Book Chat
Lincoln's Sanctuary
Abraham Lincoln and the Soldier's Home
Matthew Pinsker

This chat took place in the Civil War Home Chatroom on 01/30/06 and covered Chapters 5 & 6

1/30/2006 9:14 pm (et) ks: Tonight the two chapters we'll cover are concerned with the year 1863. Rather fascinating to be reading this material while we discuss that notable 1863 occurrence on the SUNDAY night chat.
Lincoln's Sanctuary: Abraham Lincoln and the Soldier's Home
Chapter 5 "Mother very slightly hurt"
And we begin with Taddy's small fit over the missing feline. :)

1/30/2006 9:14 pm (et) Vickie: small fit LOL.

1/30/2006 9:14 pm (et) ks: How about some "ahas" from chapter 5? What events/passages stood out to you?

1/30/2006 9:15 pm (et) Vickie: I wonder where Tad located a brass eagle for the top of the flagpole.

1/30/2006 9:16 pm (et) Vickie: he must have "borrowed" it from some place.

1/30/2006 9:16 pm (et) ks: Well, that's what Pinsker called it, Vickie. ;) We're developing quite an image of young Tad with our reading from the past year or so. To think of ABRAHAM Lincoln being held up in movement because of his son's cat is so...humanizing.

1/30/2006 9:16 pm (et) ks: I wondered about that as well, Vickie. Thought perhaps he'd been gifted with it since he was the president's son. But we're left to guess.

1/30/2006 9:17 pm (et) Vickie: I'm surprised Mary would have a "nice good looking woman" for a cook.  After reading how insanely jealous she was of any women Abe was around.

1/30/2006 9:19 pm (et) Babs: So, do you think there was skullduggery involved in the carriage accident?

1/30/2006 9:19 pm (et) Vickie: Could be Babs.  Strange that the seat would just come loose on its own.

1/30/2006 9:19 pm (et) ks: The incidents I recall reading about where she was jealous the women involved were either trying to unseat her husband (do him some kind of political harm) or were (in her mind at least) upstaging Mary Todd Lincoln. Tend to believe too much is made of comments about Mary Todd's "insanity". Troubled women - yes. Overblown statements abounding in print - even BIGGER YES.

1/30/2006 9:20 pm (et) Vickie: I knew Mary had been hurt in a carriage accident but didn't know she had jumped from the carriage.  For some reason I thought the carriage had tipped or she had just bounced out .

1/30/2006 9:20 pm (et) mobile_96: Really hard to tell.

1/30/2006 9:20 pm (et) ks: Same here, Vickie. First I'd read of her actually jumping out.

1/30/2006 9:21 pm (et) mobile_96: In the book read previously about Mary, was there much discussion, or even mention, of the accident and the resulting infection?

1/30/2006 9:22 pm (et) Babs: Yes, but it didn't give the same idea of how bad the infection was.

1/30/2006 9:22 pm (et) Vickie: Mentioned, but not dealt with in detail.

1/30/2006 9:23 pm (et) ks: There was certainly mention of it. But I don't recall it being juxtaposed against what else was happening in that time frame...Gettysburg/Vicksburg. What a great deal Lincoln was suffering through all at the same time.

1/30/2006 9:23 pm (et) Vickie: Wonder if the roads were rough enough that over time the carriage seat might have worked loose on its own.

1/30/2006 9:23 pm (et) ks: Are the posts appearing and then jumping back a post for you all? Really makes a flowing conversation that much more of a challenge to achieve. ;)

1/30/2006 9:24 pm (et) mobile_96: Considering it was used a lot, a possibility Vickie.

1/30/2006 9:24 pm (et) Vickie: No problem with posts here other than it seems a bit slow.

1/30/2006 9:24 pm (et) ks: From the mention of Lincoln's terse request that the road be fixed, that sure seems a possibility, Vickie.

1/30/2006 9:25 pm (et) ks: Lucky you. On my screen they appear promptly, then the last one goes out of view until new posts are made. It's a regular cycle.

1/30/2006 9:26 pm (et) Vickie: Mary's spiritualist was no help to Mary's state of mind.  Convincing Mary that the cabinet officers "were all enemies of the president" and needed to be dismissed.

1/30/2006 9:26 pm (et) Babs: When I post, it doesn't appear until someone else posts. I was looking at the log and see there were some problems this afternoon too.

1/30/2006 9:27 pm (et) ks: Certainly wouldn't be a help. But consulting spiritualists was very in vogue at the time.

1/30/2006 9:27 pm (et) Vickie: I think at the time she was easily influenced.

1/30/2006 9:27 pm (et) ks: Any thoughts on the Emancipation Proclamation and what was mentioned about it in Chapter 5?

1/30/2006 9:28 pm (et) ks: I tend to think of her as "easily susceptible".

1/30/2006 9:28 pm (et) Vickie: Have a note about a drunk soldier ,trying to find where that's at in this chapter.

1/30/2006 9:30 pm (et) mobile_96: Looks like a lot of people were either against it or afraid of the EP.

1/30/2006 9:30 pm (et) ks: Appreciated Pinsker's mention of it being a "powerful document" despite its limitations. Obviously African Americans thought it was "life altering". The account of the 92 year old black woman who made a pilgrimage of walking out to the Soldier's Home where she'd heard Lincoln drafted the proclamation was touching.

1/30/2006 9:32 pm (et) ks: The EP coupled (or partnered) with the Habeas Corpus Act and conscription....certainly made for unrest.

1/30/2006 9:33 pm (et) ks: The author stated that "1863 marked a turning point in Lincoln's life". Any thoughts on that before we move to the next chapter?

1/30/2006 9:34 pm (et) mobile_96: Page 102? Vickie.

1/30/2006 9:34 pm (et) Vickie: Yep that's the page mobile.

1/30/2006 9:35 pm (et) Babs: I see now that there was a real risk they he would not be re-elected. Ii imagine we will lean more about that in the next week or so.

1/30/2006 9:35 pm (et) Vickie: I like the description on that page of Lincoln sprawled out on his chair.

1/30/2006 9:36 pm (et) Vickie: Greeting people in his slippers.

1/30/2006 9:37 pm (et) Babs: He was always being interrupted.

1/30/2006 9:37 pm (et) ks: With his loose slippers half-fallen from his feet and drowsy eyelids almost closed....poor man! Forced to endure visitors in that state.

1/30/2006 9:38 pm (et) ks: Folks, I'm getting long periods of "white out" on the screen. Not at all the norm. In case I disappear....

1/30/2006 9:38 pm (et) ks: Best move on to other material. I love the title for this chapter. ;) Chapter 6 - "In fine whack" Now can't you just see that on a muster t-shirt some day??? ;) Please proceed with thoughts on Chapter 6.

1/30/2006 9:39 pm (et) ks: 6-8 seconds of white out each time I post.

1/30/2006 9:39 pm (et) ks: Then again, you're all awfully quiet. You still there??

1/30/2006 9:39 pm (et) Vickie: I can picture Lincoln peering threw a telescope, something I like to do myself.  Of course the telescope he looked threw would have been quite a bit larger than mine :-)

1/30/2006 9:40 pm (et) Babs: We hear about the missing goat again.

1/30/2006 9:40 pm (et) Vickie: These are the things in the books that make Lincoln come to life.

1/30/2006 9:40 pm (et) ks: This chat software is presently NOT in fine whack. ;)

1/30/2006 9:41 pm (et) Babs: I don't remember hearing about the telescope before.

1/30/2006 9:41 pm (et) Babs: Give it a fine whack!

1/30/2006 9:41 pm (et) mobile_96: A first for me too.

1/30/2006 9:42 pm (et) mobile_96: ks, maybe you need to exit and come back in.

1/30/2006 9:42 pm (et) ks: I wish I could, Babs. The page has remained white for over a full minute now. :(

1/30/2006 9:43 pm (et) ks: logs off.

1/30/2006 9:43 pm (et) Babs: I think a bit too much is made of Robert and his dad no spending time together. Sounds like every college kid I have ever known. Of course he would rather be in town hangin' with friends than watching his dad shuffle papers and toadies.

1/30/2006 9:43 pm (et) ks: enters the chatroom.

1/30/2006 9:44 pm (et) Babs: Hmm, Mobile has shown KS the door.

1/30/2006 9:44 pm (et) mobile_96: Seems he might have spent a little more time, considering Mary and Tod were away.

1/30/2006 9:44 pm (et) mobile_96: Only the Light.

1/30/2006 9:44 pm (et) ks: Thought the same, Babs. Especially since he was showing interest in that unnamed female. How could time with Dad compete?

1/30/2006 9:45 pm (et) ks: :-D mo-beel showed me the light.

1/30/2006 9:45 pm (et) Babs: Mobile, :^) You enlighten us all.

1/30/2006 9:46 pm (et) ks: Hey, hey! How about mention of a new, favorite word from this chapter. New to ME anyway. And what's the word that's a slang reference for food? :) No points, but I'll applaud whoever gets this.

1/30/2006 9:47 pm (et) ks: Surely this jumped out at you, Babs. :)

1/30/2006 9:47 pm (et) mobile_96: prog

1/30/2006 9:48 pm (et) Babs: I wonder where that word came from.

1/30/2006 9:48 pm (et) ks: *ding, ding, ding!!* Good for you, mo-beel. ;) Lincoln when he slept at the White House had "prog" sent up from Willard's. The muster itinerary will have PROG BREAKS listed. No idea on origin, Babs.

1/30/2006 9:50 pm (et) amhistoryguy: enters the chatroom.

1/30/2006 9:50 pm (et) Babs: My favorite new word was fossiliferous.

1/30/2006 9:51 pm (et) ks: This particular chapter did a nice job with information on the relationships with Lincoln's assistants, Hay and "Nico" as well as his relationship with Frederick Douglass. Anyone have thoughts they'd care to share on either or both??

1/30/2006 9:51 pm (et) ks: That too, Babs. Was that Hay or Brooks? Whoever it was, I was tickled with the language.

1/30/2006 9:52 pm (et) ks: Are we in fine whack tonight. Even the fossiliferous and PROG-less amongst us could take delight in these chapters. :-D

1/30/2006 9:53 pm (et) Babs: Brooks

1/30/2006 9:54 pm (et) Basecat: enters the chatroom.

1/30/2006 9:54 pm (et) ks: Perhaps the question should be "Is BASECAT in fine whack tonight?" ;) Greetings, Oradellian. Do add your comments.

1/30/2006 9:55 pm (et) Babs: Here's Base. Maybe he brought us prog.

1/30/2006 9:55 pm (et) mobile_96: How about Lincoln's check to "A Colored Man with one leg."

1/30/2006 9:56 pm (et) mobile_96: Brooks said fossiliferous about Welles

1/30/2006 9:56 pm (et) ks: mobile, we can hope. ;) That check reference was odd. The end notes didn't really help any in understanding the incident. I know Pinsker mentions it as further proof of Lincoln's growing empathy for the black man.

1/30/2006 9:58 pm (et) Babs: I think the local convenience store would be checking ID before cashing that.

1/30/2006 9:58 pm (et) ks: LOL @ Babs!

1/30/2006 9:59 pm (et) Basecat: My apologies for being later than I even thought. As for comments, lets just say I am taking a couple of aspirins here, and trying to relax here. 'nuff said..;)

1/30/2006 9:59 pm (et) ks: So no thoughts on the relationship with Hay, Nicolay or Douglass?

1/30/2006 9:59 pm (et) mobile_96: Wonder if the check was ever cashed.

1/30/2006 10:00 pm (et) ks: Did you get through the reading, Base? Two very good chapters. Of course I believe I've said that each week on this book.

1/30/2006 10:01 pm (et) Babs: And it was true each week.

1/30/2006 10:02 pm (et) ks: Did you see in the endnotes that the check source was a BANKER'S magazine article entitled "The Mysteries of Lincoln's Bank Accounts"??? What haven't they written about with ref. to LINCOLN??

1/30/2006 10:03 pm (et) Babs: Can probably bid on his toenail clippings on eBay.

1/30/2006 10:04 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Years ago some group did an archeological dig on the site of an outhouse that Lincoln used. No kidding !!

1/30/2006 10:05 pm (et) mobile_96: Not much I'd say.

1/30/2006 10:05 pm (et) amhistoryguy: Someone tried to make a big deal out of the number of whiskey bottles found.

1/30/2006 10:05 pm (et) ks: Okay, I'll answer my own question. :) I find the commentary from Douglass on Lincoln fascinating, particularly when he states things like how he (Douglass) felt big around the man and his perception that Lincoln was entirely free "from popular prejudice against the colored race". That speaks volumes to me.

1/30/2006 10:06 pm (et) mobile_96: I think Lincoln was lucky to have Hays and Nicolay, they seemed to help take the 'edge' off a lot of days when he needed it.

1/30/2006 10:06 pm (et) Babs: I can think of a few smart aleck comments but this is a PG-13 chat room.

1/30/2006 10:07 pm (et) mobile_96: It is??

1/30/2006 10:07 pm (et) Babs: I dunno. I made that up.

1/30/2006 10:08 pm (et) mobile_96: Still, when you consider some of the people he had to deal with, finding bottles could sound plausible.

1/30/2006 10:09 pm (et) ks: Agree with you, mobile. And they were lucky to have their access to Lincoln. Believe it was Hay who waxed on about Abe being the right person in the right time placed in his position "by the hand of God".

1/30/2006 10:10 pm (et) ks: Next week we'll get into 1864 and I'd like to cover all *3* chapters from that section. Chapters 7, 8 and 9 should be an easy reading assignment, especially since we don't have Sunday night book chat.

1/30/2006 10:11 pm (et) mobile_96: He did, and looking at the other possible Presidents, I'd have to agree he was the only one

1/30/2006 10:12 pm (et) mobile_96: That will just about finish this book then.

1/30/2006 10:12 pm (et) ks: Actually that's almost finishing the book. But we'll need some time to get the NEXT book posted as well as ordered and in hand, so I don't mind dragging it out a bit.

1/30/2006 10:17 pm (et) ks: I'm sorry the room's been so glitchy tonight. This is a wonderful book, and I couldn't help but feel we weren't getting in the flow of things tonight. The "white out" I was repeatedly experiencing sure didn't help.

1/30/2006 10:32 pm (et) ks: I believe I'll head on out. Tired and still have some SEK, Inc. work to complete. Thanks for the chat, you all. :)