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He Served in Place of Abraham Lincoln
01-20-2016, 02:18 PM
Post: #31
RE: He Served in Place of Abraham Lincoln
Not Grand High Priest until the 1880s? I wonder was he 'exalted' yet or even a Worshipful Master say in 1864. But about 1886, the 'unexalted' John Summerfield Staples applied for a small pension. Denied. Then, a year later, the (now, fully) Grand High Priest sneered his dismissal of Summerfield --worthless, likely dead anyway. But Summerfield did live another year, dying January 1888. Let's assume that Noble had nothing but charitable thoughts and only the fondest interests in soldiers such as Summerfield. Then, if that was the case, it's odd that Larner didn't know Summerfield was still alive. The timing is interesting. Had the crony actually arranged to have all records of Summerfield's service to be unfindable, just a year or two prior? Old clippings show Larner was indeed interviewed, and made that same preposterous reply, and that later it did get back to Summerfield and his family. Was Noble Danforth Larner a crony of Abraham Lincoln, a useful 'player' in the District of Columbia, and a man to call on for various favors? It may have been pure coincidence that Lincoln somehow had this exalted Master Mason to go fetch him a substitute, and again only happenstance that Larner seemed to profit very handsomely from Lincoln's and later Grant's policies.
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01-20-2016, 02:52 PM (This post was last modified: 01-20-2016 05:07 PM by Gene C.)
Post: #32
RE: He Served in Place of Abraham Lincoln
(01-20-2016 02:18 PM)maharba Wrote:  Had the crony actually arranged to have all records of Summerfield's service to be unfindable, just a year or two prior?

Since you asked the question, what possible purpose could Larner have in denying a poor civil war soldier his pension and having his records "unfindable", and was he in a position to have that done?
Any records on Summerfield's part that he served? He supposedly served on two separate occasions. Army medical records, letters home from the front. Affidavits from people he served with? His uniform?
If they couldn't find them then, maybe you could find them now.

If I had been denied my pension, I'd sure come up with some kind of proof. John Hay was a supposed witness of the event and still alive in 1886. He would certainly remember the event.
"Although not as formal, there was, then as now, a protocol in place for meeting the president of the United States. John Hay briefed father and son, and then escorted them into the small room where Lincoln stood. Hay made the introductions; first the president followed by Provost Marshall Fry and then Larner. A reporter stood by the window; he was not introduced. Lincoln shook hands with Summerfield and asked if he had been sworn. Larner replied that he had, absorbing a glare from Hay. The president reached in his pocket and handed young Staples $60, saying “I hope you will be one of the fortunate ones.” He extended his hand again and Summerfield shook Lincoln’s hand a second time. With that, the president glanced at Hay, and father and son were ushered out of Lincoln’s presence. " (from Monroe County Historical Assoc. - Oct 2014)

What I find a bit puzzling, there appears to be no mention of this important, symbolic act in the Hay & Nicolay, 10 Volume History of Lincoln, and no mention of Summerfield or Larner either.
It's like the whole thing never really happened.


By the way, I seem to have missed your answer to Rogers question in post #28.

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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01-20-2016, 06:18 PM (This post was last modified: 01-20-2016 06:21 PM by Anita.)
Post: #33
RE: He Served in Place of Abraham Lincoln
Maharbra, may I ask what motivated you to join the forum and what is it you want to to learn here? It appears from your posts that your motive is to pontificate about history and put forth conspiracy theories.

Lincoln's intentions in hiring a substitute were honorable and legal. You have cited no references to the contrary. You state Larner was a "crony" of Lincoln or his cabinet members. Where's the proof? That Larner was a Mason has nothing to do with the fact that Staples, with the consent of his father, willingly agreed to serve as Lincoln's substitute. And the fact that official military records can be misplaced or lost doesn't mean it's due to a conspiracy. If you research the enormity of the task involved in Civil War pension application processing (no computers and even with them records are lost!) you wouldn't find it surprising that records could have been lost.

Like Gene, I too am waiting for your response to Roger's post # 28.
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01-20-2016, 07:30 PM
Post: #34
RE: He Served in Place of Abraham Lincoln
And I'm waiting for something concrete about Larner that I can use to find a bio on him! So far, I have found only a one-liner saying that he served as president of a D.C. Sons of the American Revolution chapter from 1901-1903. When was he born? What state did he originate in? What was his profession? What made him useful to Lincoln? Was he really a Freemason? Was he married? Where is he buried?
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01-20-2016, 07:36 PM (This post was last modified: 01-20-2016 07:41 PM by Susan Higginbotham.)
Post: #35
RE: He Served in Place of Abraham Lincoln
This is his entry from Find-A-Grave. I'll look around in the newspaper databases for a more comprehensive biography:

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi...66&df=all&

Here's an obituary from the Evening Star:

http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/s...nge&page=1

(Note the Jell-O ad in the newspaper. Didn't realize how long the stuff had been around!)
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01-20-2016, 08:03 PM
Post: #36
RE: He Served in Place of Abraham Lincoln
(01-20-2016 07:36 PM)Susan Higginbotham Wrote:  This is his entry from Find-A-Grave. I'll look around in the newspaper databases for a more comprehensive biography:

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi...66&df=all&

Here's an obituary from the Evening Star:

http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/s...nge&page=1

(Note the Jell-O ad in the newspaper. Didn't realize how long the stuff had been around!)

That's great, Susan. Thank you so much. The Evening Star was a very well-respected city paper well into the mid-1900s, so I would place great faith in the material that they included in the obituary. Lacking, of course, is any mention of his relationship with President Lincoln and of his securing Staples as a substitute.
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01-20-2016, 09:15 PM
Post: #37
RE: He Served in Place of Abraham Lincoln
I don't know about a 'conspiracy', but I find it interesting that very good researchers Gene and Houmes here found little or nothing at all on the topic in Lincoln materials. The old scrapbook clippings talked about a..club concert at Ford's Theatre after Lincoln got his exemption certificate...in a big gold frame seen from the stage. It gave no date, I would guess the date would be mid October 1864. Wonder where that framed exemption is today? If it turned up at the Antique Roadshow next week, would they know what they had, and what might it be worth?
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01-20-2016, 10:01 PM
Post: #38
RE: He Served in Place of Abraham Lincoln
In December of 1940, the Abraham Lincoln Quarterly published an article which it reprinted from the February 12, 1940 Easton Express newspaper from Pennsylvania. In this article is a pretty detailed explanation of Lincoln's motivation as well as how it came about that Staples's pension application was turned down.

The PDF function on the website only allows you to load ten pages at a time. To get the entire article, you will have to go to the page number drop box and load the next ten pages and then the next ten. There are about 12 pages to the article.

http://quod.lib.umich.edu/a/alajournals/...f&size=100

Also, a man by the name of Bernard J. Cigrand, a dentist known as the father of Flag Day, wrote an article in 1911 which was published into 1912 in various papers around the country on the substitute story. Here is the article as it appeared in the Manchester (Iowa) Democrat on February 7, 1912. It appears that the author of the Easton article got some of the information from Cigrand's 1911-1912 article.

Best
Rob

Abraham Lincoln in the only man, dead or alive, with whom I could have spent five years without one hour of boredom.
--Ida M. Tarbell

I want the respect of intelligent men, but I will choose for myself the intelligent.
--Carl Sandburg
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01-21-2016, 05:13 AM
Post: #39
RE: He Served in Place of Abraham Lincoln
Here's another link on Larner:

http://doc.genealogyvillage.com/noble-da...81-89.html
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01-21-2016, 05:17 AM (This post was last modified: 01-21-2016 05:19 AM by Eva Elisabeth.)
Post: #40
RE: He Served in Place of Abraham Lincoln
Thanks, Susan, Rob and Roger (this is another time the three of you provide info mahabra actually owed to us IMO, so he/she should thank you, too, as you spared him/her the effort).

(Unfortunately I have no idea how that box-dropping works.)
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01-21-2016, 06:45 AM
Post: #41
RE: He Served in Place of Abraham Lincoln
(01-14-2016 06:19 AM)Eva Elisabeth Wrote:  (M., why didn't you post this thread in the "White House Years" section?)

Eva, you are right - I moved the thread.
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01-21-2016, 08:21 AM (This post was last modified: 01-21-2016 08:27 AM by Gene C.)
Post: #42
RE: He Served in Place of Abraham Lincoln
Thanks from me too, Susan, Roger & Rob.
Rob, great article that you linked to. That had just about everything I wanted to know, except for one detail.
It is the same question Roger asked back in post #28.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[Roger wrote to Maharba]

RE: When asked to recall his impression of the young man who served as President Lincoln’s representative recruit, Larner is quoted as saying:

“There lived in our ward the son of a clergyman, who bore the usual reputation given a minister’s son. He was naturally a ne’re do well and it is generally believed he was killed during the Wilderness Campaign.”

"There is no footnote for Larner's quote. And there are no footnotes for the article as a whole. I do not know what is true and what isn't.

Can you give another source for Larner's alleged quote? Thanks."
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Maharba, considering some of the strong negative comments you have shared with us regarding Mr. Larner (post #1 & #20), that is an important detail.
And thank you for the compliment about my research abilities, I wish they were as good as you think they are

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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01-21-2016, 08:45 AM (This post was last modified: 01-21-2016 08:49 AM by Susan Higginbotham.)
Post: #43
RE: He Served in Place of Abraham Lincoln
Since we might otherwise be waiting a long time for that source, here it is: Larner's remarks appeared in the Washington Critic in 1886 and were picked up by various papers. This is from the September 16, 1886, issue of the National Tribune:


https://www.newspapers.com/clip/4092373/noble_larner/

If you can't view the link, it's in the fifth column here:

http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/s...d-1/seq-2/

Read in context, the "ne'er do well" comment appears to refer to Larner's reputation at the time he was recruited. Perhaps at the time he was considered so--he wouldn't be the first young man to shape up in maturity.
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01-21-2016, 09:05 AM
Post: #44
RE: He Served in Place of Abraham Lincoln
A standard teachers' joke when I was in that profession was that preachers' sons and teachers' sons were the worst behaved students...
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01-21-2016, 09:30 AM
Post: #45
RE: He Served in Place of Abraham Lincoln
I will have to ask some of my past teachers what they thought of me, since I am a preacher's son. lol
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