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Lincoln ambrotype donated to museum
09-27-2023, 06:17 PM (This post was last modified: 09-27-2023 06:21 PM by David Lockmiller.)
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RE: Lincoln ambrotype donated to museum
(09-27-2023 12:01 PM)Steve Wrote:  This photo has an intriguing, if gross, backstory:

Another way of looking at the same story: First, some bad news; then, some good news:

Lincoln's celebrity was on the upswing when he arrived on Sept. 30, 1858, in Pittsfield, about 110 miles (177 kilometers) northwest of St. Louis. He had completed four of his seven headline-grabbing debates with Douglas, whose view that the introduction of slavery into new territories should be up to local voters had drawn Lincoln, a former one-term congressman, back into politics.

Following his two-hour Pittsfield speech on Oct. 1, local lawyer Daniel Gilmer, who had opened his home to Lincoln for lunch that day, persuaded the candidate to sit for the ambrotype at the gallery of Calvin Jackson.

Despite Lincoln's heroic welcome, tragedy had struck the town a day earlier. About the time Lincoln reached the home of his overnight host, supporters Robert Scanland, a longtime Lincoln friend, and Lame, a furniture storekeeper, were preparing an unloaded cannon, which in keeping with political tradition would be fired during the rally, according to a 1968 article by historian LeRoy H. Fischer.

On a second test, Lame was ramming the powder charge when sparks from Scanland's torch inadvertently ignited it and the cannon fired, severely burning Lame's face and sending the ramrod through his arm before it penetrated a tree a block away.

Carried to his home, a physician decided not to amputate Lame's viciously lacerated arm, a risky decision in an era predating antibiotics. Infection rapidly set in, Lame's temperature rose and he lay on the cusp of death.

So dire was his condition that when Lincoln tried to see him after the rally, Lame's wife turned him away on doctor's orders, at which point Lincoln promised that a copy of his photo would be delivered.

Lame had a rally in store, however. Horseflies entering the open, unscreened window of Lame's room swarmed the wound and laid eggs. Although no one understood at the time, maggots feasted on the decaying flesh and with it, the infection. Lame would live nearly four more decades, dying at age 76 in 1897.

Added note: It's a good photograph of Lincoln without a beard. He has a look of determination about him.

"So very difficult a matter is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history." -- Plutarch
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RE: Lincoln ambrotype donated to museum - David Lockmiller - 09-27-2023 06:17 PM

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