Monday, July 03, 2006

Myths about Lincoln

There are few historic figures that have garnered more myths than Abraham Lincoln. He was a man who no one knew anything about. He was wrapped in mystery...and he liked it that way.

There are several people who have fueled the mystery.....None perhaps more than William H. Herndon. The problem with Herndon was that there was no evidence often to back up what he was saying. Perhaps what he was saying was true too! But there are matters that leave one wondering what Herndon was thinking when he wrote them. But most of them open Lincoln's world to us. He was always ready to help many a researcher...He was sadly taken advantage by just about everyone. Today there are many who think that his information is flawed. Perhaps it is...but once again in many cases of his writing...WHO KNOWS?

Nicolay and Hay wrote a massive biography on Lincoln...But it is sadly very soft on many issues. Robert Lincoln was standing behind their shoulders...and they dared not displease him. Robert Lincoln's papers were the most important papers in their work so they were very careful to tread lightly where Robert Lincoln was not in agreement.

Speaking of Robert Lincoln, he was found one evening before a roaring fire in his home. Before the fire were many papers of his father that he felt were not good to share with posterity. So he had been burning them. he was advised to leave them alone, if he did is anyone's guess. His papers were finally sealed, with orders not to be opened till long after Robert Lincoln's death. What they revealed was less than exciting....One can only guess at what he destroyed????

I have heard stories that Lincoln was gay. Be cause he shared a bed with Joshiua Speed for 3 years. well in those days many shared a bed. Following this reasoning John Adams and Benj. Franklin were gay as they shared a bed as well.

Lincoln was NOT the simple man he was made out to be. He was a well practiced and calculating lawyer. Herndon said in his letters that Lincoln would use men and then toss them away like chess pieces. Lincoln the humble log splitter....In the 1860 Republican convention many delegates carried in logs that were split by Lincoln...where they came from who knows..... It was good press.

Lincoln was in many ways created ...But what no one knew was, how amazingly intelligent he was and what cunning he had....He made fools out of many who thought they would control him.

Lincoln's assassination led in many ways to the legend of what many thought Lincoln truly was.

I am of the idea that we will never really know Lincoln as he really was..But only a shadow of the man. There are too many holes in the complete story. But what we have and know makes us understand he was not like most people...He was very much his own man, and a very great one as well.
He was perfect for his time....In another time Lincoln would not be what he was.

There is an old adage that says ..Heroes know when to die. They also know when to have lived too!

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