This is what we do for the joy of the King,
For His peaceable Kingdom,
For a world in despair.
And this is why we bring any hope we can give,
Any bread from the table,
Any touch of His hand.
This is what we do.
This is where we go.
This is why we sing.
This is how we live.
This is who we are.

Friday, March 7, 2008

For the Love of Abe

I'm re-reading the wonderful Pulitzer Prize-winning Civil War trilogy by the late Bruce Catton. Amazing books.  Part of the fascination I've always had about the Civil War I attribute to my grandmother....or at least to her home decorating.  She had a portrait of Abraham Lincoln that she proudly displayed in her back hallway--which led to the bathroom.  Every time I used the facilities at her house as a boy, I passed by old Abraham.

Our 16th president was such a bigger-than-life kind of person.  If there was ever a human being who lived according to some divinely established destiny--in spite of heartbreaking personal tragedies--I believe it was Abraham Lincoln.

This picture is one of the early Brady
 portraits--before the beard!
I love this portrait of Lincoln and his youngest son Tad.   Lincoln's firstborn son, Robert, is the only one of his four sons who lived to adulthood.  
Lincoln's second son was Eddie; he died at age 4 from pulmonary tuberculosis (1846-1850).

Lincoln's third son, William, died at the White House at age 11, on February 20, 1862 (less than a year after the beginning of the Civil War.) He apparently drank contaminated water and developed typhoid fever. His death caused an inconsolable grief in Lincoln's wife, Mary Todd Lincoln.  She never really recovered from this great loss.  To lose not one but two children before they reached puberty would be catastrophic for any parent.

Tad died at age 18, also from tuberculosis.

This is one of the famous portraits of Lincoln as president

This portrait was the inspiration for the five-dollar bill

Lincoln inspecting the troops during the War
About 20 years ago, my cousin gave my dad a commemorative belt buckle (which he in turn gave to me.)  The buckle was presumably made from large cannons of the Army of the Confederacy.  It was supposedly commissioned by Mary Todd Lincoln and distributed to all members of the U.S. Congress on the occasion of Lincoln's funeral. I've tried to find out about its authenticity, but no one seems to know anything about it.  I did find one like it on E-Bay, but it wasn't considered particularly valuable.  

Seems to me it ought to be worth a fortune!  Oh well. 

In the pictures below you can see the two views, front and back. 

Valuable or not, I will always treasure it.

1 comment:

Diane Davis said...

love this post! i should read more about honest abe... i had no idea he lost three children. even looking backwards, i feel for him and his wife.