Lincoln Lives!

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Andrew Ferguson, author of Land of Lincoln, recounts in the video above some of the zany, and touching, ways in which people recall our 16th President.  You get a lot of both when you live in Illinois!  For example, if you see a bust or a statue of Lincoln you rub his nose for luck.  At the U of I at Champaign-Urbana, Lincoln Hall has a bust of Lincoln with a very shiny nose as generations of Illini taking tests have sought any help they could get! 

Lincoln is unusual in American history in that he is not a figure relegated to the history books.  Slavery and the Civil War remain touchy points, 150 years later, in the American psyche, and empassioned debates about Lincoln have raged in this country since 1860. 

Living in Illinois, Lincoln is never far below the surface in this state, but I think this is true for the country also.  The only figure that comes close in the American consciousness is George Washington, but Washington is almost universally loved and admired and is firmly related to the pages of history.  Lincoln, and his legacy, on the other hand, will probably remain both contemporary and loved, and controversial and hated, at least among a fraction of the population, so long as there is a United States, as well as giving non-stop employment to hordes of Lincoln impersonators!

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11 Responses to Lincoln Lives!

  • “Lincoln Lives”

    Not living but some do say he is undead, which has the same appearance to fools, the naive and the unsuspecting.

    Others simply say his image lives on in the blood sucking nannystate, and that the undead are not with us.

    While I think it’s a composition of the two where Fed politicians are with few exception among the undead.

  • Generation of Illini ……

    Makes you lot sound like a tribe of Celts ;-)

    So is Illini really the plural of residents of Illinois?
    Definitely sound better than Illinoisi. :-)

    “Illinois” is French is it not? Excuse my ignorance of American history, but was Illinois part of the purchase from France in the – was it 18th. century ?

  • Don, that is what people who attend the U of I are called. It is taken from the Illini Indian tribe that once resided in Illinois. The mascot of the U of I was Chief Illinwek until 2007 when the forces of political correctness, after decades of trying, finally got his scalp. (As part Cherokee myself, I can’t tell you how silly that whole anti-Chief campaign was.)

    Here is the last dance of the Chief:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oq4KpDhFZVM

    Illinois, and the whole Northwest Territory, was conquered from the British, with the help of French settlers, by the Americans during the American Revolution. Here is a post by me about the subject:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2010/08/11/conqueror-of-the-northwest/

    The area was conquered by the British from the French at the conclusion of the French and Indian War in 1763. Illinois had been very lightly settled by the French, only a few thousand settlers, and the French influence in Illinois is limited to some French names and the worst driving on the North American continent in and around Chicago. :)

  • “Not living but some do say he is undead, which has the same appearance to fools, the naive and the unsuspecting.

    Others simply say his image lives on in the blood sucking nannystate, and that the undead are not with us.”

    Yeah, love the girls, but only complete blithering idiots who know nothing about history and Lincoln say any of that.

  • Mac,

    This brings back memories. I spent six years TDY at Chanute AFB during the winter of 1973.

    Coincidentally, re: bronze statues. The courtyard entrance to St. Francis of Assisi Church (W. 32 St, NYC just east of Madison Sq Garden) has a life sized bronze of the saint kneeling before a Crucifix relief carved in the Church wall. As people pass they touch his hands and heels which are rubbed bright.

    No. It just felt like six years.

  • You didn’t like winter out on the Prairie T.Shaw in lovely Rantoul? For shame, I say, as Central Illinois endures another below zero morning this week.

  • “For shame, I say, as Central Illinois endures another below zero morning this week”

    To be followed by highs in the 40s and lower 50s next week, however… looks like slush season has arrived :-)

  • Rantoul!

    How could I forget?

  • Donald McClarey writes : “Yeah, love the girls, but only complete blithering idiots who know nothing about history and Lincoln say any of that.”

    Nor would I expect any of the commentators here to see it any other way.

  • Thanks for the info Don.

    So the Illini were a tribe, but not of Celts :-)

    Interesting stuff. I did read your post about the conqueror of the NW, but it was good to be reminded of it. Isn’t it amazing that such a vast tract of land was won with the mounting of a campaign consisiting of only 180 men.

    Trust your winter is easing off – warm and humid here – the fungal plant diseases are playing havoc with my zucchinis, cucumbers and pumpkins :-)

  • Temperatures were up in the 40’s today Don. Melting is the happy order of the day in Central Illinois!

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