Tag Archive | Presidents

The Historical Traveler is going on a New Adventure…

Meeting with the Historical Traveler today. He is going on a new adventure and I can’t wait to share it with you!

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Today in American History…William Henry Harrison was Born

Today in American history…William Henry Harrison was born in 1773. He was our 9th US President and unfortunately had the shortest Presidency (March 4 – April 4, 1841) due to becoming ill and passing away shortly after his inauguration. Unfortunately, he was the very first President to die in office. He also holds the record of having the longest inauguration speech (8,445 words which took nearly 2 hours to read!)
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Today in American History…Nancy Hanks Lincoln was Born in 1784

Not much is known of Nancy Lincoln except for the most important aspect: she was Abraham Lincoln’s mother. There aren’t any pictures of her – only a depiction (made into a painting by Lloyd Ostendorf, February 12, 1963)

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(Image of Nancy Hanks Lincoln is courtesy of Lincoln Boyhood National Museum)

We do know that she was a warm, caring mother and that her son, Abraham Lincoln, loved her very much.  He was only nine years old when his mother died of milk sickness on October 5, 1818.  Throughout his life, he recalled the love of his mother and once said, “I remember my mother’s prayers and they have always followed me. They have clung to me all my life.”

William Herndon, Law partner with Abraham Lincoln and a close confidante, later wrote a book, Life of Lincoln, and described Nancy Hanks Lincoln most likely from Lincoln’s memories of his mother and those who knew her:

She was above the ordinary height in stature, weighed about 130 pounds, was slenderly built, and had much the appearance of one inclined to consumption. Her skin was dark; hair dark brown; eyes gray and small; forehead prominent; face sharp and angular, with a marked expression for melancholy which fixed itself in the memory of all who ever saw or knew her. Though her life was clouded by a spirit of sadness, she was in disposition amiable and generally cheerful.

 

Happy Birthday, Robert E. Lee

Today in American history…Robert Edward Lee was born at Stratford Hall plantation in Westmoreland County, Virginia in 1807. His had a great pedigree: his father was Major General Henry Lee III aka “Light Horse Harry” Lee, Governor of Virginia, and Anne Hill Carter Lee of the prestigious Carter family who resided at Shirley Plantation in Tidewater, Virginia.

I have always been fascinated by Robert E. Lee.  It could be the many school trips that I went on as a child to his Arlington home, known as Arlington House or the Custis-Lee Mansion that sits on a steep hill overlooking Arlington Cemetery. Or maybe it was his connection to George Washington that intrigued me (Robert E. Lee married the daughter of George Washington Parke Custis who was George Washington’s step-grandson and eventual adopted son).

As with my love of all things related to Abraham Lincoln, I have always had an affection for Robert E. Lee as well.

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Even today, his name brings controversy because he was – after all – a Confederate General. He went against the United States of America and was considered a traitor. He went against all that he believed in, as a career Army officer, to fight for a cause that he felt that he needed to fight for: the protection of his homeland, the Commonwealth of Virginia.  You can almost feel his angst when he wrote his resignation letter to General Winfield Scott:

Arlington, Washington City, P.O
20 Apr 1861

Lt. Genl Winfield Scott
Commd U.S. Army

Genl,
Since my interview with you on the 18th Inst: I have felt that I ought not longer to retain any Commission in the Army. I therefore tender my resignation which I request you will recommend for acceptance. It would have been presented at once but for the struggle it has Cost me to separate myself from a Service to which I have divoted all the best years of my life, & all the ability I possessed. During the whole of that time, more than a quarter of a century, I have experienced nothing but kindness from my superiors & the most Cordial friendships from any Comrades. To no one Genl have I been as much indebted as to yourself for kindness & Consideration & it has always been my ardent desire to merit your approbation. I shall carry with me, to the grave the most grateful recollections
of your kind Consideration, & your name & fame will always be dear to me. Save in the defense of my native state shall I ever again draw my sword. Be pleased to accept any more [illegible] wishes for “the Continuance of your happiness & prosperity & believe me

Most truly yours
R E Lee

Robert E. Lee was not only a famous Civil War General. He was also the President of Washington College (later renamed Washington and Lee University) in Lexington, Virginia from 1865 until his death on October 12, 1870. He was also a family man who truly loved his wife, Mary Lee, and their seven children.

~ Coleen

 

Mary Todd Lincoln House – Lexington, Ky

Some years ago, my hubby and I had the chance to visit The Mary Todd Lincoln House in Lexington, Kentucky. What a treat it was to walk the same floors that Mrs Lincoln walked many years ago. To touch the same stair bannister that Mr Lincoln touched and walk into the same bedroom that he stayed in on his only visit to the house.

The home has many original family artifacts from the Todd family and also Mrs Lincoln’s personal items from her later years in life.

Mary Lincoln spent many happy girlhood years in this home with her family when she lived here from 1832 to 1839 – when she moved to Springfield, Illinois. She would then soon after meet the love of her life and as the saying goes…the rest is history.

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