Relics of President-elect Lincoln's Philadelphia visit
Both swatches were snipped from a giant U.S. flag that President-elect Abraham Lincoln raised at Independence Hall during the 1861 rail voyage that took him through Philadelphia to Washington for his inauguration. On Saturday, nearly 150 years later, another president-elect from Illinois will partly re-create that trip, traveling by train to his inauguration.
Details of Obama's Philadelphia visit have not been released. During Lincoln's stop, the newly elected Republican strived to connect himself to the strength and wisdom of the Founders. Philadelphia was the last Northern city Lincoln saw before venturing into the South, perilous ground for a politician opposed to slavery. The only known photos of Lincoln on his inaugural trip were taken in Philadelphia. And it was in Philadelphia that Lincoln was told of a plot to kill him days later in Baltimore.
At the time, there was no Secret Service. Lincoln sneaked through Baltimore, at night, in disguise - and was ridiculed afterward for cowardice. Of course, Obama won't be sneaking anywhere. And the evidence of his inaugural journey won't be limited to a few blurry photographs and a couple of pieces of flag.
His partial retracing of Lincoln's route seeks to highlight his inaugural theme, "Renewing America's Promise," through events in Philadelphia, where the promise was realized in 1776; Baltimore, where it was defended in the War of 1812; and Washington, where it is to be renewed.
"I think it's very smart politics," said Michael J. Kline, author of The Baltimore Plot: The First Conspiracy to Assassinate Abraham Lincoln, a new book from Westholme Publishing in Yardley. "He wants to show he's appreciative of a part of the country that was strongly supportive of him, and to suggest that he wants to be inclusive, like Lincoln, even of people who didn't support him."
comments powered by Disqus
- Revised AP U.S. History Standards Will Emphasize American Exceptionalism
- In a county that tried to amend U.S. history course, a lesson in politics
- Overhauling La Guardia, an Airport With a Historical Name but a Tarnished Image
- Japanese textbooks may sanitize history, but comic art books don't
- Academic Seeks Death Certificate for Outlaw Billy the Kid
- Murderer of historian of Czech Jewry goes on trial
- Election results are in for the American Historical Association
- Nial Ferguson warns Obama’s bet on Iran has low odds of success