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Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
01-29-2018, 07:25 AM
Post: #241
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
I agree with Eva.

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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01-29-2018, 11:34 AM
Post: #242
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
(01-29-2018 07:25 AM)Gene C Wrote:  I agree with Eva.

I do too, and have any of the gossip mongers (then and now) taken into consideration that babies can come ahead of schedule?

The fact that we are using 21st-century standards to analyze an event that happened 175 years ago seems a bit much to me.

I am also surprised that Dr. Wayne Temple ventured into guessing also. Another example (as in so much concerning the Lincolns) of running out of important topics to discuss and delving into hearsay and speculation on the unimportant history??
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01-29-2018, 11:49 AM (This post was last modified: 01-29-2018 11:54 AM by kerry.)
Post: #243
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
Women being pregnant at the time of marriage was by no means uncommon, chaperone requirement or not. People found ways. I think the wedding night is the most sensible explanation, but would not be shocked to hear otherwise. It is possible they 'went too far' and as a result decided to marry immediately, not because of pregnancy, but because it was the right thing to do and Lincoln needed the prodding after his anxiety about marriage. I dislike the books mentioned for implying it was a total trick by Mary, though. And I dislike them more for implying that Lincoln resented Robert for the rest of his life as a result of the 'forced' marriage - rarely does it work that way, and certainly not with someone who loved being a father like Lincoln.
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01-29-2018, 02:22 PM (This post was last modified: 01-29-2018 02:22 PM by Eva Elisabeth.)
Post: #244
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
"I dislike the books mentioned for implying it was a total trick by Mary, though. And I dislike them more for implying that Lincoln resented Robert for the rest of his life as a result of the 'forced' marriage - rarely does it work that way, and certainly not with someone who loved being a father like Lincoln."
And I agree on that!
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01-29-2018, 02:54 PM
Post: #245
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
Lincoln's comment to speed about Robert being the offspring of animal spirits is interesting. It could be a simple figure of speech, but Lincoln is so particular with words it could be a reference to the passionate/volatile nature of Mary or their relationship. It could imply conception before marriage or just their personalities/the drama surrounding the wedding.
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01-29-2018, 03:00 PM
Post: #246
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
This reminds me of a song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFq6eZBS1iM

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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01-29-2018, 05:40 PM
Post: #247
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
Please satisfy my curiosity. I've not read 'the book' and am not going to. Apparently it implies that Mary may have tricked Lincoln into marriage? Does it have the courage to discuss the elephant in the room ... that Lincoln was not the father of Robert?


“In every child who is born, under no matter what circumstances, and no matter what parents, the potentiality of the human race is born again.” James Agee.
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01-29-2018, 05:58 PM
Post: #248
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
If you are talking about Dr. Temple's book, the answer is "no." I think the answer is "no" for the other two books I mentioned, but I have not read those.
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01-29-2018, 06:02 PM
Post: #249
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
(01-29-2018 02:54 PM)kerry Wrote:  Lincoln's comment to speed about Robert being the offspring of animal spirits is interesting. It could be a simple figure of speech, but Lincoln is so particular with words it could be a reference to the passionate/volatile nature of Mary or their relationship. It could imply conception before marriage or just their personalities/the drama surrounding the wedding.

"He is quite smart enough. I some times fear he is one of the little rare-ripe sort, that are smarter at about five than ever after. He has a great deal of that sort of mischief, that is the offspring of much animal spirits."

I don't read the phrase as a reference to his conception or heredity or to his parents; rather, I read it as meaning that Robert's mischief is the product of his (Robert's) "animal spirits."
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01-29-2018, 06:24 PM
Post: #250
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
(01-29-2018 05:58 PM)RJNorton Wrote:  If you are talking about Dr. Temple's book, the answer is "no." I think the answer is "no" for the other two I mentioned, but I have not read those.

Thanks Roger. Somehow my respect for the book(s), admittedly without reading them, is even less than it was. I'm too old to waste time reading bad books ... there are too many good ones waiting.


“In every child who is born, under no matter what circumstances, and no matter what parents, the potentiality of the human race is born again.” James Agee.
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01-29-2018, 07:08 PM (This post was last modified: 01-29-2018 07:25 PM by kerry.)
Post: #251
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
(01-29-2018 06:02 PM)Susan Higginbotham Wrote:  
(01-29-2018 02:54 PM)kerry Wrote:  Lincoln's comment to speed about Robert being the offspring of animal spirits is interesting. It could be a simple figure of speech, but Lincoln is so particular with words it could be a reference to the passionate/volatile nature of Mary or their relationship. It could imply conception before marriage or just their personalities/the drama surrounding the wedding.

"He is quite smart enough. I some times fear he is one of the little rare-ripe sort, that are smarter at about five than ever after. He has a great deal of that sort of mischief, that is the offspring of much animal spirits."

I don't read the phrase as a reference to his conception or heredity or to his parents; rather, I read it as meaning that Robert's mischief is the product of his (Robert's) "animal spirits."

Yeah, now that I re-read that, I agree.

Nothing is suggested about Lincoln not being the father. But one of the books has this strange storyline where Mary sneaks into Lincoln's room and starts kissing him while he is asleep, and seduces him when he wakes up. Then Lincoln is afraid of being passionate because he thinks he will go insane, so he breaks up with her, and they only reconcile after she shows she can have infrequent non-passionate sex. This then connects to Robert's alleged cold personality, to the point where she tries to be quietly "into it" when she conceives their next child, to avoid another Robert. She then cheats on him in the White House with Wood, because he has the passion she is missing. But then she and reconcile and finally are normally intimate, and are going to make the most of it on April 14th, but...

It is a ridiculous "interpretation" of the family's dynamics.

Going back to Herdon's sources for a minute, his interview with Mary confuses me.

“Mr. Lincoln had a dream when down the river at City Point, after Richmond was taken. He dreamed that the White House had burned up. Sent me up the river to see. Went. Met Stanton on the way down. Mr. Lincoln told me to get a party and come down, which I did.
... Down at City Point once Andy Johnson followed us. Was drunk. Mr. Lincoln said: ‘For God's sake don't ask Johnson to dine with us.’ ‘No, don't,’ said Sumner, ‘and I did not ask him.’"

Mary was already back in DC when Richmond was taken, so Lincoln's dream was not after that. This could have been Herndon just adding context and knowing that Richmond fell was Lincoln was at City Point. But it's even weirder because the telegram she sent to see if the White House was ok was on the 24th, right when they arrived at City Point. It is often suggested Lincoln made that up to send her back due to her behavior. But she was telegraphing about it before she had any incidents, and days before she left to go back.

What does "Met Stanton on the way down" mean? Did he go to City Point? It doesn't seem like it.

And why is there zero info about Andrew Johnson being at City Point? I looked it up and couldn't find anything.
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01-29-2018, 07:49 PM
Post: #252
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
(01-29-2018 07:08 PM)kerry Wrote:  
(01-29-2018 06:02 PM)Susan Higginbotham Wrote:  
(01-29-2018 02:54 PM)kerry Wrote:  Lincoln's comment to speed about Robert being the offspring of animal spirits is interesting. It could be a simple figure of speech, but Lincoln is so particular with words it could be a reference to the passionate/volatile nature of Mary or their relationship. It could imply conception before marriage or just their personalities/the drama surrounding the wedding.

"He is quite smart enough. I some times fear he is one of the little rare-ripe sort, that are smarter at about five than ever after. He has a great deal of that sort of mischief, that is the offspring of much animal spirits."

I don't read the phrase as a reference to his conception or heredity or to his parents; rather, I read it as meaning that Robert's mischief is the product of his (Robert's) "animal spirits."

Yeah, now that I re-read that, I agree.

Nothing is suggested about Lincoln not being the father. But one of the books has this strange storyline where Mary sneaks into Lincoln's room and starts kissing him while he is asleep, and seduces him when he wakes up. Then Lincoln is afraid of being passionate because he thinks he will go insane, so he breaks up with her, and they only reconcile after she shows she can have infrequent non-passionate sex. This then connects to Robert's alleged cold personality, to the point where she tries to be quietly "into it" when she conceives their next child, to avoid another Robert. She then cheats on him in the White House with Wood, because he has the passion she is missing. But then she and reconcile and finally are normally intimate, and are going to make the most of it on April 14th, but...

It is a ridiculous "interpretation" of the family's dynamics.

Going back to Herdon's sources for a minute, his interview with Mary confuses me.

“Mr. Lincoln had a dream when down the river at City Point, after Richmond was taken. He dreamed that the White House had burned up. Sent me up the river to see. Went. Met Stanton on the way down. Mr. Lincoln told me to get a party and come down, which I did.
... Down at City Point once Andy Johnson followed us. Was drunk. Mr. Lincoln said: ‘For God's sake don't ask Johnson to dine with us.’ ‘No, don't,’ said Sumner, ‘and I did not ask him.’"

Mary was already back in DC when Richmond was taken, so Lincoln's dream was not after that. This could have been Herndon just adding context and knowing that Richmond fell was Lincoln was at City Point. But it's even weirder because the telegram she sent to see if the White House was ok was on the 24th, right when they arrived at City Point. It is often suggested Lincoln made that up to send her back due to her behavior. But she was telegraphing about it before she had any incidents, and days before she left to go back.

What does "Met Stanton on the way down" mean? Did he go to City Point? It doesn't seem like it.

And why is there zero info about Andrew Johnson being at City Point? I looked it up and couldn't find anything.

David Dixon Porter told another version of Lincoln refusing to see Johnson here (pg. 287):

https://archive.org/stream/incidentsanec...eston+king
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01-29-2018, 08:36 PM
Post: #253
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
(01-29-2018 07:49 PM)Susan Higginbotham Wrote:  David Dixon Porter told another version of Lincoln refusing to see Johnson here (pg. 287):

https://archive.org/stream/incidentsanec...eston+king

Thanks - I actually read that a while ago and forgot about it. I laughed so hard when I read it because when I read Mary's interview, I figured she was exaggerating because of her own antipathy for Johnson. I think some historians have written as much. But then you see the confirmation and it does seem like Lincoln was yelling "help! get away!"
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01-29-2018, 10:36 PM
Post: #254
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
He just wanted some kitten time. Smile
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01-30-2018, 07:02 AM
Post: #255
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
Back to the topic of two weddings - did the first one happen as Herndon described or not? What is the truth? Here is what Herndon wrote:

"The time fixed for the marriage was the first day of January, 1841. Careful preparations for the happy occasion were made at the Edwards mansion. The house underwent the customary renovation; the furniture was properly arranged, the rooms neatly decorated, the supper prepared, and the guests invited. The latter assembled on the evening in question, and awaited in expectant pleasure the interesting ceremony of marriage. The bride, bedecked in veil and silken gown, and nervously toying with the flowers in her hair, sat in the adjoining room. Nothing was lacking but the groom. For some strange reason he had been delayed. An hour passed, and the guests, as well as the bride, were becoming restless. But they were all doomed to disappointment. Another hour passed; messengers were sent out over town, and each returning with the same report, it became apparent that Lincoln, the principal in this little drama, had purposely failed to appear. The bride, in grief, disappeared to her room; the wedding supper was left untouched; the guests quietly and wonderingly withdrew; the lights in the Edwards mansion were blown out, and darkness settled over all for the night. What the feelings of a lady as sensitive, passionate, and proud as Miss Todd were, we can only imagine; no one can ever describe them. By daybreak, after persistent search, Lincoln's friends found him. Restless, gloomy, miserable, desperate, he seemed an object of pity. His friends, Speed among the number, fearing a tragic termination, watched him closely in their rooms day and night. 'Knives and razors, and every instrument that could be used for self-destruction, were removed from his reach.' Mrs. Edwards did not hesitate to regard him as insane, and of course her sister Mary shared in that view."


What really happened? Did Herndon totally create this? Partially create this? Tell the truth?
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