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Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - Printable Version

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RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - Rogerm - 05-09-2016 03:11 AM

My parents lived in Johnstown from 1972 until early 1975. Fortunately for them, the last great flood in that city did not take place until 1978.


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - L Verge - 05-09-2016 11:14 AM

My family had one of the old hand-held stereopticons (?sp) and lots of the photocards. Quite a few of them were of the Johnstown Flood; some being literally stacks of wood, logs, debris, interspersed with human bodies. The museum in Johnstown shows so much tragedy that it makes you want to build your house in the Sahara! David McCullough wrote a great book on the subject.


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - RJNorton - 05-09-2016 02:54 PM

Who is this lady?

[Image: sittinglady.jpg]



RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - Gene C - 05-09-2016 05:17 PM

Mary Mercer Thompson Ord, wife of General Edward Ord.
She had a rather unpleasant incident with Mary Lincoln.


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - RJNorton - 05-10-2016 04:52 AM

Brilliant, Gene! That is correct.

Adam Badeau, a member of Ulysses S. Grant's staff, wrote about the incident. It occurred during an excursion at the time of the Lincolns' City Point visit in 1865.

"She (Mrs. Ord) was mounted, and as the ambulance was full, she remained on her horse and rode for a while by the side of the President, and thus preceded Mrs. Lincoln.

As soon as Mrs. Lincoln discovered this her rage was beyond all bounds. "What does the woman mean," she exclaimed, "by riding by the side of the President? And ahead of me? Does she suppose that he wants her by the side of him?"

She was in a frenzy of excitement, and language and action both became more extravagant every moment.

Mrs. Grant again endeavored to pacify her, but then Mrs. Lincoln got angry with Mrs. Grant; and all that Porter and I could do was to see that nothing worse than words, occurred. We feared she might jump out of the vehicle and shout to the cavalcade.

Once she said to Mrs. Grant in her transports: "I suppose you think you'll get to the White House yourself, don't you?" Mrs. Grant was very calm and dignified, and merely replied that she was quite satisfied with her present position; it was far greater than she had ever expected to attain. But Mrs. Lincoln exclaimed; "Oh! you had better take it if you can get it. 'Tis very nice." Then she reverted to Mrs. Ord, while Mrs. Grant defended her friend at the risk of arousing greater vehemence.

When there was a halt, Major Seward, a nephew of the Secretary of State, and an officer of General Ord's staff, rode up, and tried to say something jocular. "The President's horse is very gallant, Mrs. Lincoln," he remarked; "he insists on riding by the side of Mrs. Ord." This of course added fuel to the flame. "What do you mean by that, sir?" she cried.

Seward discovered that he had made a huge mistake, and his horse at once developed a peculiarity that compelled him to ride behind, to get out of the way of the storm.

Finally the party arrived at its destination and Mrs. Ord came up to the ambulance. Then Mrs. Lincoln positively insulted her, called her vile names in the presence of a crowd of officers, and asked what she meant by following up the President. The poor woman burst into tears and inquired what she had done, but Mrs. Lincoln refused to be appeased, and stormed till she was tired. Mrs. Grant still tried to stand by her friend, and everybody was shocked and horrified. But all things come to an end, and after a while we returned to City Point."



RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - Dawn E Foster - 05-12-2016 12:54 AM

(05-09-2016 11:14 AM)L Verge Wrote:  My family had one of the old hand-held stereopticons (?sp) and lots of the photocards. Quite a few of them were of the Johnstown Flood; some being literally stacks of wood, logs, debris, interspersed with human bodies. The museum in Johnstown shows so much tragedy that it makes you want to build your house in the Sahara! David McCullough wrote a great book on the subject.

Yes, I loved David McCullough's book!


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - Thomas Kearney - 05-24-2016 06:39 PM

(05-06-2016 01:16 PM)Anita Wrote:  Sorry to keep you waiting. All interesting guesses. Thomas, I'm sorry you were scared on an Incline as a baby. You had good instincts for they can be dangerous.

Roger, yes the location is Cincinnati and Eva it is someone who died in connection with that cable car.

Hint: This gentleman was a Judge who is also connected to A Lincoln.

Cried like a baby is an expression. I was in high school when I rode the incline!


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - Anita - 05-25-2016 10:59 PM

(05-24-2016 06:39 PM)Thomas Kearney Wrote:  
(05-06-2016 01:16 PM)Anita Wrote:  Sorry to keep you waiting. All interesting guesses. Thomas, I'm sorry you were scared on an Incline as a baby. You had good instincts for they can be dangerous.

Roger, yes the location is Cincinnati and Eva it is someone who died in connection with that cable car.

Hint: This gentleman was a Judge who is also connected to A Lincoln.

Cried like a baby is an expression. I was in high school when I rode the incline!
Got it Thomas. You cried like a baby and you were a teenager!


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - Gene C - 05-26-2016 08:00 AM

Which reminds me of a song, sniff

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNdBLBleO90


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - J. Beckert - 05-26-2016 09:02 PM

(05-09-2016 02:54 PM)RJNorton Wrote:  Who is this lady?

[Image: sittinglady.jpg]

The table in the background is one of the surrender tables from the McClean house. Ord gave the entire contents of his wallet for it. $40.


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - RJNorton - 05-29-2016 01:26 PM

In 1864 Mary Lincoln visited a soldier who was in the hospital. She visited him twice, and brought him flowers the first time and wrote to his mother the second time (while she was sitting next to him). She did not tell the soldier who she was, and he only found out after he recovered and was back home and saw the letter his mother had received.

What was the name of this soldier?


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - Gene C - 05-29-2016 03:58 PM

(05-29-2016 01:26 PM)RJNorton Wrote:  She did not tell the soldier who she was, and he only found out after he recovered and was back home and saw the letter his mother had received.

As much as we know about Mary Lincoln's shortcomings, this shows another side to Mary that we rarely hear about. Visiting wounded soldiers is not something we hear many first ladies did without their husbands alongside.


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - L Verge - 05-29-2016 07:27 PM

(05-29-2016 01:26 PM)RJNorton Wrote:  In 1864 Mary Lincoln visited a soldier who was in the hospital. She visited him twice, and brought him flowers the first time and wrote to his mother the second time (while she was sitting next to him). She did not tell the soldier who she was, and he only found out after he recovered and was back home and saw the letter his mother had received.

What was the name of this soldier?

I don't know the soldier's exact name, but the Turners wrote that the letter was addressed to a "Mrs. Agen."

Interesting site: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/transcript/lincolns-transcript/4/

The Lincolns began visiting army hospitals together. They brought bunches of flowers and delicacies from the White House kitchen. And they tried not to show their emotions at the terrible sights they saw all around them.

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Historian: Mary would sit with the soldiers; she would talk to them and give them great comfort and take great comfort herself from being with others who were experiencing the pain of the war.

Linda Levitt Turner, Biographer: She was able to stand up against the worst conditions, the smells, the sounds, the groans, and get through it somehow, when, if a door slammed or if a book fell at home, she would jump five feet.

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Historian: It took a certain strength to be willing to put herself through that. It must have reminded her of those last moments with Willy.

Narrator: When the President had other duties, Mary often made her visits alone. She read aloud to the men, served as a waitress, donated $300 worth of lemons and oranges to combat scurvy. Sometimes wounded soldiers asked her to write letters home.

Voice of Mary Lincoln, (Holly Hunter): "I am sitting by the side of your soldier boy. He has been quite sick, but is getting well. He tells me to say that he is all right. With respect for the mother of the young soldier, Mrs. A. Lincoln"

Narrator: Grateful patients named a hospital for her, but Mary kept her visits to the wounded out of the press.


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - Eva Elisabeth - 05-29-2016 09:57 PM

James H. Agen.

A reporter of the Chicago Times Herald interviewed James H. Agen in June 1897. When asked for more detail about the letter, Mr. Agen told the following:

"Let me tell you a story before answering your double question: In 1864, while following Grant near Richmond, and when we had come so close to it that they could hear our muskets, and we their church bells, I was stricken with a fever and sent to hospital. In time they landed me, more dead than alive, in one of the great hospitals at Washington. I was a very sick boy. Boy is right, for that was all I was — sweet 16, as a girl of that age would be. For three weeks I had no ambition to live. One day, after I had passed the danger point, and was taking a little notice of what was going on, a number of ladies came through the hospital. They had baskets containing delicacies and bouquets of beautiful flowers. One of them stopped at each cot as they passed along. A bunch of blossoms was handed to each sick or wounded soldier, and if he desired it a delicacy of some kind was also distributed. Every now and then one of the women sat in a camp chair and wrote a letter for the poor fellow who hadn't the strength to write himself. I wanted nothing to eat or drink, but those pretty posies held my attention. One of the ladies stopped at my cot. I hadn't yet got my full growth, and in my then emaciated, pale condition I must have looked like a child. She seemed surprised as she looked at me.

'You poor child, what brought you here?'
'They sent me here from the Army of the Potomac'
'But you are not a soldier?'
'Yes, madam. I belong to a New York regiment. The surgeon here has the record.'
'Can I do anything for you? Can you eat something or take a swallow of wine?'
'I'm not hungry or thirsty.'
'Can I write a letter for you?'
'Not to-day. I'm too weak.'
'Then I will leave some of these flowers with you. President Lincoln helped to cull them. I will come again in two or three days. Keep up your courage. You are going to get well. You must get well.'

She was the first woman who had spoken to me since I had reached the army. Looking at the sweet flowers which Mr. Lincoln had 'helped to cull,' and thinking of the dear woman who had spoken so kindly and hopefully had more effect in brightening my spirits than all else that had occurred in the hospital.

Three days later the same lady came again, and direct to my cot. 'How is my little soldier boy to-day?' she asked in a way so motherly that it reminded me of my good mother back in New York, the patriot mother who had given her consent to my going to the war after praying over the matter many times. The hospital angel — that was what we learned to call those noble women — after giving me a taste of chicken and jelly, asked me if I had a mother. She saw by the tears in my eyes that I had. 'Now we will write mother a letter.' Then she sat by my side and wrote the letter. I hadn't been able to write for a month. 'I have told your mother that I am near her soldier boy and have talked with him. What shall I tell her for you? That you are still too weak to write yourself?' 'Please don't tell her that. It will make her worry.Tell her I am fast getting well.'

The first day I got home my mother asked me how I liked Mrs. Lincoln, the President's wife. 'I never met Mrs. Lincoln. What made you think I had?' Then she took from a box closely guarded in an old bureau a letter. It read like this:

'Dear Mrs. Agen : I am sitting by the side of your soldier boy. He has been quite sick, but is getting well. He tells me to say to you that he is all right. With respect for the mother of the young soldier.

Mrs. Abraham Lincoln.'

That was the first that I knew that it was the President's wife who had made me those two visits. I begged my mother to give me the letter. 'You can have it when I am gone.' When she died, a box and an old letter folded in a silk handkerchief were among her gifts to me. The box, kerchief and letter will pass along the Agen line as mementos too sacred for everyday display."


RE: Mary Lincoln Extra Credit Questions - RJNorton - 05-30-2016 04:52 AM

Brilliant, Laurie and Eva! I was thinking no one would find the answer. I found this story on p. 179 of Mary Todd Lincoln: Her Life and Letters by Justin G. Turner and Linda Levitt Turner. I did not know about the wonderful additional information both of you included. Thank you both!

Laurie, you win best wishes that the rain stops, and Eva, you win best wishes for a beautiful, mild day in Kiel.