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Lincolniana: All Things Lincoln Part I

06/20/11
Lincolniana: All Things Lincoln Part I

No, it's not a newly discovered species of flora. Lincolniana is a term used to described any material—photographs, newspaper clippings, prints, cartoons, maps, letters, documents, books, or other collectibles—pertaining to Abraham Lincoln. The thirst for new information about Lincoln's life and death seems unquenchable. As of 2011, this singular historical figure was already the subject of some 16,000 books written over a span of 150 years. Milestone Documents editors have combed through heaps of Lincoln-related data and come up with some interesting links for our readers. Today, we bring you the first of a two-part series on the subject.

  • An authorized printed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation. Emancipation Proclamation, signed by Abraham Lincoln and donated to a Union charity for a fundraiser, sold at a Sotheby's New York auction for a record-breaking $3.7 million in December 2010. Who was the last known owner of the document? The U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who had purchased it in 1964. A clip from Sotheby's video archive explains what the Emancipation Proclamation meant to Kennedy a century after it was written, as the historic push for civil rights gained ground in the United States.
  • If Abe Lincoln were alive today, he'd probably be one tech-savvy dude, according to entrepreneur, author, and telecom aficionado Tom Wheeler. An “early adopter” of the telegraph as a message-sending device, Lincoln likely would have embraced twenty-first century wireless technology had it been available to him. In Mr. Lincoln's T-Mails: How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War (New York: HarperCollins, 2006), Wheeler equates the influence of the telegraph back then to the power of the Internet right now. The book focuses primarily on the “real-time” aspect of communication by telegraph and the advantages this groundbreaking new tool offered the president during Civil War. We here at Milestone Documents like to think of Abe as an iPad-carrying emailer, blogger, texter, and tweeter who knew a good podcast when he downloaded one. From NPR: The Many Messages of Abraham Lincoln.
  • Chinese military strategist Sun-tzu (ca. 544–496 B.C.) is credited with saying, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.” Centuries later, award-winning author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin shows the wisdom of these words in Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005). Lincoln shocked the nation by selecting for his Cabinet the very men who ran against him for the Republican nomination in the 1860 presidential election. By entrusting former presidential hopefuls William Henry Seward, Salmon P. Chase, and Edward Bates with key roles in his administration, Lincoln turned foes into allies and secured the keenest minds in American politics to grapple with the forces that threatened to dissolve the United States during the Civil War. A Steven Spielberg–Tony Kushner film based on Team of Rivals is scheduled for release by Touchstone Pictures in late 2012, featuring Daniel Day-Lewis as President Lincoln and Sally Field as his wife, First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln.

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