Lincoln Discussion Symposium
Who is THIS man?! - Printable Version

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RE: Who is THIS man?! - RJNorton - 03-12-2019 08:55 AM

Abraham Lincoln used this man as an example. What is his name?

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RE: Who is THIS man?! - Steve - 03-12-2019 01:08 PM

Tightrope walker Charles Blondin, Lincoln imagined he was in a similar position juggling all the issues related to the war and politics.

RE: Who is THIS man?! - RJNorton - 03-12-2019 04:32 PM

Right, Steve! Kudos! I really thought I'd have to give a lot of clues on this one.

The story comes from Francis B. Carpenter's book (pp.257-258). Carpenter writes that Lincoln had some visitors who were doubting his administration's policies, and Lincoln replied:

"Gentlemen, suppose all the property you were worth was in gold, and you had put it in the hands of Blondin to carry across the Niagara River on a rope, would you shake the cable, or keep shouting out to him—“Blondin, stand up a little straighter—Blondin, stoop a little more—go a little faster—lean a little more to the north—lean a little more to the south?” No, you would hold your breath as well as your tongue, and keep your hands off until he was safe over. The Government are carrying an immense weight. Untold treasures are in their hands. They are doing the very best they can. Don’t badger them. Keep silence, and we’ll get you safe across."

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For information on Blondin please go here:

RE: Who is THIS man?! - STS Lincolnite - 03-12-2019 05:41 PM

There are a number of political cartoons from the Civil War era that compare Lincoln and Blondin. Here is one.

RE: Who is THIS man?! - Eva Elisabeth - 03-12-2019 07:40 PM

That was a neat question, Roger - occupation "tightrope walker", pretty unique.