Incidentals

written June 4, 2016   Cornelius Cochran, besides having a rocking name, was known by my mother’s side of the family as the brightest known fruit on their limb, the polished family relation you set out for guests.  Cornelius, you see, was a 19 year-old farm boy on his family’s homestead near Blandford, Massachusetts on…

He’s Still Remembered Reverently By Used Car Dealers

written April 25, 2012     Was Abraham Lincoln “great”? This question was posed to us by Dr. Hansen in January. We could have said yes: he of the five dollars, toys logs, and marbled thrones.  But that would have left a lot of time to fill.  What Dr. Hansen was trying to suggest was…

That Reminds Me of a Story: Lincoln’s Metaphors and His Audience

written February 2012 Amid the backwoods of Indiana and Illinois Abraham Lincoln received a formal education that was meager, to be kind. With less than a single year in a schoolhouse, Lincoln himself was years later critical of pioneer curriculum.[1] Apart from these “blab schools” Lincoln relied on his own hunger for reading the few…

Yellow Journalism on the Prairie: Illinois Ablaze Amid the Lincoln-Douglas Debates in a Political Fire Flamed by the Ink of Partisan Newsprint

written June 2009 The Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 are generally perceived and beheld as a series of seven oratory contests between two Illinois men of renown, the prize being a United States Senate seat. The historical record of the events, however, in the form divisive newspaper reports and editorials, theoretically expanded the field to that…

Lincoln In Edwardsville: The Moral Idea is Boldly Suggested

written February 2012 Edwardsville had a history of “pseudo-slavery,” embracing Illinois’ Black Laws, and an antagonism towards abolitionists long before Abraham Lincoln spoke in the town in September of 1858.[1]  Gov. Edward Coles’ attempt to free slaves and end Black Codes in 1822 also included a ban on the future “emigration of free negroes to…

So This Is the Blues

written June 2010 The average person on the street would rather endure a light carpet-bombing than visit the old hometown.  Opinions on most birthplaces range from questionable queasiness to downright despondence,depending on if you are an escapee or one of the ones left behind to pick up the pieces and carry on.  It may creep…

The Old New Soapbox

  TV news of all stripes regularly, breathlessly  over-aim reality; it is par for the cable-course.  So when an election of legitimately historic trajectory appears over the horizon, the bright lights and slickly produced segments’ bag of adjectives can be found wanting from past overuse. The single word, “unique,” will serve.  It is not normal…