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Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
12-22-2017, 10:58 AM (This post was last modified: 12-22-2017 10:59 AM by kerry.)
Post: #91
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
(12-22-2017 09:07 AM)L Verge Wrote:  
(12-22-2017 07:02 AM)RJNorton Wrote:  
(12-21-2017 07:40 PM)kerry Wrote:  I'm curious about the source for Robert's suppression - I can't figure out where that comes from.

I do not think I have seen a specific source either. The following, however, is typical of what I have seen in books:

In Mary Lincoln's Dressmaker: Elizabeth Keckley's Remarkable Rise from Slave to White House Confidante author Becky Rutberg writes:

"Robert Lincoln was so furious over the book's disclosure of private information and intimate details of his parents' relationship that he prevailed upon the publisher, Carleton & Company, to recall it from the market. He persuaded his friends to buy and burn all remaining copies."

No footnote or endnote for this.

Robert was 25 when the book was released in 1868, and that is the same year that he married Mary Harlan. Could Senator Harlan have been the force behind the attack on the book?

Found this note in an 1967 article in American Heritage: When Mrs. Keckley found out that her instructions had been disobeyed, she hurried to Robert Lincoln to explain and apologize. She was brusquely turned away. Years later, when about to retire to a home for the destitute, the aged seamstress appealed once more to Mr. Lincoln. Once more he utterly refused to see her.

If true, Robert sure knew how to hold a grudge.
Interesting - I wonder where the author of that article got the information. If he was forewarned, it would make more sense that he was able to stop production. I'm still suspicious of the story, though, because I still haven't found it footnoted anywhere.
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12-22-2017, 11:23 AM
Post: #92
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
One last gasp -- Our former research librarian (and now a volunteer guide) at Surratt House is a semi-expert on Elizabeth Keckly after being trained to do a first-person presentation on the lady at Ford's Theatre (where she also volunteered). She did this for a number of years until the Ford's Theatre Society convinced the NPS that a trained actress should be doing it. Just one catty remark on that -- the actress looked no more like Mrs. Keckly than I do!

After that critical review, the point here is that I emailed our lady as to what was going on and asked about the Nobody's Son book and her thoughts on the ghost writer, etc. Here's her response:

Laurie, the book, "Nobody's Boy" is a paperback written for ages 10 and up published by the Missouri Historical Society Press in 2006. It was written by Jennifer Fleischner, yes, the author of "Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly...", however much of it is fiction.

At the end of her author's preface, Elizabeth Keckly gives her address as 14 Carroll Place, New York. John Washington in "They Knew Lincoln" includes a transcript of the original copyright entry for her book which was filed in New York
.
He also tried to prove Mrs. Keckly's authorship by recounting how James Redpath visited her regularly during that period, writing down what she told him and reviewing it the next day.

Then, there was also David Barbee, who claimed in a Washington Post article written in the 30's, that a journalist named Jane Swisshelm was the real author.
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12-22-2017, 12:12 PM
Post: #93
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
(12-22-2017 11:23 AM)L Verge Wrote:  One last gasp -- Our former research librarian (and now a volunteer guide) at Surratt House is a semi-expert on Elizabeth Keckly after being trained to do a first-person presentation on the lady at Ford's Theatre (where she also volunteered). She did this for a number of years until the Ford's Theatre Society convinced the NPS that a trained actress should be doing it. Just one catty remark on that -- the actress looked no more like Mrs. Keckly than I do!

After that critical review, the point here is that I emailed our lady as to what was going on and asked about the Nobody's Son book and her thoughts on the ghost writer, etc. Here's her response:

Laurie, the book, "Nobody's Boy" is a paperback written for ages 10 and up published by the Missouri Historical Society Press in 2006. It was written by Jennifer Fleischner, yes, the author of "Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly...", however much of it is fiction.

At the end of her author's preface, Elizabeth Keckly gives her address as 14 Carroll Place, New York. John Washington in "They Knew Lincoln" includes a transcript of the original copyright entry for her book which was filed in New York
.
He also tried to prove Mrs. Keckly's authorship by recounting how James Redpath visited her regularly during that period, writing down what she told him and reviewing it the next day.

Then, there was also David Barbee, who claimed in a Washington Post article written in the 30's, that a journalist named Jane Swisshelm was the real author.

I found a blurb that suggested that Swisshelm wrote it at the time, but I think it was meant sarcastically (they probably could only come up with one female 'muckraker' to mention). The "They Knew Lincoln" book seems to have good information, from what I can see of it. Barbee claimed Keckley did not exist, and also that she was illiterate and that Mary would never gossip in front of servants. So I don't think he had a good grasp on the situation.
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12-22-2017, 12:18 PM
Post: #94
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
Fleischner in "Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly" gives "They Knew Lincoln" as a source for Robert turning Keckly away.

Incidentally, I was excited to see that "They Knew Lincoln" is being reprinted in February with an introduction by Kate Masur. The last time I looked for a copy, it was prohibitively expensive.

https://www.amazon.com/They-Knew-Lincoln...ew+Lincoln
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12-22-2017, 01:51 PM
Post: #95
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
(12-22-2017 12:18 PM)Susan Higginbotham Wrote:  Fleischner in "Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly" gives "They Knew Lincoln" as a source for Robert turning Keckly away.

Incidentally, I was excited to see that "They Knew Lincoln" is being reprinted in February with an introduction by Kate Masur. The last time I looked for a copy, it was prohibitively expensive.

https://www.amazon.com/They-Knew-Lincoln...ew+Lincoln

Interesting - that's great that it is being reprinted.
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12-22-2017, 02:09 PM
Post: #96
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
(12-22-2017 12:12 PM)kerry Wrote:  
(12-22-2017 11:23 AM)L Verge Wrote:  One last gasp -- Our former research librarian (and now a volunteer guide) at Surratt House is a semi-expert on Elizabeth Keckly after being trained to do a first-person presentation on the lady at Ford's Theatre (where she also volunteered). She did this for a number of years until the Ford's Theatre Society convinced the NPS that a trained actress should be doing it. Just one catty remark on that -- the actress looked no more like Mrs. Keckly than I do!

After that critical review, the point here is that I emailed our lady as to what was going on and asked about the Nobody's Son book and her thoughts on the ghost writer, etc. Here's her response:

Laurie, the book, "Nobody's Boy" is a paperback written for ages 10 and up published by the Missouri Historical Society Press in 2006. It was written by Jennifer Fleischner, yes, the author of "Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly...", however much of it is fiction.

At the end of her author's preface, Elizabeth Keckly gives her address as 14 Carroll Place, New York. John Washington in "They Knew Lincoln" includes a transcript of the original copyright entry for her book which was filed in New York
.
He also tried to prove Mrs. Keckly's authorship by recounting how James Redpath visited her regularly during that period, writing down what she told him and reviewing it the next day.

Then, there was also David Barbee, who claimed in a Washington Post article written in the 30's, that a journalist named Jane Swisshelm was the real author.

I found a blurb that suggested that Swisshelm wrote it at the time, but I think it was meant sarcastically (they probably could only come up with one female 'muckraker' to mention). The "They Knew Lincoln" book seems to have good information, from what I can see of it. Barbee claimed Keckley did not exist, and also that she was illiterate and that Mary would never gossip in front of servants. So I don't think he had a good grasp on the situation.

Jut an aside, but Barbee's research in the field of the Lincoln assassination will drive you crazy -- some is excellent while other "tidbits" are weird. He claimed also that Booth and Herold never stopped at Surratt's Tavern on their escape (as well as other things).
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12-22-2017, 02:22 PM
Post: #97
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
Many thanks to Laurie for sending a reply and photo from Sarah Leavitt, curator of Washington's National Building Museum.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Dear Ms Verge,

Thanks so much for your question about St. Elizabeths. I do not think you can see (or ever could see) St. Elizabeths from the White House. I suppose it’s possible, it just seems like the topography would not work. You could (and can) see the Capitol from St. Elizabeths, but I don’t think the buildings at St. Elizabeths rose high enough to be able to see them from the White House (though you would perhaps know better what one might be able to see from the upper floors across the river). I suppose it’s possible, if you were as high up as possible in the WH, and knew exactly where to look. I’ve never seen an eye-witness report of that, however. Could you share what you’re looking at?

As for white buildings in 1862, there were two of them, the West Lodge and the East Lodge, for African American women and African American men. The West Lodge was finished in 1856 and the East in 1861, so they both would have been there, and they were white. The only other building at that time would have been the Center Building, which was red brick.


[Image: westlodge.jpg]
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12-22-2017, 03:15 PM (This post was last modified: 12-22-2017 03:16 PM by Gene C.)
Post: #98
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
(12-22-2017 12:18 PM)Susan Higginbotham Wrote:  Fleischner in "Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly" gives "They Knew Lincoln" as a source for Robert turning Keckly away.

Incidentally, I was excited to see that "They Knew Lincoln" is being reprinted in February with an introduction by Kate Masur. The last time I looked for a copy, it was prohibitively expensive.

https://www.amazon.com/They-Knew-Lincoln...ew+Lincoln

Looks interesting.
I don't recall seeing a book with 152 footnotes just for the introduction.

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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12-22-2017, 05:39 PM
Post: #99
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
(12-22-2017 02:22 PM)RJNorton Wrote:  Many thanks to Laurie for sending a reply and photo from Sarah Leavitt, curator of Washington's National Building Museum.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Dear Ms Verge,

Thanks so much for your question about St. Elizabeths. I do not think you can see (or ever could see) St. Elizabeths from the White House. I suppose it’s possible, it just seems like the topography would not work. You could (and can) see the Capitol from St. Elizabeths, but I don’t think the buildings at St. Elizabeths rose high enough to be able to see them from the White House (though you would perhaps know better what one might be able to see from the upper floors across the river). I suppose it’s possible, if you were as high up as possible in the WH, and knew exactly where to look. I’ve never seen an eye-witness report of that, however. Could you share what you’re looking at?

As for white buildings in 1862, there were two of them, the West Lodge and the East Lodge, for African American women and African American men. The West Lodge was finished in 1856 and the East in 1861, so they both would have been there, and they were white. The only other building at that time would have been the Center Building, which was red brick.


[Image: westlodge.jpg]
Thanks for sharing!
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01-05-2018, 07:15 PM (This post was last modified: 01-05-2018 07:57 PM by L Verge.)
Post: #100
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
My posting on another thread regarding constitutional powers and the Sedition Act of 1918, led me to try and remember the particulars of the Eugene V. Debs trial and his sentence of ten years for his Socialist activities. I knew that his original claim to fame was his leadership in the fight against railroad corporations for better worker conditions that led to the Pullman Strike in 1894. Guess who was the chief counsel for the Pullman Company at that time -- none other than Robert Lincoln.

Here are some basics from http://fromlaurelstreet.wordpress.com/20...t-lincoln/ There is a line in there (a quote from RTL) that sort of surprised me. See if you can figure out which one.

However, in 1894 Robert Lincoln found himself near the center of “[t]he most famous and farreaching labor conflict in a period of severe economic depression and social unrest” — the Pullman Strike, which began May 11, 1894, with a walkout by Pullman Palace Car Company factory workers after their wages were cut 25% and negotiations failed. The workers “appealed for support to the American Railway Union (ARU), which argued unsuccessfully for arbitration.”

[Graphic - The great railway strikes - scenes in and about Chicago / from sketches by G.A. Coffin. Three bust portraits showing George Pullman, Cushman K. Davis, and Eugene Debs; and four illustrations showing blockade of railroad cars, applicants for appointments as deputies at the marshals office, roundhouse, and deputies trying to move an engine and car at Blue Island. Illus. in: Harpers weekly, 1894.]


It’s very useful to have the only living son of a beloved and assassinated former president for your lawyer in order to avoid contempt charges, as did George Pullman. Robert Lincoln earned his 1897 promotion to president of the Pullman Company.

He served as served chairman of the board from 1911 until his death in 1926.

Despite Pullman’s victory over workers in 1894, the Federal Commission on Industrial Relations convened hearings to look into labor accusations against the Pullman Company. On May 5, 1915, Robert Lincoln, then chairman of the Pullman Company, testified that “the Pullman Company, in employing 6,500 colored car porters, had been one of the greatest benefactors of the age and had secured to the negro race its greatest advance in honest labor.” The Commissioners questioned Robert Lincoln about the fact that Pullman employees were not paid a living wage and had to rely on tips. Asked, “Doesn’t your system amount to practically the same thing as that existing on the railroads of a part of the country before 1863, when the workmen were the property of the railroad companies — were owned in fee 3/4,” Robert Lincoln “showed some hesitation, and finally made answer simply by a chuckle.” He advocated keeping the system of low wages and reliance on tips by the workers because “it is an old custom and one to which the colored race are accustomed.” Despite his active role in the 1894 strike, Robert Lincoln claimed to have never heard “widespread criticism” of Pullman’s wage practices. Robert Lincoln “begged to be excused” when asked to explain “the underlying causes of unrest of the workers.” Others did, however, and the descriptions given were horrific.

http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/linc...robert.htm Interesting blurb showing Robert's tomb at Arlington and some facts about his burial there (two years after his death) and the supreme secrecy of his final interment when even his two daughters were not allowed to attend.
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01-06-2018, 10:05 AM (This post was last modified: 01-06-2018 10:06 AM by Eva Elisabeth.)
Post: #101
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
How can a mother deny daughters' attendance of their father's burial? Other than she, they were of his flesh and blood.

” Robert Lincoln “showed some hesitation, and finally made answer simply by a chuckle.” He advocated keeping the system of low wages and reliance on tips by the workers because “it is an old custom and one to which the colored race are accustomed.” Despite his active role in the 1894 strike, Robert Lincoln claimed to have never heard “widespread criticism” of Pullman’s wage practices. Robert Lincoln “begged to be excused” when asked to explain “the underlying causes of unrest of the workers.” Others did, however, and the descriptions given were horrific.

- The more I learn about Robert (and his wife) the more I dislike him (sugar coated-ly worded). Other than his father who did know the hardships of unprevileged life Robert never had to make a living and earn his Havard career from real hard work by his own hands. It is very easy to chuckle when you live under the conditions he was fortunate to be blessed with.
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01-06-2018, 11:09 AM
Post: #102
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
Pullman was also doing the company town thing, because they believed it was great to force all the workers to conform to the "right" (for people like them) way of doing things. I get the feeling Robert would have liked the plan. He just seemed to lack vision or an appreciation of human independence. I understand he was an attorney representing his clients through much of this, but he just stayed so aloof. I did find some interesting points in my research lately.

1) When Dr. Abbott, a black military surgeon, came to a reception and went for what I guess was the first interracial handshake with the president, Robert left his mother's side and came over to ask Lincoln what he was doing. Lincoln said "Why not?", shook his hand, and Robert walked away. In fairness, he simply may have been terrified that was inviting assassination.

2) Mary did have at least a temporary reconciliation with him. I was about to finish in article in which I mentioned I thought that story was apocryphal, but I found an interview with Senator Cullom who explained the whole thing. Robert was in Springfield with two of his kids (I'm assuming the two oldest) and reports signaled his intention to visit her, but when he got there he apparently wasn't ready to directly approach, as they'd still had no contact. Cullom, with is permission, told Ninian Edwards that Robert and his two kids were in town. Ninian spoke to Mary, who said they all "must" come immediately, and she received them "affectionately."

The article is a shortened and updated version of the long one I did about her final year of life, and I'm trying to make it for a general audience. But I can't finish it because I know I'll get criticized for not giving enough backstory -- there simply is not room to go through the nuances of Mary and Robert's relationship and some of her other relationships.
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01-06-2018, 11:21 AM (This post was last modified: 01-06-2018 11:24 AM by L Verge.)
Post: #103
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
1) When Dr. Abbott, a black military surgeon, came to a reception and went for what I guess was the first interracial handshake with the president, Robert left his mother's side and came over to ask Lincoln what he was doing. Lincoln said "Why not?", shook his hand, and Robert walked away. In fairness, he simply may have been terrified that was inviting assassination.

Kerry - the February issue of the Surratt Courier will have a short article on this (Breaking the Color Barrier...), taken from the White House Historical Association's online histories.

Eva - I agree that I'm not sure that I would like Robert Lincoln, and I really wish I could delve into his wife's "stories" also. Just from the little bit that I have read on her, I have the suspicion that she might have been just as hard to get along with as her mother-in-law was/is accused of being. Spoiled society dame??
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01-06-2018, 11:50 AM
Post: #104
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
It seems impossible to get more of a read on Mary Harlan Lincoln with such a sparse record, but in society when Robert was secretary/minister she was known as very lovely and quiet, as far as I can tell. I feel like a lot of negative motives have been attributed to her where we just don't know. She was away from Robert a lot, but she did have a sick mother and health problems of some sort, and later in life they seemed to be together, so I don't know how much we can read into it. It wouldn't surprise me if she was used to a privileged lifestyle, but I haven't heard any stories of her being a big problem. I also found an article long before Robert's death indicating he planned to be buried separately from his parents and siblings, so that wasn't some shocking move in the way it is portrayed.
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01-06-2018, 12:11 PM (This post was last modified: 01-06-2018 12:48 PM by L Verge.)
Post: #105
RE: Robert Todd Lincoln --The vitals
Do you think that Robert was just better at controlling the press? Or, perhaps the press (and the public) was more respectful to him after all that he had been through? There's just something in his countenance in even the earliest photos that seems angry. I also read many years ago something about him being a Todd and the other boys were Lincolns - referring to temperaments.

I'm sure that many of you have visited the Lincoln-related photos on Pinterest. I went there trying to share photos of Robert Lincoln's two daughters who were evidently not allowed to attend their father's final interment. As usual, my cut and paste skills didn't work.

However, in the process, I also found a photo of a drawing supposedly done of President Lincoln as he lay in state in New York - not the Rietveld photo, but a drawing by someone named Morand, who was allowed in at night. The caption says that this is owned by the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop. I don't ever remember seeing or reading of such a sketch. Hopefully, you'll find it here - along with photos of Lincoln descendants: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/29766047507388855/
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