For the People

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					                          For the People
                         A New sletter o f the Ab raham Linco ln Asso ciatio n
                      V o l u m e 7, N u m b e r 3                A u t u m n 2005               S p r i n g f i e l d, I l l i n o i s

    A New Look at “Y ou Can Fool All of the People”

         By David B. Parker *                Newspapers,” which contains the back        the time. You can fool some of the peo-
     n the winter 2003 issue of this         files of the New York Times, Washington      ple all of the time; but you can’t fool all
     newsletter, Thomas F. Schwartz, in      Post, Boston Globe, and a handful of        of the people all of the time.’” The
     one of his “Lincoln Never Said          other newspaper in a digitized, search-     Times noted that the remark was met
That” columns, wrote on one of the           able format.                                with “Applause.”

best known of the alleged Lincoln quo-                                                        Seven months later, the Times’s
tations: “You can fool all the people                                                    “Hodge-Podge” column (a collection
some of the time and some of the peo-                                                    of snippets gathered from other news-
ple all the time, but you cannot fool all                                                papers and periodicals) quoted the Dry
the people all the time.”1                                                               Goods Chronicle: “Mr. Lincoln said:
     Schwartz’s article traced the claim                                                 ‘You can fool some of the people all the
that Lincoln made the “fool all the peo-                                                 time, and you can fool all the people
ple” statement at a speech on Septem-                                                    some of the time, but you cannot fool
ber 2, 1858, in Clinton, Illinois, during                                                all the people all the time,’ It would be
the Lincoln-Douglas Debates. Con-                                                        well for our politicians to ponder over
temporary accounts do not record the                                                     this saying, and also merchants who do
words, but nearly a half-century later,                                                  not advertise their goods. The latter are
several people said that they heard Lin-                                                 fooled all the time.”5
coln make the remark on that occasion.                                                        After these first two mentions in
A second claim, from a single source,                                                    1887 and 1888, the Times quoted Lin-
was that Lincoln made the statement at                                                   coln’s “you can fool all the people” on
the 1856 Republican Party Convention                                                     at least twenty other occasions before it
in Bloomington, Illinois. Schwartz                                                       appeared in McClure’s Lincoln’s Yarns
characterized the claims as “tenuous.”2                                                  and Stories.
     Those claims aside, the fact is that,                                                    Other newspapers in the ProQuest
until now, we had no documentary evi-                                                    collection also give the quotation
dence linking Lincoln to the quotation                                                   before 1901, but none as frequently or
until 1901, when it was included in                                                      as early as the New York Times. The
Abe Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories, a vol-                                                  Atlanta Constitution’s first mention of
ume of over five hundred pages com-                                                       the quotation is of special interest to
piled by Alexander McClure, that                                                         the present author, who wrote his doc-
claimed to be “a complete collection of           Searching the New York Times we        toral dissertation on Charles Henry
the funny and witty anecdotes that           find that on August 26, 1887—four-           Smith, a Georgia essayist and humorist
made Lincoln famous.” The only attri-        teen years before McClure’s collec-         who for twenty-five years (1878–
bution for the quotation was to an           tion—a man named Fred Wheeler,              1903) contributed a weekly column to
unnamed “caller at the White House.”3        speaking at the Prohibition Party Con-      the Constitution under the pen name of
Through the use of several new data-         vention, discussed certain legislation      “Bill Arp.” On August 6, 1899, Arp
bases, we can now push the connection        passed by the state assembly: “As I sat     began his column: “Mr. Lincoln said,
of Lincoln and “fool all the people”         in the gallery noting the care and eager-   ‘You may fool some of the people all
back almost a decade and a half.             ness and anxiety of the leaders to secure   the time, you may fool all of the people
     For our purposes the most useful        its passage I could not help but think of   some of the time, but you can’t fool all
of these databases is a collection from      that trite remark of Abraham Lincoln:       of the people all the time.’ That’s so, I
ProQuest Company called “Historic            ‘You can fool all of the people, some of                continued on page 2
2                                                                                                            For th e People

                A New Look at “You Can Fool All of the Peop le”

         continued from page 1              Chicago dentist quoted Lincoln to            attributed to Lincoln, first showed up in
reckon, but I will add that a man can’t     warn of “bunko dental colleges” that         a book, magazine article, or some other
fool his wife at all. She catches up with   misrepresented their costs. In fact,         source not covered by these databases in

him by instinct.”6                          prior to 1901 Lincoln had become the         early- to mid-1887.
     Another ProQuest collection,           unwitting spokesman for some two                  But I will leave the hunt for that
“American Periodical Series Online”         dozen retailers and products, including      elusive creature to others.
(APS), offers the contents of well over     Boston’s J. B. Barnaby (clothiers) and
a thousand magazines and other peri-        Paine Furniture Company; Hire’s root               Schwartz, “‘You Can Fool All of

odicals published in the United States      beer; the Vinolia line of soaps, creams,     the People’: Lincoln Never Said That,”
between 1740 and 1900, again digi-          and powders; Gail Borden Eagle Brand         For the People: A Newsletter of the Abra-
tized and searchable. A search of APS       Condensed Milk; Pillsbury’s Flour; and       ham Lincoln Association 5 (Winter
reveals only scattered references to the    my personal favorite, Old Crow Rye.11        2003): 1ff.
alleged Lincoln quotation, none before            Thanks to these new online data-             Ibid., 6.

1887.                                       bases—a technology not available to                 Albert A. Woldman, “Lincoln

     One of the citations in APS is         researchers until very recently—we can       Never Said That,” Harper’s Magazine
worth mentioning, however. In 1894 a        now search millions of pages of books,       200 (May 1950): 74.
relatively obscure anarchist journal,       newspapers, and periodicals within sec-            New York Times, Aug. 26, 1887.

Liberty: Not the Daughter but the Moth-     onds, turning a task that before would             New York Times, Mar. 12, 1888.

er of Order, reprinted an article from      have been a lifetime’s work (several                Atlanta Constitution, Aug. 6,

the New York Sun that described the         lifetimes’ work, in fact) into a project     1899. The dissertation, which made no
office of congressional candidate            that can be completed before a morn-         mention of the Lincoln quotation, was
Lemuel Quigg: “There are two pic-           ing coffee break.                            published as Alias Bill Arp: Charles
tures on the wall in Mr. Quigg’s head-            And thanks to these databases, we      Henry Smith and the South’s “Goodly
quarters. One is of Quigg and the           now know that the “you can fool all of       Heritage” (Athens: University of Geor-
other is of Lincoln. Under Mr. Lin-         the people” quotation was in common          gia Press, 1991).
coln’s picture is the quotation: ‘You       circulation and attributed to Lincoln at            Liberty: Not the Daughter but the

can fool all the people some of the         least fourteen years before McClure’s        Mother of Order 10 (Nov. 3, 1894):
time, and some of the people all the        collection.                                  13.
time; but you can’t fool all of the peo-          But these databases can’t answer all          William Lloyd Garrison, 1805–

ple all the time.’”7 This suggests that     of our questions, and in fact, they          1879: The Story of His Life, Told by His
by 1894 the quotation was sufficiently       sometimes raise new ones. For exam-          Children (New York: Century Co.,
popular and well known to appear on         ple, while the coverage of the databas-      1889), 4:224. Unlike ProQuest, a
printed portraits of Lincoln.               es is just as good before 1887 as after,     series of proprietary databases, Making
     Making of America, a digital           there are no mentions of the quotation       of America is free and is available at
library of nineteenth-century American      attributed to Lincoln before August
literature containing approximately         1887. Furthermore, in the millions of              Chicago Daily Tribune, June 15,

eighty-five hundred books and fifty           pages covered by these databases, the        1890.
thousand journal articles, digitized and    quotation does not appear by itself,                Ibid., Mar. 15, 1891.

searchable, offers one additional early     unattributed to Lincoln, before that                Boston Daily Globe, Oct. 25, 1891,

example of the Lincoln quotation, in a      date. Only in 1890 does the quotation        Jan. 18, 1897, May 27, 1893; Ameri-
biography of abolitionist William           start to show up without Lincoln’s           can Journal of the Medical Sciences 6
Lloyd Garrison published in 1889, a         name, introduced by “Some one has            (Dec. 1893): 6; Arthur’s Home Maga-
dozen years before McClure’s collec-        truthfully said” or “There is a saying.”12   zine 64 (Oct. 1894): 10; Boston Daily
tion.8                                            In other words, before August          Globe, June 16, 1895; New York Times,
     By 1890 the quotation was well         1887 the saying never shows up, either       July 7, 1895.
known enough to be used in advertise-       alone or attributed to Lincoln; after               New York Times, Feb. 5, 1890,

ments. In June of that year an ad for W .   August 1887 it appears frequently,           Dec. 31, 1891.
W Kimball Company used the saying           dozens of times in the next ten years.
to urge customers to be careful when              The reason for this is unknown, but        * David B. Parker is a professor of
buying a piano or organ.9 In 1891 a         a good guess would be that the saying,       history at Kennesaw State University.
For th e People                                                                                                        3

                                             Lincoln Neve r Said That

        MOLLY M. BECKER                  By Thomas F. Schwartz                Burnside, ordered any person expressing
         RICHARD E. HART                he Internet is a great incubator of   sympathy for the Confederacy to be
            Vice-Presidents             spurious Lincoln sayings and no       arrested as a traitor or banished to the
      THOMAS F. SCHWARTZ                clearer examples can be shown         Confederate States of America. Val-
               Secretary         than several that have recently surfaced.    landigham tested the limits of the order
      ROBERT A. STUART JR.       A number of Web sites attribute the fol-     by speaking out against the war on May
               Treasurer         lowing quote to Abraham Lincoln:             1, 1863. True to his word, Burnside
        ROBERT S. ECKLEY         “Congressmen who willfully take              arrested Vallandigham, immediately
     Immediate Past-President    actions during wartime that damage           provoking a series of public protests by
          Board of Directors     morale and undermine the military are        Northern Democrats in support of Val-
       Kenneth L. Anderson       saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled     lan-digham. Lincoln, with the advice of
         Dan W Bannister
          Judith Barringer       or hanged.”                                  his Cabinet, released Vallandigham from
       Michael Burlingame             But did Lincoln utter these words?      prison but exiled him to the Confedera-
             Brooks Davis        An immediate red flag for the authen-         cy. In explaining this tack to Corning
         Rodney O. Davis         ticity of any Lincoln quote would be         and Vallandigham’s other Democratic
          Allen C. Guelzo
        Kathryn M. Harris        information indicating when and              sympathizers, Lincoln stated: “Must I
      Earl W Henderson Jr.       where he uttered the words being             shoot a simple-minded soldier boy who
         Fred B. Hoffmann        used. Typically, the absence of a date       deserts, while I must not touch a hair of
          Barbara Hughett
             David Jones         and/or place is a good indication that       a wiley agitator who induces him to
            Robert J. Lenz       something is askew.                          desert? . . . I think that in such a case, to
            Lee McTurnan              The words are not found in The          silence the agitator, and save the boy, is
             Myron Marty
         Susan Mogerman          Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln or        not only constitutional, but, withal, a
         Georgia Northrup        The Recollected Words of Abraham Lin-        great mercy.” This is a far cry from
         Phillip S. Paludan      coln. The Web sites using the questioned     “hanging” congressmen advocated in
        James W Patton III
           Mark Plummer          quote usually are strong supporters of       the questioned Internet utterance.
          James A. Rawley        the current military efforts in Iraq. Lin-        With record-low mortgage rates
        Marvin Sanderman         coln’s own opposition to President           these past many years, homebuilders
         William Shepherd
        Brooks D. Simpson        James K. Polk’s Mexican War policies         and real estate Web sites have proudly
      Richard Norton Smith       makes the statement hypocritical in this     quoted Lincoln: “The strength of a
            Nicky Stratton       context. While Lincoln spoke against         nation lies in the homes of its people.”
             Louise Taper
          Donald R. Tracy        people who interfered with the enlist-       Once again, there are no dates attached
           Andy VanMeter         ment of soldiers, there is a marked dif-     to the saying and the words cannot be
        Margaret VanMeter        ference between the alleged quote about      found in Lincoln writings or the major
        Daniel R. Weinberg
             Vibert White        congressmen and Lincoln’s documented         recollections. Some Web pages offer,
           Robert Willard        sentiments about speech that led to          “spoken by Abraham Lincoln more than
         Kenneth J. Winkle       desertion. Most likely, the alleged quote    140 years ago,” which is so nonspecific
         Honorary Directors      is based upon Lincoln’s famous June 12,      as to be meaningless. The closest senti-
   Governor Rod R. Blagojevich   1863, letter to Erastus Corning and          ment is something not said by Abraham
     Senator Richard Durbin
      Senator Barack Obama       other Democrats who objected to the          Lincoln but by another Republican
    Congressman Ray LaHood       banishment of Ohio politician Clement        President, Herbert Hoover. In a speech
    Congressman John Shimkus     Vallandigham to the Confederacy.             at Palo Alto, California, on August 11,
     Mayor Timothy J. Davlin
   The Honorable Rita Garman          Vallandigham was a bitter oppo-         1928, Hoover said: “To me the founda-
         Emeritus Directors      nent of the war, and according to Mark       tion of American life rests upon the
           John R. Chapin        E. Neely, “in a meeting of the Demo-         home and family.” A different emphasis
            Cullom Davis         cratic congressional caucus in July          is attributed to Andrew Johnson by
            John J. Trutter      [1861], Vallandigham was the only con-       George L. Tappan, who, in 1872,
       Harlington Wood Jr.
                                 gressman to oppose coercion of the           recalled President Johnson saying:
      Distinguished Directors
         Mario M. Cuomo          South.” His views did not comport with       “Without a home there can be no good
      David Herbert Donald       those of the voters, who tossed Val-         citizen. With a home there can be no
       John Hope Franklin        landigham out in the 1862 elections.         bad one.” Perhaps all would be better
            Harry V Jaffa        Trouble occurred on April 19, 1863,          off by taking the broader view espoused
       Robert W Johannsen
              Garry Wills        when the commander of the Depart-            by Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz:
                                 ment of the Ohio, General Ambrose E.         “There’s no place like home.”
4                                                                                                             For th e People

                             Defi ni ng th e Stu dy o f Lin col n
          T he Contr ibu tions of the Ab raham Lincoln As soc iation

        By Thomas F. Schwartz                  the largest and most memorable birth-      of the event and the banquets that fol-
       or nearly a century, the Abraham        day celebration to honor the one-hun-      lowed were intended to entertain
       Lincoln Association has worked          dredth anniversary of Illinois’ favorite   guests. Speakers were selected with an
       to realize, as fully as possible, its   son, and Springfield’s most notable cit-    eye toward publishing their remarks in
charter mission: “To observe each              izen, Abraham Lincoln. It was a task       a keepsake booklet that was a fixture at
anniversary of the birth of Abraham            they took to heart. The largest hall in    each banquet place setting. These pub-
Lincoln; to preserve and make more             Springfield, the Illinois State Armory,     lished remarks were also distributed to
readily accessible the landmarks associ-       was reserved and notably decorated in      various libraries and associations
ated with his life; and to actively            the appropriate patriotic bunting. Sen-    believing that “many of them contain
encourage, promote and aid the collec-         ator Cullom drew upon his position as      contributions of permanence and value
tion and dissemination of authentic            Chairman of the Senate Foreign Rela-       in the way of sound thinking and clear
information regarding all phases of his        tions committee to secure the services     utterance.”
life and career.” These are ambitious          of James Bryce, the British Ambassa-            A systemic problem was inherent
goals for any group. They are even             dor to the United States, as the           in the organization of the Lincoln Cen-
more challenging for an organization           keynote speaker with J. J. Jusserand,      tennial Association that soon became
that has been staffed largely by volun-        the French Ambassador to the United        apparent and threatened the existence
teers, that has never exceeded nine hun-       States, as an invited guest. Robert        of the group. Most of the founders and
dred members, that has never had               Todd Lincoln, the only surviving son       officers were elderly gentlemen. With-
financial reserves in excess of                 of the Sixteenth President was also        out active recruitment and its original
$100,000, and whose base of opera-             invited. He agreed to come only if he      goal of celebrating the centennial birth
tions consists of a mailbox located at         did not have to speak. And finally,         behind it, the Association remained
the Abraham Lincoln Presidential               William Jennings Bryan, the former         active only as long as the founding
Library. And yet, the Abraham Lincoln          presidential candidate and silver-         fathers lived. President J. Otis
Association is considered the leading          tongued orator best known for his          Humphrey died in 1918. Vice Presi-
organization advancing Lincoln stud-           “Cross of Gold” speech was also            dent John J. Bunn succeeded
ies. What explains this dichotomy?             among the dignitaries at the head          Humphrey, but Bunn was no young
     A terrible irony exists that in the       table.                                     man. Born in 1831, Bunn as a young
year when the Lincoln Centennial                    Over twelve hundred persons           man had known Lincoln. In fact, Lin-
Association met to begin planning the          attended the patriarchic gala. Men         coln appointed him as a United States
one-hundredth anniversary of the               wore formal attire and were seated on      Pension Agent for Illinois. Bunn died
Great Emancipator’s birth, Springfield          the main floor of the auditorium.           in 1920 creating a crisis in leadership
witnessed a bloody race riot, leaving          Women were consigned to the balcony.       for the Association. No banquet was
seven dead. Among the victims was              After a sumptuous meal and formal          held in 1920 or 1922. Logan Hay, a
William Donegan, a retired cobbler             remarks, individuals on the main floor      notable Springfield attorney whose
who made boots for Abraham Lincoln             indulged in cigars, cigarettes and         father, Milton Hay, and grandfather,
before he was elected president. The           brandy. Perhaps the most bizarre event     Stephen Trigg Logan, firmly connected
men who organized what is now the              of the evening was Vachel Lindsay’s        him to the Lincoln legacy, became pres-
Abraham Lincoln Association ignored            reading of the performance poem “The       ident of the Association following
this fact. The founders of the Associa-        Congo.” The audience was held              Bunn’s death. As one writer claimed,
tion reads like a “Who’s Who”: Chief           speechless by such lines as: “Fat black    Hay’s first two years of service “was the
Justice of the United States Supreme           bucks in a wine-barrel room, Barrel-       empty honor of heading an organiza-
Court Melville W. Fuller, United States        house kings, with feet unstable, Sagged    tion that seemed to want only a quiet
Federal Judge J. Otis Humphrey,                and reeled and pounded on the table,       burial.”
Speaker of the House Joseph G. Can-            Pounded on the table, Beat an empty             Hay decided that the Association
non, Illinois Governor Charles S.              barrel with the handle of a broom,         needed to make a decision on what it
Deneen, Former Vice-President Adlai            Hard as they were able, Boom, boom,        wanted: either the board would cease as
E. Stevenson, and Illinois Senator             Boom, With a silk umbrella and the         an organization or recommit them-
Shelby Cullom. Their task seemed               handle of a broom, Boomlay, boomlay,       selves to the mission statement from the
simple and straightforward: to hold            boomlay, Boom.” Clearly, the structure     original charter. In his 1923 banquet
For th e People                                                                                                                  5

address, Former Governor Frank O.            annual Bulletin and Papers, the new         According to Wilma Minor, the owner
Lowden underscored the need for the          research agenda required the establish-     of the letters and author of the articles
Association to gather “authentic” infor-     ment of full-time personnel to oversee      in the Atlantic Monthly, the materials
mation on Lincoln and preserve the tra-      research and writing implicit in their      had been handed down through her
ditions and places in and around             research agenda. Income from mem-           family. Initially, the poet Carl Sandburg
Springfield. After several meetings, the      bership was insufficient for sustaining      and the muckraking journalist Ida Tar-
Association devised a listing of goals       salaried staff. The solution required the   bell were both attracted to the dramat-
that it hoped to accomplish. As the          establishment of an endowment fund.         ic power of the romance that was
Association’s main objective, it pledged     In 1925 Hay persuaded a number of           revealed in the correspondence. But
to make the annual observance of Lin-        civic-minded Springfield families that       Angle knew Lincoln’s handwriting,
coln’s birth a public meeting “at which      went back to the Lincoln era—Bunn,          having just finished transcribing letters
the speaker shall be selected with refer-    Hatch, Pasfield, and Humphrey—to             for the new edition of Lincoln’s letters.
ence to their especial fitness to make        donate the initial funding for the Asso-    Moreover, Angle also had an ear for
distinct contributions to the Lincoln        ciation endowment. With this financial       Lincoln’s literary voice and knew that
idea, and the publication of the address-    wherewithal, Hay began interviewing         the writings were a poor imitation. In
es in permanent form.” A series of           potential executive secretaries. He gave    the end the letters proved to be the
prizes ranging from the best mono-           the job to Paul M. Angle, a young man       result of spirit writings channeled
graph on Abraham Lincoln to funding          from Mansfield, Ohio, who had a his-         through the hand of a medium, who
scholarships at Illinois colleges and uni-   tory degree from Miami University.          happened to be Minor’s mother.
versities to high school essay contests      Hiring Angle was based upon his                  Another little-known project of
on Lincoln were contemplated. Two            potential rather than a record of           the Association was research on the
similar goals were to assist in the pur-     accomplishment. Angle later admitted        proposed Lincoln Memorial Highway.
chase and donation of Lincoln materials      that his only knowledge of Lincoln was      The project sought to find the exact
for what is now called the Henry             obtained by reading Lord Charn-             route that Lincoln and his parents trav-
Horner Lincoln Collection at the Abra-       wood’s Lincoln biography on the train       eled from Kentucky to Indiana to Illi-
ham Lincoln Presidential Library (for-       in route from Chicago to Springfield         nois. Confusion abounded with hun-
merly the Illinois State Historical          before his interview.                       dreds of notarized affidavits being sent
Library). The Association also wanted             Angle, however, was a quick study.     by individuals stating that the Lincolns
to build a collection of “reminiscences      He began to collect photocopies of          stopped at their farm, watered their
of all individuals who have personally       original Lincoln documents with an          oxen team from their well, and other
known Mr. Lincoln.” The final four            eye toward those that escaped publica-      variations on a theme. Typically, the
objectives dealt with aspects of promot-     tion by previous Lincoln biographers        statements were based upon second or
ing visitation and Lincoln programs at       Nicolay, Hay, and Tarbell. Angle also       third hand information transmitted by
Lincoln sites in the Springfield area.        began to build reference files on every      family members or friends. Governor
They wanted to publish a booklet con-        important topic regarding Lincoln, his      Emmerson referred the matter to a
taining information on Lincoln and           family, and Lincoln’s Springfield.           five-member panel—all consisting of
associated sites as well as promote a        Between 1925 and 1930 Angle wrote           Abraham Lincoln Association mem-
marker program to clearly identify           an incredible corpus of reference mate-     bers—for investigation. Angle side-
places of significance. The Association       rials. Among these were two editions        stepped the issue stating: “At the pres-
would underwrite a pageant at New            of guidebooks to the Lincoln sites in       ent time it appears likely that the inves-
Salem featuring the descendants of Lin-      Springfield, seven pamphlets of Lin-         tigating committee will be unable, by
coln’s friends in this frontier communi-     coln’s day-by-day activities for the        reason of the absence of conclusive evi-
ty. In a growing era of automobile trav-     years 1854 through 1861, twenty-one         dence, to establish the exact location of
el, the Association would work to pave       regular bulletins, and a monograph,         the route the Lincolns followed, but in
the road between Springfield and New          New Letters and Papers of Lincoln           any event a positive gain of some
Salem with the roadside shade trees          (1930). Angle also clarified the new         importance in historical knowledge
named after “Lincoln, his friends, and       direction of the Association by chang-      seems assured.”
contemporaries.”                             ing the name from the Lincoln Centen-            The “historical knowledge” that
     In 1923 Logan Hay reactivated           nial Association, an event that had         Angle sought was of a certain kind.
Association publications with the            occurred in 1909 but of little relevance    Like his mentor, Logan Hay, Angle
issuance of an annual Bulletin. This was     in 1929, to the Abraham Lincoln Asso-       probed for written primary source
followed in 1924 with the appearance         ciation, a timeless moniker.                materials in the form of letters, court
of The Lincoln Centennial Association             The Association was the center of      records, newspapers, pamphlets, the
Papers, containing the text of the speak-    national attention in 1929 when Angle       Illinois and Congressional Journal of
er presentations before the Association      exposed as forgeries the Atlantic           Debates, tax records, census data, and
in that year. While Hay could oversee        Monthly’s published love letters            election returns. Sources avoided or
the copyediting and production of the        between Lincoln and Ann Rutledge.                     continued on page 6
6                                                                                                                 For th e People

                                    Def ining the St u d y o f L inc oln
                      Th e Co n t r i b u t i o n s o f t h e A b r a h a m L i n c o l n A s s o c i a t i o n

         continued from page 5               because extensive correspondence from          the project a PhD in English who had
viewed with suspicion were artifacts         New Salem did not exist, Angle relied          already published a volume on Lin-
and material culture, such as Lincoln’s      heavily upon newspaper accounts to             coln’s writings and speeches. Roy Pren-
personal effects and a careful examina-      carry his narrative of Lincoln’s               tiss Basler was well suited to undertake
tion of the surviving structures from        Springfield. The four Lincoln day-by-           the work. He had two capable assistants
the Lincoln era. Archeology conducted        day volumes began with Lincoln’s               in Marion Bonzi, who would later
by the State of Illinois at New Salem        birth in 1809 and took him up to his           marry the great Lincoln scholar Harry
was completely ignored by Benjamin P     .   presidential inauguration on March 4,          Pratt, and Lloyd Dunlap. Also on loan
Thomas in his study of this frontier         1861. This base reference works served         to the project was Helen Bullock, a
community. Recollections, especially         as the basic factual building blocks for       dynamo of a researcher on staff at the
those recorded decades after the fact,       any Lincoln study. But they also pro-          Library of Congress. Bullock scoured
were given a hoary eye unless they           vided a quick short hand to foil forgers,      the manuscript collections in the
could be independently verified with          especially the sly Joseph Cosey who            Library of Congress and National
contemporary written records. This           was particularly adept at creating legal       Archives for the Association.
approach to research methodology             documents with a passable facsimile of              Generally recognized as the great-
comported with James Garfield Ran-            Lincoln’s hand. Cosey and other forg-          est scholarly achievement of the Asso-
dall’s call for professionalism in Lin-      ers failed to do their homework and            ciation, the eight-volume Collected
coln studies. In his seminal 1936 arti-      typically placed Lincoln in the wrong          Works of Abraham Lincoln literally bank-
cle, “Has the Lincoln Theme Been             court at the wrong time of year. A             rupted the organization. Originally
Exhausted?” Randall noted the profes-        quick check of these day-by-day works          planned to be five or six volumes and
sional standards used by the Abraham         made easy work of detecting a ques-            plagued by constant delays, the publi-
Lincoln Association in its contribu-         tioned document.                               cation ended up costing the Associa-
tions to Lincoln studies.                         With its reputation firmly estab-          tion much more than anticipated.
     Despite Angle’s departure in 1932       lished and an aggressive research and          Rather than publish a volume at a time
to head the Illinois State Historical        publications program in place, the             as finances allowed, the Association
Library, he was replaced by a succes-        Association suffered a blow with the           made the bold move of liquidating all
sion of capable scholars, such as            death of Logan Hay in 1940. George             of their assets to publish all eight vol-
Thomas and Harry E. Pratt, both hav-         W. Bunn, president of the Marine               umes at once. The Association main-
ing PhDs in history. These scholars          Bank, Lincoln’s bank in Springfield,            tained its incorporation status and set
produced some significant monograph-          ably succeeded Hay. It was Bunn who            up an account to receive royalties from
ic works during the decade from 1930         inspired and often financed the Associ-         Rutgers University Press. The volumes
to 1940 based upon the previous fact         ation on to greatness. Known to his            were met with critical acclaim but
collection efforts of the Association.       friends as “Gib,” Bunn oversaw the cre-        financial indifference. In part, universi-
Two particular themes emerged: envi-         ation of the Abraham Lincoln Quarter-          ty presses in general and Rutgers in
ronmental studies, or the studies of the     ly, a scholarly publication that would         particular were suffering from financial
communities in which Lincoln lived at        replace the Bulletin and annual Papers.
New Salem and Springfield, and the            But the Association’s greatest achieve-
Lincoln day-by-day studies. Thomas’s         ment under Bunn would be collecting
Lincoln’s New Salem remains a classic        and transcribing all of Abraham Lin-             For the People (ISSN 1527–2710) is
study of the frontier community that         coln’s known writings.                           published four times a year and is a
was the setting for Lincoln’s formative           The Collected Works of Abraham Lin-            benefit of membership of the
years. In spite of its age, first published   coln would take twelve years to produce             Abraham Lincoln Association
in 1934, no author has attempted to          at a cost of over $100,000 or approxi-                1 Old State Capitol Plaza
eclipse it as the primary study of New       mately $1,000,000 in 2005 dollars. It                     Springfield, Illinois
Salem. The same can be said for              took meetings with the Library of Con-                           62701
Angle’s monograph of Lincoln’s               gress to convince that institution not to
Springfield, “Here I Have Lived”: A His-      duplicate efforts with a planned Lincoln           Editorial and design services by
tory of Lincoln’s Springfield, 1821–1865.     papers project of their own. Once the                     William B. Tubbs
Whereas Thomas was forced to exam-           Abraham Lincoln Association cleared                   (
ine county commissioner records, cen-        the way for the project, they hired a
sus data, and probate court records          new executive secretary who brought to
For th e People                                                                                                             7

woes. Creative bookkeeping similar to      But the transfer of the property to the    “The Hedgehog and the Foxes,” John
that practiced in Hollywood for resid-     Federal government in 1971 ended any       Y. Simon’s “Abraham Lincoln and Ann
uals on early television shows allowed     further discussion. In 1970 publica-       Rutledge,” Daniel Howe’s “Why Lin-
Rutgers to avoid paying any royalties      tions were resumed, beginning mod-         coln was a Whig,” and Allen Guelzo’s
to the Association.                        estly with the annual banquet address      “Lincoln and the Doctrine of Necessi-
     From 1953 to 1964 the Associa-        and expanding in 1973 to include           ty,” are frequently cited in the litera-
tion was in a state of suspended anima-    papers presented at the scholarly sym-     ture.
tion. It took a request by Illinois Gov-   posium.                                         The Association is no longer the
ernor Otto Kerner to reactivate the             The bicentennial celebrations of      holder of an archive of materials nor
Lincoln-hearted men and women of           the nation in 1976 prompted the for-       does it have a staff to produce original
Springfield. The State proposed to          mation of another planning committee       research monographs. It functions
restore the Old State Capitol, site of     to plot out a long-range agenda for the    more to provide a forum for scholars
Lincoln’s House Divided Speech, to         Association. Obvious suggestions,          to present their research findings and
its original luster. Since 1876 Sanga-     such as an update of the Collected         new interpretations based upon famil-
mon County had used it as the county       Works, Lincoln Day By Day, and other       iar materials. The Association also pro-
court house. The courts, having out-       significant Association writings, were      vides a vital function in offering finan-
grown the facility, moved to a new         advanced. Little was accomplished,         cial support to important Lincoln
facility, allowing the State to turn it    however, due to lack of funds. The         research and projects. The Associa-
back into a Lincoln site. The Associa-     State of Illinois’ undertaking of the      tion’s unfailing annual contributions
tion accepted the challenge of raising     Lincoln Legal Papers filled a research      to the Lincoln Legal Papers have paid
money for period furnishings to deco-      lacuna identified by the Association        off with the DVD-ROM edition
rate the rooms and resumed the prac-       fifty years ago. The Association quickly    appearing in 2000. And the Associa-
tice of holding annual banquets, host-     endorsed the project and became one        tion was the first organization to sup-
ing as the first speaker Adlai E. Steven-   of its main private supporters.            port the proposed Abraham Lincoln
son, then United States Ambassador              Much of the Association’s current     Presidential Library with a check for
to the United Nations. A group of less     influence is reflected in its symposia       $5,000.
than three hundred members, the            and publications. New voices in Lin-            The Association made its two most
Abraham Lincoln Association raised         coln studies received their first hearing   important works, The Collected Works of
over a quarter of a million dollars for    at the annual Abraham Lincoln Sym-         Abraham Lincoln and Lincoln Day By
the restoration of the Old State Capi-     posium. Scholars such as Allen Guelzo,     Day, available on the Internet. All of
tol. The building was ready by Decem-      Daniel Walker Howe, Drew McCoy,            the back issues of The Journal of the
ber 3, 1968, the 175th anniversary of      Richard Carwardine, William Lee            Abraham Lincoln Association are avail-
Illinois statehood.                        Miller, Stewart Winger, and Silvana        able online through the University of
     Reinvigorated, the Association        Siddali were all introduced to the Lin-    Illinois Press Web site. This provides
looked to other projects to undertake.     coln community through their talks at      scholars around the world with access
For a brief time, they contemplated        the symposium. Seminal articles such       to significant Lincoln scholarship. All
assisting the State with the renovation    as William Gienapp’s “Lincoln and the      totaled, these accomplishments are
of the Lincoln Home neighborhood.          Border States,” James McPherson’s          remarkable for any organization.


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8                                                                                                               For th e People

                                        Who Is t he Gr eat est?

       By Thomas F. Schwartz                  one spot going to Ronald Reagan, Lin-        Mandela was in the top spot with pro-
       he Discovery Channel in collab-        coln second, King third, Washington          fessional golfer Gary Player number
       oration with the Today Show            fourth, and Benjamin Franklin fifth           two and the nonviolence leader Mahat-
       hosted an ongoing series over               The show mirrored similar efforts       ma Gandhi number three.
the summer, “The Greatest American.”          in 2002 by a British Broadcasting Com-            Traditionally, the polls for greatest
Each week, host Matt Lauer would              pany (BBC) production, “Greatest             president involve academics and other
post a diminishing list of “greatest”         Briton.” Winston Churchill won that          informed public figures. The Internet
Americans and ask viewers to vote.            competition but the number two spot          has democratized the voting process,
Not content with the legal requirement        went to Isambard Kingdom Brunel, an          reaching new audiences. But what is
of “one man, one vote,” the producers         engineer best known for the Thames           one to glean from the results of these
of the show allowed each viewer a             Tunnel, the Great Western Railway, and       shows? Without knowing who is vot-
potential of nine votes per show: three       steamships such as the Bristol. Not sur-     ing and how often, these polls offer lit-
votes by a 1–800 number, three votes          prisingly, the number three spot went        tle more than entertainment value and
by going to the Web site, and three           to Princess Diana. In Germany, a 2003        very little insight into what meaning
votes using text messaging. Once the          poll listed Chancellor Konrad Adenauer       can be teased from the rankings. Per-
show reached the final five names,              as the “greatest” German, nosing out         haps the best example of this is a 2003
small cheering sections were brought          Martin Luther and Karl Marx for the          BBC show, “What The World Thinks
in to add energy to an otherwise dull         two and three positions respectively.        of America.” Viewers were asked to
business. In spite of these efforts, the      Frenchmen listed Charles de Gaulle as        nominate their greatest American by
show fell flat. Theoretically, one could       their favorite historical figure in a simi-   sending names to the BBC Web page.
see the whole enterprise as nothing           lar 2005 contest, with Abbé Pierre,          The winner was a Springfieldian,
more than harmless fun. Others                Jacques Cousteau, Marie Curie, Victor        Homer Simpson, the cartoon dad,
thought it unseemly to pit the achieve-       Hugo, Molière, Louis Pasteur, and            with 47.17 percent. In second place
ments of Martin Luther King Jr,               Edith Piaf vying in the top spots.           was another famous Springfieldian,
George Washington, or Abraham Lin-                 South Africa attempted a similar        Abraham Lincoln (9.97 percent). Mar-
coln against one another. In the end,         series only to pull the plug on the show     tin Luther King Jr. (8.54 percent) and
popularity and perhaps a bit of present       after pro-apartheid figures received          A-Team strongman Mr. T (7.83 per-
mindedness prevailed with the number          strong showings. Regardless, Nelson          cent) trailed the pack.

For the People                                                                                            Nonprofit Organization
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A N e ws l e t t e r of t h e A b r a h a m L i n c ol n A s s oc i a t i on                                       PAID
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