to sculpt the truth

unveiled in cincin NYT 4-8-1917(LOC: image 6)

NY Times April 8, 1917

A big monument controversy raged a hundred years ago. People objected to a new statue memorializing the Civil War era that they found very offensive. So far I haven’t read about any calls for its dismantling or removal, but some folks sure didn’t want to export any duplicates of it.

On March 31, 1917 a statue of Abraham Lincoln sculpted by George Grey Barnard was unveiled and dedicated in Cincinnati. The monument was basically a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Charles P. Taft; Mr. Taft’s brother, former president William Howard Taft, delivered the main address.

Barnard in studio (

vision problem?

So far so good, but in the autumn of 1917 letters and articles appeared in The New-York Times addressing two questions: was the Barnard statue a decent representation of the sixteenth president’s looks? was it fitting and proper to give duplicates to England and France? People seemed to object to the statue’s hands and feet, the “slouchy” posture, and the unpressed clothes.

A Times editorial on August 26th explained the issue by endorsing the criticism of Frederick Wellington Ruckstull, “a sculptor and a critic of the fine arts.” The ungainly Lincoln should not be sent to London to be set up in front of Parliament as a representative of “the vigor and the virtue of modern democracy.” President Lincoln was not handsome but his exemplary spirit and will shone through and made him a leader. Barnard’s Lincoln was “a long-suffering peasant, crushed by adversity. His pose is ungainly, the figure lacks dignity, and the huge hands crossed over the stomach suggest that all is not well with his digestion. The largeness of both hands and feet is unduly exaggerated. …”

(Barnard's Lincoln,Cincinnati, Stewart & Kidd company, 1917;

better left unshown?

Letters to the editor were published from those who knew what Mr. Lincoln really looked like. A 78 year old who lived in Washington at the outbreak of the Civil War remembered the president at White House receptions as looking over the heads of most people who greeted him. “There was no suggestion ever of slouching, gangling, or letting go of himself.” (published October 7th) In another letter to the editor published on October 14th Robert Brewster Stanton wrote that he and his father had many interactions with the president during the war. The then young man had had many opportunities to study the president’s appearance and now found the Barnard statue a “grotesque caricature.” Mr. Lincoln’s pose and attitude overrode the details of his physical appearance, including possibly being “ungainly.” Mr. Stanton was indignant that “the hands that had so often clasped mine with such friendly warmth should ever have been put into the form and position there shown.” In an example of the exception proving the rule, the only time Mr. Stanton only saw President Lincoln “slouchy” was when he was forced to use a public cab with warn out springs in the seat – he could not possibly sit up straight. Should the sculptor have used that image of Lincoln? Don’t send a duplicate of the Cincinnati monument overseas, instead melt it down for bullets for the allies.

In another Times article, Frederick Wellington Ruckstull, who was also editor of The Art World, defended himself against charges that he had instigated the anti-Barnard campaign. He reproduced letters from several interested parties to prove his point. This included a couple letters from someone who presumably knew Abraham Lincoln even better than Robert Brewster Stanton and who expressed his concern about reproducing the Cincinnati statue even before its unveiling on March 31st. Robert Todd Lincoln, son of Abraham and Mary, wanted ex-President Taft to persuade his brother Charles not to send a duplicate of the Barnard statue overseas.

From The New-York Times September 28, 1917:

Hildene, Manchester, Vt. Sept. 16, 1917.
F. Wellington Ruckstuhl, Esq., Editor The Art World, New York, N.Y.

My Dear Mr. Ruckstuhl:

Photograph of Robert Todd Lincoln with signature. (LOC:

filial piety

In reply to your suggestion that I should send you for publication a letter of protest against the erection in London and in Paris of the Barnard statue of my father, I find myself in difficulty, owing to the vigor and fullness of your own articles in the June and August issues of The Art World. I have already expressed to you my deep sense of gratification that you have so earnestly dealt with this miserable affair, from both artistic and public points of view, and I can think of nothing to add in those regards. But, as you did not know my own personal feeling and opinion when you kindly sent me your published articles, and think that there are others who might care to know them, I am sending you a copy of a letter written by me to President Taft, as soon as I heard of the London and Paris projects; I send also copies of letters giving the views of three gentlemen peculiarly able to express a personal opinion for reasons I indicate in notes appended to the copies. These you are at liberty to use as you may think proper.

Renewing my thanks to you for the helpful part you are taking in my efforts, believe me, very sincerely yours,


Mr. Ruckstuhl also gave out a copy of the letter Mr. Lincoln had written to Mr. Taft. It was as follows:

1.775[?] N Street,
Washington, D.C.
March 22, 1917.

My Dear Mr. President:

I am writing to ask your consideration of a matter which is giving me great concern and to bespeak such assistance as you feel able to give me.

cincin neighborhood(Barnard's Lincoln,Cincinnati, Stewart & Kidd company, 1917;

monster in the ‘hood

When I first learned through the newspapers that your brother, Mr. Charles P. Taft, had caused to be made a large statue of my father for presentation to the City of Cincinnati I very naturally most gratefully appreciated the sentiment which moved him to do this; when, however, the statue was exhibited early this Winter I was deeply grieved by the result of the commission which Mr. Taft had given to Mr. Barnard. I could not understand, and still do not understand, any rational basis for such a work as he has produced. I have seen some of the newspaper publications inspired by him, one of which, printed in The North American of Philadelphia in November, and another in The Literary Digest for Jan. 6 last, attempt to make explanations which are anything but satisfactory, to me at least. He indicates, if I can understand him, that he scorned the use of the many existing photographs of President Lincoln, and took as a model for his figure a man chosen by him for the curious artistic reasons that he was 6 feet 4½ inches in height, was born on a farm fifteen miles from where Lincoln was born, was about 40 years of age, and had been splitting rails all his life.

The result is a monstrous figure, which is grotesque as a likeness of President Lincoln and defamatory as an effigy.

[William H. Taft, full-length portrait, standing, facing left, with hand on telephone] (c1908.; LOC:

was asked to lean on his brother

I understand that the completed statue has gone to Cincinnati to be placed. As to that I have nothing more to say, but I am horrified to learn just now that arrangements are being made for a statue of President Lincoln by the same artist, and I assume of a similar character, to be presented for location, one in London and one in Paris. I understand also that these statues are to be gifts by Mr. Taft. I do not think I have ever had the pleasure of meeting him, and I am, therefore, venturing to beg you on my account to intercede with him, and, if possible, to induce him to abandon this purpose, if it is true that he has it in mind. I should, of course, have filial pride in having a good statue of my father in London and in Paris, of a character like the two great statues of him made by Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and that which I have good reason to expect in the Lincoln Memorial, now being modeled by Daniel Chester French. That my father should be represented in those two great cities by such a work as that of which I am writing to you would be a great cause of sorrow to me personally, the greatness of which I will not attempt to describe.

Believe me, my dear Mr. President, always sincerely yours,


The Hon. William Howard Taft.

The Times continue to editorialize about the statue controversy. On October 3, 1917 the paper maintained that the proper Lincoln to stand with great British leaders “should faithfully and sympathetically depict the ideal of the Emancipator, the heroic, self-sacrificing American leader who bore so bravely the great burden of his nation’s troubles.” In addition the newspaper provided a couple images for its Sunday picture section that contributed useful information.

Brady'sLincoln10211917 (LOC: image 1)

true photo

NewarkLincolnnyt10141917 (LOC: image 5)

Borglum’s take


In an article on October 28th the Times published an analysis by Kenyon Cox. The painter understood what Mr. Barnard was trying to achieve artistically with the Cincinnati statue, but “Neither as portrait nor symbol … does the Barnard statue represent the real Lincoln as seen in his photographs and held in the hearts of the people of America.” Mr. Cox didn’t want either Barnard’s statue or Borglum’s Newark statue duplicated for Europe. Instead he plunked for a third option – the statue in Lincoln Park, Chicago by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The article contained photos of the the three sculptures and the above photograph taken just before Lincoln’s inauguration.

The artist himself wrote a letter to the editor, which the Times included in a November 18, 1917 mini-editorial mostly critical of Mr. Barnard and his Lincoln:

full-lengthBarnard (Barnard's Lincoln,Cincinnati, Stewart & Kidd company, 1917;

no beauty

To the Editor of The New York Times:
These lines, my only answer, are worthy, I hope, to be placed on your editorial page:
     “For he shall grow up before him
“as a tender plant, and as a root out
“of a dry ground: he hath no form
“nor comeliness; and when we shall
“see him, there is no beauty that we
“should desire him.
     “He is despised and rejected of
“men; a man of sorrows, and ac-
“quainted with grief: and we hid as
“it were our faces from him; he was
“despised, and we esteemed him not.”
– Isaiah liii.

The British, for their part, responded very diplomatically to the controversy. A couple articles in September 1917 reported that British representatives wanted to leave the decision of which duplicate monument to deliver up to the Americans. Here’s an example from The New-York Times September 25, 1917:


British Leave Criticism of Statue
to the American Committee.

Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES.

LONDON, Sept.24. – Art Circles here are startled by the cabled criticisms of the Barnard statue of Lincoln which is to be erected here as a gift in commemoration of the hundred years of peace between England and the United States.

The British Government is providing a magnificent site near the House of lords.

The question of the artistic character of the statue is held to be one for the American committee to consider, not the British authorities, whose only desire is to commemorate Lincoln worthily.

Lincoln statue, bronze (LOC:

Saint-Gaudens Lincoln in Lincoln Park, Chicago

Furthermore, the British would be happy to take both statues. In an article on October 21, 1917 the British-American Centenary Committee explained that in 1913 it had been agreed that Britain would accept the St. Gaudens Chicago Lincoln replica. The outbreak of the war in Europe temporarily suspended the peace centenary movement and the St. Gaudens project ended. The committee accepted Charles P. Taft’s offer of the Barnard statue replica earlier in 1917. However, both statues would be accepted if the St. Gaudens project could be funded:” “There is room in Great Britain – yes, in London – for more than one monument of America’s saint and hero President, whose memory all Englishmen revere and love.”

NYT1-20-1918image5TR (

Barnard not doing patriot’s work?

As the year turned, the controversy continued, but progress towards a resolution seemed possible. In an article on January 2, 1918 The New-York Times indicated that Americans were communicating with the British to explain that Americans really didn’t like or want to donate a replica of the Cincinnati statue, “that Colossal Clodhopper in a Fit of Indigestion called by Mr. GEORGE GREY BARNARD ‘Lincoln.'” Experts, a consensus of artists, Robert Todd, those others who knew what Mr. Lincoln looked like, and those who knew his qualities that should be commemorated all disapproved “this queer, gigantic effigy of Somebody from Kentucky.” The British understandably didn’t want to offend the American Peace Centenary Committee, but that committee had recently held a meeting in which only two of sixty members were at all in favor the the Barnard statue. Even the donor Charles P. Taft might have been the victim of the false impression that people liked the Barnard. Another article mentioned that Colonel Theodore Roosevelt was one of the most prominent friends of the National Academy of Design, which opposed the Barnard statue along with Robert Todd Lincoln, Joseph H. Choate, and Henry Cabot Lodge.

Barnard's Lincoln (

My name is
Abraham Lincoln


My name is
Abraham Lincoln

St. Gaudens' Lincoln (LOC:

My name is
Abraham Lincoln

As far as I can tell no final decision had been made about which duplicate to send to London had been made by the end of January 1918, but I’ll probably keep checking.
My first reaction when I learned about the controversy was – America wanted to commemorate British-American friendship by sending a replica to London? But I’ve changed me mind a bit – after all, who wouldn’t want an exact duplicate of Mount Rushmore in their home?
I don’t know how posed that photo of Borglum’s statue in Newark was, but I sure enjoyed seeing it. You can get a quick view of the monument and a poem at Youtube. John Gutzon de la Mothe Borglum supervised the Mount Rushmore project.
Thanks to Youtube I found out how faulty my memory can be. I enjoyed watching To Tell the Truth as a kid. I remembered the tagline being “I am Abraham Lincoln,” but apparently sometimes the contestants said “My name is …” and sometimes they didn’t say anything during the intro. I had another of those jaw-dropping moments when I saw one of the Youtube titles Mt. Rushmore sculptor. I want to investigate that – no one looked like Gutzon Borglum in the introduction; I’m also interested in an episode about a fellow named Orville Redenbacher. I’ve got this urge while away a winter afternoon with To Tell the Truth, popcorn, and a big slurp of some kind of beverage.
All the images pertaining to George Grey Barnard and his statue of Mr. Lincoln were published in Barnard’s Lincoln and can be seen at HathiTrust. The book includes Mr. Barnard’s explanation of how and why he chose to portray Abraham Lincoln as he did. You can also read William H. Taft’s address at the unveiling in Cincinnati and a poem by Dr. Lyman Whitney Allen. Robert C. Clowry vouched for the statue’s likeness to Lincoln. An etching seemed to veil the statue’s pedestal and reminded me a bit of Pig-Pen on Peanuts.
etching in Barnard's Lincoln (;view=1up;seq=9) (


poem about Barnard's Lincoln (;view=1up;seq=9)

detailing “a symbol of democracy”
(from the poem)

endorseBarnardstaue (;view=1up;seq=9)

clean-shaven in Springfield

From the Library of Congress: unveiling; The Emancipator’s son; William Howard Taft; Mr. Story’s photograph; Newark’s kid magnet; in Chicago’s Lincoln Park solo and with scouts; Colonel Roosevelt and ship workers. On May 30, 1922 Robert Todd Lincoln attended the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. (Daniel Chester French presumably designed a more attractive Lincoln) – snapeshot, with presidents.
[Boy's Clubs in front of Lincoln National Monument, Illinois making the scout's honor sign and presenting a wreath. Copy 2.] (LOC:

“making the scout’s honor sign
and presenting a wreath”

Robert Todd Lincoln, 1843-1926 ("Half-length portrait in old age. Son of Abraham Lincoln, while attending the dedication exercises at the Lincoln Memorial, May 30, 1922." LOC:

easier on the eyes in D.C.

William Howard Taft, Warren G. Harding, and Robert Todd Lincoln, standing, left to right (

Taft, Harding, Lincoln

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still knitting

saraheggleston nyt 1-20-1918 (LOC:

sympathy for the rebels

In its January 20, 1918 Picture Section The New-York Times included a photo of a former supporter of the Confederacy. The paper seemed to view Sarah Eggleston with some admiration as she knitted sock after sock for America’s British allies. However, the caption did thankfully refer to the CSS Virginia by its Union name – the Merrimack. According to the caption, Sarah Eggleston’s deceased husband Captain “Jack” Eggleston was an officer on the Virginia during its very brief but influential career. The rebel ironclad effectively damaged wooden Union ships during the March 8 and 9, 1862 Battle of Hampton Roads and then duked it out with the Union’s ironclad Monitor. In a page of quotes about the battle, the Hampton Roads area Daily Press included words from a lieutenant named John Eggleston:

“…Suddenly there leaped from her sides the flash of 35 guns, and as many shot and shell were hurled against our armor only to be thrown from it high into the air.” — Lt. John Eggleston, commander of the CSS Virginia’s two hot-shot guns, describing the impact of a broadside from the USS Congress
NH 58881 CSS Virginia (1862-1862) (

“CSS Virginia (1862-1862) “

NH 42216 CSS Virginia engages USS Congress, 8 March 1862 (

“CSS Virginia engages
USS Congress, 8 March 1862 “

NH 42218 CSS Virginia destroying USS Congress, 8 March 1862 (

“CSS Virginia destroying
USS Congress, 8 March 1862″

NH 42213-KN "Terrific Engagement Between the 'Monitor' 2 Guns, and 'Merrimac' 10 Guns, in Hampton Roads, March 9th 1862." (

first clash of iron ships of war

A couple photos dated 1916 commemorating that first battle of ironclads:


General Smith and John Driscoll,
veterans of the fight


John Driscoll points out where
Virginia battled Monitor

U.S. Navy recruiting posters 100 years ago seemed to be trying a couple different psychological tactics to get men to sign up for the Great War.

NY Times January 20, 1918 (LOC:

The New-York Times January 20, 1918


It was good to visit the U.S. Navy site again to look at 150 (+) year old ships, but the navy is certainly keeping its home page current. For this weekend it features a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. and a link to “The African American Experience in the U.S. Navy”: There were “eight black Sailors who earned the Medal of Honor during the Civil War” and there were “14 black female yeomen who enlisted during World War I”. The quote from Dr. King:

“If you can’t fly then run, If you can’t run then walk, If you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward”
[Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial, Washington, D.C. The promissory note] / Christopher Grubbs, illustrator. (LOC:

“you have to keep moving forward”

From the United States Navy website: CSS Virginia, engagement, destruction, two ironclads. The Library of Congress provides the images from NY Times and Tribune, as well as: two veterans, John Driscoll; Christopher Grubbs’s illustration of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial during its design phase – apparently those words on the side are not on the actual monument; Monitor and Merrimac
The Monitor and Merrimac (LOC:

March 9, 1862

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Old King Coal

January 1918 was very cold in most of the northeastern United States, and apparently many people burned coal to keep themselves warm. Unfortunately coal was in short supply that winter. In its January 20, 1918 “Graphic” section the New York Tribune detailed coal’s production and included a photograph showing people in Philadelphia raiding a train to procure some of the valuable fuel.

Coal NYTrib 1-20-1918(LOC:


nyt coal 1-20-1918(LOC:

similar theme from the January 20, 1918 The New-York Times (Image 2)

You can read more about the coal shortage in the United States during the winter of 1917-1918 at United States History – the Fuel Administration. Harry A. Garfield, son of President James Garfield, served as the fuel czar. He ordered the partial closing of some industries 100 years ago to conserve coal. The January 18, 1918 issue of The New-York Times reported that Mr. Garfield wanted to free up coal so that ships filled with supplies for the war in Europe would be able to fuel up and deliver the goods.

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The Fourteen Commandments

NY Times January 9, 1918

The New York Times January 9, 1918

On January 8, 1918 United States President Woodrow Wilson delivered a war speech to Congress in which he laid out fourteen policies that he believed should guide any peace process. The Fourteen Points is said to be an example of idealism in foreign policy: “The speech made by Wilson took many domestic progressive ideas and translated them into foreign policy (free trade, open agreements, democracy and self-determination).” You can read the whole speech at Project Gutenberg. The latter part included the XIV points:


[Address delivered at a joint session of the two Houses of Congress, January 8, 1918.]

Gentlemen of the Congress: …

We entered this war because violations of right had occurred which touched us to the quick and made the life of our own people impossible unless they were corrected and the world secured once for all against their recurrence. What we demand in this war, therefore, is nothing peculiar to ourselves. It is that the world be made fit and safe to live in; and particularly that it be made safe for every peace-loving nation which, like our own, wishes to live its own life, determine its own institutions, be assured of justice and fair dealing by the other peoples of the world as against force and selfish aggression. All the peoples of the world are in effect partners in this interest, and for our own part we see very clearly that unless justice be done to others it will not be done to us. The program of the world’s peace, therefore, is our program; and that program, the only possible program, as we see it, is this:

Woodrow Wilson / Keppler. ( Illus. in: Puck, v. 72, no. 1847 (1912 July 24), centerfold.; LOC:

idealism in the Oval Office

I. Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind, but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.

II. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas, outside territorial waters, alike in peace and in war, except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants.

III. The removal, so far as possible, of all economic barriers and the establishment of an equality of trade conditions among all the nations consenting to the peace and associating themselves for its maintenance.

IV. Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety.

V. A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined.

Momentaufnahme von Europa und Halbasien 1914 / W. Kaspar fec. (Hamburg : Lith. Druck u. Verlag von Graht & Kaspar, Hamburg 6. 1. 7788, [1915?]; LOC:

to be redrawn?

VI. The evacuation of all Russian territory and such a settlement of all questions affecting Russia as will secure the best and freest coöperation of the other nations of the world in obtaining for her an unhampered and unembarrassed opportunity for the independent determination of her own political development and national policy and assure her of a sincere welcome into the society of free nations under institutions of her own choosing; and, more than a welcome, assistance also of every kind that she may need and may herself desire. The treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations in the months to come will be the acid test of their good will, of their comprehension of her needs as distinguished from their own interests, and of their intelligent and unselfish sympathy.

VII. Belgium, the whole world will agree, must be evacuated and restored, without any attempt to limit the sovereignty which she enjoys in common with all other free nations. No other single act will serve as this will serve to restore confidence among the nations in the laws which they have themselves set and determined for the government of their relations with one another. Without this healing act the whole structure and validity of international law is forever impaired.

VIII. All French territory should be freed and the invaded portions restored, and the wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine, which has unsettled the peace of the world for nearly fifty years, should be righted, in order that peace may once more be made secure in the interest of all.

IX. A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy should be effected along clearly recognizable lines of nationality.

X. The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the nations we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the freest opportunity of autonomous development.

Carte symbolique de l'Europe Guerre libératrice de 1914-1915 / / B. Crétée, 1914. ([Paris] : Éditions G.D., [1915]; LOC:

French view different than German

XI. Rumania, Serbia, and Montenegro should be evacuated; occupied territories restored; Serbia accorded free and secure access to the sea; and the relations of the several Balkan states to one another determined by friendly counsel along historically established lines of allegiance and nationality; and international guarantees of the political and economic independence and territorial integrity of the several Balkan states should be entered into.

XII. The Turkish portions of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development and the Dardanelles should be permanently opened as a free passage to the ships and commerce of all nations under international guarantees.

XIII. An independent Polish state should be erected which should include the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations, which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea, and whose political and economic independence and territorial integrity should be guaranteed by international covenant.

XIV. A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike.

In regard to these essential rectifications of wrong and assertions of right we feel ourselves to be intimate partners of all the governments and peoples associated together against the Imperialists. We cannot be separated in interest or divided in purpose. We stand together until the end.

On the way to the promised land / Keppler. ( Illus. in: Puck, v. 74, no. 1924 (1914 January 14), centerfold.)

next miracle: crossing the sea

For such arrangements and covenants we are willing to fight and to continue to fight until they are achieved; but only because we wish the right to prevail and desire a just and stable peace such as can be secured only by removing the chief provocations to war, which this program does remove. We have no jealousy of German greatness, and there is nothing in this program that impairs it. We grudge her no achievement or distinction of learning or of pacific enterprise such as have made her record very bright and very enviable. We do not wish to injure her or to block in any way her legitimate influence or power. We do not wish to fight her either with arms or with hostile arrangements of trade if she is willing to associate herself with us and the other peace-loving nations of the world in covenants of justice and law and fair dealing. We wish her only to accept a place of equality among the peoples of the world,—the new world in which we now live,—instead of a place of mastery.

Neither do we presume to suggest to her any alteration or modification of her institutions. But it is necessary, we must frankly say, and necessary as a preliminary to any intelligent dealings with her on our part, that we should know whom her spokesmen speak for when they speak to us, whether for the Reichstag majority or for the military party and the men whose creed is imperial domination.

We have spoken now, surely, in terms too concrete to admit of any further doubt or question. An evident principle runs through the whole program I have outlined. It is the principle of justice to all peoples and nationalities, and their right to live on equal terms of liberty and safety with one another, whether they be strong or weak. Unless this principle be made its foundation no part of the structure of international justice can stand. The people of the United States could act upon no other principle; and to the vindication of this principle they are ready to devote their lives, their honor, and everything that they possess. The moral climax of this the culminating and final war for human liberty has come, and they are ready to put their own strength, their own highest purpose, their own integrity and devotion to the test.

The good samaritan / Kep. ( Illus. in: Puck, v. 72, no. 1858 (1912 October 9), centerfold. ; LOC:

caring for the American consumer

Mr. Wilson bores me with his Fourteen Points; why, God Almighty has only Ten!Georges Clemenceau

I learned about the Clemenceau quote in a Khan Academy overview of the XIV points on Youtube
From the Library of Congress: portrait from the July 24, 1912 issue of Puck; German map; French map; Wilson as Moses from the January 14, 1914 issue of Puck; Puck drew Woodrow Wilson as a different biblical figure during the 1912 presidential election campaign (October 9th – Good Samaritan); Puck beat me by 105 years having Mr. Wilson part the waters; the cartoon, said to be clipped from a German newspaper, showing Clemeceau and Wilson as Aaron and Moses with tablets on which commandments inscribed
"And the waters were divided" / Kep. (Illus. in: Puck, v. 72, no. 1848 (1912 July 31), centerfold. ; LOC:

Puck July 31, 1912

Propheten einer neuen Welt (1918 from German newspaper; LOC:

“Propheten einer neuen Welt”

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coal comfort

From the New York Tribune (Image 2) on January 13, 1918:

NY Tribune 1-13-1918 (

cold war

Later on at Image 10 the editors tried the power of suggestion to warm things up: the relative heat in Tampa Bay, more moderate temps in Atlantic City, and perhaps an assumption that it was even colder up in Maine.

NY Tribune Suggestion 1-13-1918 (LOC:

think palms

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happy bleak year

Head of Janus, Vatican museum, Rome (

don’t look?

Duties evaded in the past press with increasing urgency in the future.

On Christmas Day 1867 an editorial in The New-York Times lamented the terrible condition of the American South: “the Christmas Day of 1867 will be a black day throughout the Southern states.” Apparently things were even worse. A week later the same newspaper found gloom and sadness nationwide. If I had to pick a color to describe it, it might be blue, a real deep, dark, murky blue. In its “Word for the Day” (running to over 900 words) the editorial found some hope for the future. The federal government had to implement better policies, but the paper feared that the upcoming presidential election would only increase partisan “warping” of Congressional legislation. Among the nation’s many problems was an “exhaustive taxation” that crippled and sometimes crushed business. From The New-York Times January 1, 1868:

A Word for the Day.

If the happiness of the New Year depended on the happiness and prosperity of the year from which we have just escaped, we fear that to-day would be comparatively dull in every part of the United States. There is not much ground for exultation in the results we have inherited. Neither politically nor financially, neither commercially nor industrially have the last twelve months afforded solid satisfaction. The progress they have realized is almost hidden by the disasters they have yielded, and the sadness and disappointment derived from their experience.

US_Reconstruction_military_districts (

Ten States [or 5 districts] are still governed by the bayonet

The one earnest hope which prevailed last New-Year’s Day has not been fulfilled. The Union has not been restored. The country, nominally at peace, suffers from many of the incidents of war. Ten States are still governed by the bayonet; the order which prevails being the “order” which “reigned in Warsaw.” Advances have been made toward the reorganization of local government, but they serve rather to indicate alienation and division than the welding of interests and purposes, which true pacification implies. Time has intensified bitterness, instead of obliterating it, and diffused ill-feeling, instead of forcing it within narrower circles. The law has taken its course, but the Southern whites neither share its responsibilities nor concede the finality of its results. The progress reported is, therefore, partial and unsafe, if not mainly mythical. It tells of little actually accomplished, and indicates a void which only the reckless can contemplate with complacency. The reconstruction from which the white majority withhold both sympathy and aid hardly promises to be complete. Whether it last or not depends upon circumstances yet hidden in the womb of the future. But the fact that what has been done may need to be done over again in another way, should moderate our pride, and qualify our estimate of political success in the past year.

Webster's note and draft calendar for the years 1866, 1867 & 1868. [n. p. c1866]. (1866; LOC:

blessing or curse: 1868 even longer

Delay in pacification has entailed has entailed disaster on every material interest. The South, desolate and depressed, has shown no sign of the recuperation which must precede national prosperity. Its great staple industry has been ruined. Its impoverished people help but little as producers or consumers. Its resources lie undeveloped, and the prospect of aid from the North, whether in the shape of population or capital, appears as remote as at any period since the war. The South, however, no longer suffers alone. The whole country feels the effects of its difficulties, and shares the embarrassments which adds to the miseries of its people. East and West utter the same complaint. Manufacturing industry is at a stand-still. Enterprise is paralysed by uncertainty. Trade is universally dull. The year’s profits have been small, and the business failures more numerous than at any period other than one of actual panic. The number of unemployed is unusually large, and all the time it is on the increase. The dead year, then, has left few legacies beyond bad debts. Its gains and gifts have been few – its liabilities and losses many and disastrous.

The retrospect is further clouded by the record of governmental folly and weakness. Congress and the President have waged a disreputable quarrel. The healing power of reconstruction measures has been impaired by the angry tone of the one and the obstructive policy of the other. Partisan politics have monopolized the Capitol, and starving industry and struggling trade have petitioned in vain for succor. Extravagant expenditures have gone on unchecked. An exhaustive taxation has been kept up until many industries have all but collapsed. The Treasury operations have devoted means wrung from the people to purposes which should be postponed to a more convenient season; and have aggravated the difficulties of commerce by subjecting the currency to dogmas and caprice. The sins of omission which are chargeable against Congress have been followed by sins of commission originating in the Treasury. These, combined, have contributed largely to the deplorable condition in which the New Year finds the material interests of the country.

We enter, then, upon a term freighted with responsibilities of no common kind. Duties evaded in the past press with increasing urgency in the future. The liabilities shirked last year come back now with a large accumulation of interest, so that the race to be run will be clogged with anxieties and conditions which call for more patriotism and statesmanship than have lately been displayed. The unsolved problem of reconstruction, with all its difficulties of race and interest; the plans of internal improvement which are essential to the success of a restored Union; the load of taxation, crippling all industries and crushing some out of existence; the necessities of trade and its demands for wise financial and fiscal legislation; the cutting down of expenditures in every branch of the Government, and their adaptation to the altered circumstances of the country – such are the tasks that devolve upon our law-givers – such the questions that await attention and adjustment in the year which begins to-day.

good old songs (1902;

past … and future?

Its complications will not be lessened by the intrigues and struggles of a Presidential election. The immediate danger is the influence which this event always exercises upon the movements of parties, and the possibility of its warping the policy of Congress on the momentous questions before it. Our hope is that the honest opinion of the Republic will, on this occasion, elevate the Presidential question above the mire of partizanship and determine it on grounds eminently favorable to an improved general prospect. The chances of satisfactory legislation will be increased when Congress realizes the resolve of the people to hold it accountable for neglect or injustice. The grievances now suffered are too real, too wide-spread, too largely the product of bad laws and mal-administration to be borne patiently after the opportunity for redress fairly comes.

New Year's calls ([New York, N.Y.] : [George Stacy], [between 1861 and 1866]; LOC:

pro forma for 1868

I’m really relying on the Janus thing. I missed a lot in 1867, especially December. I hope to be able to circle back for some of it; regarding the “rule by bayonet” in the South, on December 28, 1867 President Johnson replaced General John Pope with General George Meade in the Third Military District and replaced General Ord in the Fourth District with General A.C. Gillem. (see NY Times article).
Jengod’s map of the military districts is licensed by Creative Commons. Loudon dodd’s photo of the head of Janus from the Vatican is also licensed by Creative Commons. The good old Civil War songs can be found at Project Gutenberg. From the Library of Congress: Francis C. Webster’s three year calendar; New Year’s calls from the early 1860’s and said to be “Photograph of a staged interior scene showing men and women celebrating the New Year;” Currier & Ives c1876 greeting

Happy new year (New York : Published by Currier & Ives, c1876.; LOC:

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hate speech?

Emancipation statue, Washington, D.C. (between 1901 and 1906; LOC:


Some people, who attended a memorial service for Abraham Lincoln in Wrentham, Massachusetts on the day of his Washington, D.C. funeral, weren’t too happy with what they saw when they left church.

From The New-York Times December 30, 1867:

Damages Awarded a Massachusetts Man who Rejoiced at President Lincoln’s Death and was Assaulted.

The Boston Advertiser gives a summary of a trial of some interest in the Superior Court of Norfolk County, Mass., on Thursday and Friday last. [It] was the case of PATRICK KENNEDY vs. HENRY RATHBUN, et al., viz.: … [eight others] … all of the town of Wrentham. The facts are as follows: at noon on the 19th of April, 1865, the day of President LINCOLN’s funeral, the people of Wrentham assembled in church to pay their tribute of respect to his memory. After the services were over, in full view of the church there was seen an effigy hanging, upon which was inscribed the name of “ABRAHAM LINCOLN, the nigger worshipper.” This effigy one PATRICK TRAVIS (who had put it up) was found lashing and beating in derision. The people were maddened and rushed after TRAVIS, who fled to the residence of a Mr. FISHER, from whose attic he was taken and afterward ridden on a rail for a considerable distance. While this was going on, a part of the mob went to the farm of Judge WILKINSON, where PATRICK KENNEDY was at work. He had been heard to say he was glad that LINCOLN was dead, and upon questioning him he admitted the charge. He was taken from his work, carried to the crowd who had TRAVIS, and both were rode on the rail together by the people, some 200 in number, after which they were put in the town lockup for safety, but were soon released.

Emancipation / Th. Nast ; King & Baird, printers, 607 Sansom Street, Philadelphia. (by Thomas Nast, 1865; LOC:

whipping up North, too

The witnesses for the prosecution stated the facts in detail, by which it appeared that there were a large number engaged in the affray, among whom were many women, who flourished over the bodies of KENNEDY and TRAVIS whips of hazel and willow, which they complained made them smart. A negro, several testified, aided in the work, and called upon Kennedy to give three cheers for the flag. The witnesses for the defence did not differ much about the main statements, the discrepancy being mainly as to the part each defendant took in the transactions, one or two contending that their presence and efforts were mainly for the purpose of protecting KENNEDY and TRAVIS from serious bodily harm and to rescue them as soon as possible from the mob who had them in their hands.

The case was ably argued, after which the Court briefly charged the jury, stating that the law clearly held that where parties were present in transactions of this nature, if they helped to swell the movement by action or word, they would be liable. There were different degrees of guilt. If parties were present trying to [dissuade?], that should be taken into account. As to the damage, the defendant could recover for damage to his person, and for pain of body or distress of mind arising from the indignities heaped upon him. To jury of twelve men the subject was now committed. The Court could not, from the delicate nature of the subject, indicate what the amount of the damage should be, but if the jury agreed upon any, it should be such a sum as in the united judgment of all they could stand by. After further caution to discriminate between the innocent and the guilty, the jury retired to make up their verdict. After being out five hours the jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff, discharging two of the defendants – Messrs. FELT and MUNROE – from any complicity in the affair, and assessing damages upon the other seven to the amount of $185. KENNEDY brings the action in his own behalf, TRAVIS not being in the case.

Abraham Lincoln was familiar with riding the rail – according to several 1860 political cartoons. Two days after his victory in the presidential election a telegram was sent to him saying he was being hung in effigy in Pensacola, Florida.

The rail candidate (New York : Currier & Ives, c1860.; LOC:

painful ride

Abraham Lincoln papers: Series 1. General Correspondence. 1833-1916: Anonymous. "A Citizen" to Abraham Lincoln, Thursday, November 08, 1860 (Telegram reporting Lincoln was hanged in effigy) (November 8, 1860 ; LOC:

not the last time

From the Library of Congress: statue; Thomas Nast on emancipation; rail cartoon; telegram
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story time


kept a souvenir?

What could be better than listening to Charles Dickens on the Third Day of Christmas?

From Village Life in America 1852-1872 by Caroline Cowles Richards (208-209):


July 27.—Col. James M. Bull was buried from the home of Mr. Alexander Howell to-day, as none of his family reside here now.

November 13.—Our brother John and wife and baby Pearl have gone to London, England, to live.

December 28.—A large party of Canandaiguans went over to Rochester last evening to hear Charles Dickens’ lecture, and enjoyed it more than I can possibly express. He was quite hoarse and had small bills distributed through the Opera House with the announcement:


Begs indulgence for a Severe Cold, but hopes its effects may not be very perceptible after a few minutes’ Reading.
Friday, December 27th, 1867.
Charles Dickens (1867; LOC:

throat problems in America

We brought these notices home with us for souvenirs. He looks exactly like his pictures. It was worth a great deal just to look upon the man who wrote Little Dorrit, David Copperfield and all the other books, which have delighted us so much. We hope that he will live to write a great many more. He spoke very appreciatively of his enthusiastic reception in this country and almost apologized for some of the opinions that he had expressed in his “American Notes,” which he published, after his first visit here, twenty-five years ago. He evidently thinks that the United States of America are quite worth while.

That might not have happened, at least not on the date recorded. According to Dickens in America Charles Dickens read at the Steinway Hall, New York City on December 27, 1867. The author did appear at the Corinthian Hall in Rochester, New York on March 10 and 16, 1868 during his five month tour. He was definitely not feeling well. According to Wikipedia, he suffered from what he called “true American catarrh.” A catarrh is an inflammation that often affects the throat.

Charles Dickens as he appears when reading / sketched by C.A. Barry.( Illus. in: Harper's weekly, v. 11, no. 571 (1867 December 7), p. 777. ; LOC:

reading in Boston

Buying tickets for the Dickens readings at Steinway Hall ( Illus. in: Harper's weekly, v. 11, no. 574 (1867 December 28), p. 829. ; LOC:

buying tickets at the Steinway

Mr. Charles Dickens and his former American acquaintances - "not at home" / drawn by C.G. Bush. ( Illus. in: Harper's weekly, v. 11, no. 573 (1867 December 21), p. 812. ; LOC:

ghosts of visit past?

We’ve had Caroline Cowles Richards on before, especially during the war (example) so I wanted to mention that she might have had a faulty memory, although how is a dated souvenir a memory?
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black Christmas

Winter holidays in the southern states. Plantation frolic on Christmas Eve ( Illus. in: Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, 1857 Dec. 26, p. 64. ; LOC:

partying like it’s 1857

An editorial 150 years ago today seemed at least somewhat nostalgic for the antebellum South. From The New-York Times December 25, 1867:

Christmas at the South

The contrast between the Christmas of to-day and the Christmas which was known before the war will illustrate the unhappy change which has taken place in the fortunes of the South. It used to be, literally, a season of peace and good-will. Slavery then put on its holiday garb. There was feasting and merry-making everywhere. The hospitality of the mansion was then more bounteous than ever. The bondsmen for the time forgot their bondage, and for a week gave themselves up to the rollicking enjoyment in which Sambo distances all competitors. It was a week of festivity and fun, of visiting and receiving visits, of absence from the care and toil which composed the sum of fifty-one parts of every year.

The Christmas week ( William A. Stephens. - From: Album varieties no. 3;; LOC:

there are fifty-one others

To-day the somber reality of the revolution which has been effected, will be felt in every portion of the South. A merry Christmas will not be known anywhere. There can be no exchange of the “compliments of the season” which will not sound like bitter mockery. Despair, or something like it, reigns in the mansions, and destitution is supreme in the hovels. Grim poverty makes its presence felt everywhere. Those who were once rich find themselves menaced with want, and those who, though always poor, were always provided for, now find themselves hungry and helpless. The bond of sympathy that formerly held these classes together may not be absolutely destroyed, but an ever-present strain threatens its destruction, and meanwhile the redeeming fruits of the old relationship are seen no more. Vague apprehension is on one side – demands that yield not to reason are appearing on the other. Neither side knows what is coming. The blacks will not accept freedom as a substitute for food, and the whites are fearful of the excesses to which famine-stricken ignorance not seldom attends.

Illicit distillation of liquors--Southern mode of making whisky [sic] / sketched by A.W. Thompson. ( Illus. in: Harper's weekly, v. 11, no. 571 (1867 Dec. 7), p. 773. ; LOC:

source of holiday cheer?

Altogether, then, the Christmas Day of 1867 will be a black day throughout the Southern states. Memories of the past will rise to make it miserable; the gloom of the present and the darkness of the future will swell the volume of suffering and divest the season of both holiness and peace. For the freedmen in many districts the only dependence is on the Bureau – the only chance of living honestly is in the line which leads to pauperism. For the great body of the whites, especially in the cotton districts, there is no hope except in a magnanimity yet undeveloped – no road to deliverance but that which leads through the dark valley of degradation and doubt.

Shall not the Christian heart of the North to-day heed the silent appeal of the South, and in the effort to mitigate misfortune take some cognizance of Southern misery? We shall have more than enough of professional piety and ostentatious benevolence in cities which, despite depression, are yet wealthy and happy. And if we would not be as the Levites and Pharisees, we shall not wholly suppress the emotions which the present condition of the South must excite in every humane mind. We may not boast of national mercy, nor exult unconditionally in the happiness of the Christmas festival, while a deep gulf separates North and South, and the plenty of one only adds poignancy to the poverty which afflicts the other.

In another editorial in the same issue the Times pushed back against famous clergyman (and possibly a purveyor of “professional piety and ostentatious benevolence”?) Henry Ward Beecher:

The Devil in New-York.

“Who owns the city of New-York to-day?” asked Mr. BEECHER, in his sermon of last Sunday night, and his prompt reply to his own query was, “The Devil.”

Though Mr. BEECHER often talks in this way, we don’t suppose that he would argue that the devil owns New-York any more than he does Boston, or any less than he does Philadelphia, … [a long section of many cities and rural areas that have evidence of some devil ownership] …

detail from Testimony in the great Beecher-Tilton scandal case illustrated / des. & drawn by James E. Cook 46 Desplaines St. ; Commercial Lith. Co. 180 Clark St. (1875; LOC:

the devil Reverend Beecher knew

While all this, however, is true enough, true, indeed, as Gospel – while one can see that the devil claims and possesses a certain sort of ownership everywhere – it may also be found, on sharper observation, that nowhere does the devil own everything – neither in New-York nor any other place – not by a great deal. If the searcher after truth and titles pursue his researches far enough, he will not only find that there is danger of conceding the devil far more than he is entitled to, but that his pretensions are strengthened when we exaggerate the scope of his power – when we overlook and underrate other powers and agencies that exist in society, in the heart of man and in New-York. The devil, like the poor, we have always with us; and in the presence of one or the other, we are apt to exaggerate its hideous proportions and tremendous reality, we overlook the great solid preponderating body whose life is measured by the Ten Commandments and whose manna comes down from Heaven.The devil is very obtrusive, and he is such a gross and abominable fiend that we lose sight of everything else when we think of him. In contemplating his doings and pretensions in New-York or elsewhere, therefore, we are constantly in danger of failing to remember that in the greater part of the town he can put forward no legitimate claims of ownership whatever, and that over the Christian part of our population he has no power.

In short, after pondering the whole matter, under the light of Mr. BEECHER’S interrogation, it is our private impression that our delightful City is owned neither by the devil nor FERNANDO WOOD; and moreover, there can be no harm in our mentioning that while we firmly believe Satan is constantly going to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down it, he only visits New-York in his spare moments, or while he is passing along on his way to Boston.

From the Library of Congress: plantation frolic on Christmas Eve published in the December 26, 1857 issue of Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper; The Christmas Week, which was published in 1863 as part of Album varieties No. 3: The slave in 1863 – post of the other scenes in the album are not nearly as joyful; illicit still published in the December 7, 1867 issue of Harper’s Weekly; a devilish detail from a c.1875 cartoon; Bethlehem between 1934 and 1939; Currier & Ives 1876 greeting
General view of Bethlehem from the S.W. (between 1934 and 1939; LOC:

“General view of Bethlehem from the S.W.”

Merry Christmas (New York : Published by Currier & Ives, 125 Nassau St., [1876])

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whose (night) cap?

visit from st nick (A reprint of the first [sic] publication of "A visit from St. Nicholas." [n. p., ca. 1919].; LOC:

artist’s rendition of Christmas Eve 1822

A reprint of the first [sic] publication of "A visit from St. Nicholas." [n. p., ca. 1919]. (LOC:

reprint of the original report in the Troy Sentinel

I have always been thankful for the 19th century investigative report, “A Visit from from St. Nicholas.” First published anonymously in the Troy Sentinel on Dec. 23, 1823, the report was later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore and has become more widely known as “The Night Before Christmas.” I am grateful for the article because it explains so many of the phenomena associated with the night between the 24th and 25th of December. Perhaps the best example is the magical appearance of presents under the Christmas tree and the magical disappearance of cookies and carrots from the kitchen table apparent on Christmas morning. Moreover, since the same experience reportedly still recurs pretty much over the whole wide world on that one night, speed must be a factor, and the report’s description of the relatively small size of sleigh, reindeer, and St. Nicholas himself (described as elfin, albeit with a round, jiggly belly) would seem to help help explain the almost magical speed of the sled. After all, given the same horse … or reindeerpower, the smaller the load, the faster the flight. Also, I’m paraphrasing, but on one of his TV shows Jerry Seinfeld said that if you name your child Bozo you’ve pretty well laid out his or her career path. If we are to some extent a reflection of our names, think of St. Nicholas’s reindeer – Dasher, Prancer, Comet, Blitzen, etc. – these reindeer are built for speed. Although I don’t recall any specific instances of hearing a racket on the roof or smelling a hint of pipe tobacco in the living room, the report has given me a reason, while lying in bed on December 24th, to look up at the night sky and wonder …

And the famous report has been appreciated by others over the past nearly two centuries. According to documentation in the December 30, 1917 issue of The New-York Times (at the Library of Congress) some New Yorkers made a pilgrimage to Mr. Moore’s tomb on Christmas Eve of that year:

Clement Moore NYT 12-30-1917(LOC:

carols at Clement’s

Although not inspired to visit his grave, I was interested in learning more about the investigative journalist. I was a bit disheartened to find out there is now a scholarly controversy about the identity of the story’s actual writer. Some believe the journalist was really Henry Livingston Jr.. But don’t worry, Virginia, so far no one has challenged the veracity of the report itself. However, I should mention that the original 1823 story might have omitted some facts about the annual phenomena. For example, there seems to be anecdotal evidence of a ninth reindeer, often referred to as Rudolph, who serves as a sort of on-call headlight for the sleigh when St. Nicholas is unable to fly by the light of the moon.

img011 (

Clement or Henry, Jr?




investigating means of ingress/egress

Rudolph gets the night off


A couple other Christmas-themed photos from the December 30, 1917 issue of The New-York Times. Camp Wadsworth was located near Spartanburg, South Carolina and named after Civil War General James S. Wadsworth

followstar (December 30, 1917; LOC:

a child is born

camp wadsworth (NY Times December 30, 1917; LOC:

singing in the South

Jessie Willcox Smith’s colorful illustrations can be found at Project Gutenberg. From the Library of Congress: the reprint of the original Troy, NY publication on December 23, 1823; the Times; greeting


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