Man from Mars | Main | Style change

Sunday, January 26, 2003

Lincoln loathed?

Ask any average man, woman or child who the 9th president was, or who 21st president was, or even the 30th president was, and chances are they won't know. But, ask someone who the 16th president of the United States was, and chances are they'll respond with Abraham Lincoln. And, they'll be correct. Once I heard that more books had been written about Lincoln than any other person in history, except possibly Jesus Christ. As school children, we spent more time learning about Lincoln and his life and his family than any other president.

I've always lived in the north. Except for ten years away, I've always lived in Springfield, Illinois. As everyone knows, or should know, Springfield, Illinois, is the Land of Lincoln. Really, all of Illinois is the Land of Lincoln. Well, that's what it says on the license plates. Lincoln is an icon around here. Lincoln and what he did to free the slaves is good. That's what we were taught in school. That's what I've always believed, and still believe. That's what I thought everybody believed, until...

Several years ago, I was monitoring a chatroom on IRC (a chatroom that isn't there any more) and as often happens in such chatrooms, the conversation turned to freedom. Someone started quoting the Emancipation Proclamation as part of the conversation. Ya had to be there. Someone else responded with something along the lines that Abraham Lincoln got what he deserved. I was shocked. My jaw dropped. I had never heard anything like that before. How could anyone be so callous, so harsh, so bitter, so blatantly wrong? The lines in the chatroom were quickly drawn. It was the north against the south. I couldn't believe it, right here in the 20th century, we had somehow digressed back to the 1860's. And, as often happens in such chatrooms, the conversation turned ugly.

A couple years ago, through my job, I had to get some summonses served in Georgia. As part of the process, I struck up a little friendship with a lady who worked in the local sheriff's office. She was originally from Ohio. When I listed off the names of people I was going to have served, she stopped me at a particular name. I said, what about him? She said, well aside from the fact that you're having him served, he won't take too kindly to you since you're from Springfield. When I asked her to explain, she simply responded that some people down there still hadn't gotten over the way Civil War was ended. She further informed me that some people still didn't realize the Civil War had ended. Ahh, okay.

Now, the National Park Service is putting up a statue of Lincoln and his son, Tad, in Richmond, Virginia. Check out these two articles to get an idea of what the reaction is:

SJR: Lincoln statue causes stir in South
Newly freed slaves greeted Lincoln in Richmond after war

Brag Bowling, the Virginia commander of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, has called the statue "a slap in the face of a lot of brave men and women who went through four years of unbelievable hell fighting an invasion of Virginia led by President Lincoln."

Bowling views Lincoln's 1865 visit as a victory lap, a humiliation of the city and of the Confederacy.

"He sat at Jefferson Davis' desk and propped his feet up on the desk," Bowling said.

Posted by Marie at January 26, 2003 2:55 PM


In redneck-ese:
Lincoooln ain't loath'd, He's jus' a Yankee and all Yankee's are evil curpit baggin' scum! :)

And now in Cajun:
Linkin Ain't Loth'd chere. E's jus a Ynkey and des all bad!

I've been in the Deep South way to long!

Posted by: Doc at January 27, 2003 10:54 AM


Posted by: an SouthernAlabama Girl at May 27, 2003 11:55 AM