporaries said awful things about him just like Bush's contemporaries are doing with Bush today. People are still just as mean and ornery as they have ever been.

I don't wish to turn this piece here into a political statement of my own necessarily, but the cartoons I saw make such a glaring point about the lengths to which people involved in politics will go to gain the support of the masses in order to further their own political agenda. The masses beware!

The first quotation above referred to Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and appeared in the Chicago Times first on September 24, 1862 and again on January 3, 1863. Imagine someone calling this document a "wicked, atrocious and revolting deed."

The second quotation referred to President Lincoln and appeared in the London Morning Post on October 5, 1864. How many times have we heard Bush accused of similar things?

The third quotation referred to President Lincoln, too, and appeared in the Illinois State Register.

The fourth quotation also referred to President Lincoln and appeared in the Wilmington (NC) Daily Journal on June 20, 1861.

In celebration of Independence Day, my husband and I joined our daughter and her four children and drove down to Springfield to visit the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and other historical sites there.

On the walls of the Whispering Gallery there in the museum are pictures of one political cartoon after another and commentaries pertaining to President Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd Lincoln. Their contemporaries said unbelievably cruel things about the Lincolns. President Lincoln was portrayed as an ape, a monkey, a buffoon and more. These cartoons and commentaries made me realize that harsh ridicule of a sitting president by his contemporaries is not anything new. History went on to show that President Lincoln was not the vulgar scoundrel he was portrayed at times as being by his political foes. Perhaps history will do the same with President Bush.

I highly recommend the Lincoln Presidential Museum.

This is the front of the museum. Across the street is the Lincoln Presidential Library. It was not open the day we visited.

Our daughter, her four children, my husband and myself posing with the Lincolns.

The museum has a room called Mrs. Lincoln's Attic which is designed to entertain children and help them connect to that period in history through a variety of toys and costumes. Above are some of our grandchildren playing with these toys.

We ended the day with a visit to New Salem. Above is young Abe Lincoln posing with our four grandchildren.

Have a wonderful Fourth of July.

P.S. Sanctuary II - The Woods is forthcoming.


  1. My mother went to the Lincolc Library
    last year. She came home with two
    bookBs and said we should go. Maybe
    we will, one of these days.

    I remember going to Springfield and
    the Lincoln home for eighth grade
    graduation. (I don't remember much
    else--too long ago.)

    Be careful with the firecrackers and
    Happy 4th America.

  2. We had a great 4th with Julie's sister and her family. So glad all of our wedding company did not leave at once.
    I've not been to the museum. Is it in Springfield? I do hope that what you've said is true for our current President. I don't envy him. I read recently that congress' approval rating is lower than his. That seemed fitting. On the morning of the 4th on C-Span, we watched the dedication of the Billy Graham Library in NC. The elder Bush spoke (along with Carter and Clinton). It is very moving to hear him speak of his son "THE President" (as he emphasized the "THE"). One of my very first posts at POI was about our current President Bush.

    I have a poem from a few years before I started bloggin called "Sanctuary." It's about walking the trails of the woods of our homestead ("the property" where my mom still lives) and feeling my father (earthly father) is with me, but I called it "Sanctuary" because it is a feeling our heavenly father wants us to have in his presence. I'll have to dig that up and see if I'd be comfortable posting it.
    Looking forward to part II,
    Tom at POI

  3. Hi Suzie Q!
    Great post and I love the pictures!
    Our 4th was great too, but very hot here!

  4. What fabulous pictures. And what a great way for the kids to spend the 4th of July.

  5. Sharon: We did not get to see the Lincoln Library that Sunday, because it was closed. It was the Lincoln museum that was open and what we toured. We were hoping to take in Lincoln's home and a few other sites the next day, which was Monday, before heading home. Unfortunately, my daughter and I got a hold of some bad food the night before. She, especially, was so sick by Monday morning that we had to cut our trip short and head on home. Next time we will take in what we missed this time. We are less than 3 hours away from Springfield.

    Tom (Patterns): We ended up having a cookout for the whole family here at our house on the 4th. I wasn't planning on the whole gang coming. I didn't think I was quite up to it. It just sort of evolved that very day. Sometimes impromptu gatherings work out the best anyway. Less time is spent fussing over everything.

    I don't envy President Bush either. In fact, I don't envy any sitting President. That has to be the hardest job in the world. The pressure has got to be horrible. I just wish more people realized how very difficult it is to make decisions that are in the best interest of our country. It is terribly naive of people to think that some presidential decisions are made for selfish reasons. I just don't buy that way of thinking.

    I am looking forward to reading your "Sanctuary" poem.

    Susie: Thanks. I am feeling more comfortable now about including several personal photos in my posts. You have been one of my inspirations. You have so many nice personal photos at your blog.

    Josie: I thought our trip to Springfield to see some historic sites was appropriate for this holiday. I was thrilled to find out how interested our grandchildren are in history. They even watch the History channel on TV.

  6. A great man from Kentucky. I don't care what those Ill. people claim. We Kentuckians know best. Really he was a great man of vision, where ever he was born. Sounds like a great trip.

  7. Excellent Susie, this is just what I was talking about in my post over at my place. When I read what you said about your two grandsons 12 and 13 already knew what you were explaining to them and they were interested in the History channel. I just had this good feeling that hopefully I am overestimating the damage that has been done by a lackluster educational system.

    My parents used to take us to all types of historical sites too. Williamsburg VA, Fort Ticonderoga NY (when we went on a trip to NY State etc....) I grew up less than 10 miles away from Valley Forge so history is very important to me.

    This trip of yours looks to have been a lot of fun and very educational.

    You always have very high quality photos Susie. I really liked the one with the Lincoln family standing with yours. Very nice indeed!

  8. Oh, thank you for sharing this...I would love to visit there!
    One of the things I enjoy about home schooling right now is learning with them about famous historical figures...and Abraham Lincoln is one of my favorites!

    Loved the photos of your family posing!

  9. Well, I doubt that history will remember George Bush as anything but a self-serving manipulating lying NON-Patriot. But that's just my opinion. On one level alone....in the six years that Bush has been President he has not nade one soeech that could even remotely be compared to any speech that Linco;n made. The eloquence of Lincoln---whatever people thought about him was undeniable. The inability of George Bush to put two sentemces together without making some awful gramattical faux pas or without pronouncing some word incorrectly, is undeniable. History is not going to remember that differently along with all the horrific acts that his administration has done to erode the freedoms that The Delaration Of Independence and the Bill Of Rights gave to all of us in The Untided States Of America. The facts of his Presidency speak for themselves. Neither he nor Cheney are above the law, no matter that they act like they are, and speak like they are. They are not, and WE THE PEOPLE will rise up, if needed, to remind this administration that it is not a Monarcy....it is a Democracy. There are checks and balances as outlined in these two very precious documents.

    Lincoln was a truly Great Great President and that fact is undeniable, too.

  10. Naomi, thank you for expressing your political opinion here. I didn't really want my post to bring about a political debate though.

    I agree with you that President Bush is not a great orator like Lincoln. I don't expect him to go down in history as a President who spoke with eloquence. I get tired though of hearing how he mispronounces words and so on.

    You accuse Bush and Cheney of running a Monarchy. Would it surprise you to learn that Lincoln was accused of the very same thing? In the Southern Illustrated News, November 8, 1862, he was referred to as "King Abraham."

    Lincoln, too, was accused of eroding our freedoms. He was also accused of being a liar. And of his speeches? From the Richmond, VA Examiner, March 4, 1861: "[Lincoln's] speeches consist of 'condensed lumps of imbecility, buffoonery, and vulgar malignity!'"

    Lincoln led us into a war to preserve the union of this United States at a time when the southern states were intent on destroying that union by seceding. The southern states wanted to hang onto their Slave Power and that was under threat.

    The Civil War resulted in over 700,000 casualties. The population of the United States was about 50,000,000 then. This was a horrific sacrifice. But Lincoln was convinced that the union must be preserved or all would fall apart. So it was in the best interest of our country that he made the decision to go to war. This is how I understand it.

    I think Bush's decision to go into Iraq and remain there till the job gets done was made for the same reason with the best interest of our country in mind. I strongly oppose the use of this week's latest opinion poll in running the country and in making decisions that affect national security. But this is exactly what some people would like to see done. That is unfortunate, because too often too many people hold opinions that are not well informed ones.

    I think we need to reserve judgment of Bush the man and not engage in character assassination and not ridicule him at every turn about the smallest things when our country is in such critical times regarding the threat of terrorism. Or maybe you think the terrorists are no big deal. Well, I think otherwise. But it is possible for us to respectfully disagree.

  11. The only thing I have to add after that rendition Susie is; if George Bush didn't have measure every word that came out of his mouth so carefully to make sure he is precisely making his point he would probably have a smoother speaking pattern.

    It's the same old old story though, nothing is new under the sun only the names change. Johnny Reb hated Lincoln as much as the dems hate Bush.