"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
The centennial of Lincoln's birth marked the largest commemoration of any person in American history. The Lincoln penny was minted, the first coin bearing the image of an American president, and talks took place in Washington about a grand Lincoln monument to be erected in the nation's capital. All across the country, and in many nations around the world, America's 16th president was extolled. An editorial in the London Times declared, "Together with Washington, Lincoln occupies a pinnacle to which no third person is likely to attain." The commander of the Brazilian Navy ordered a 21-gun salute "in homage to the memory of that noble martyr of moral and of neighborly love." The former states of the Confederacy, which less than 50 years earlier had rejoiced at Lincoln's death, now paid tribute to the leader who had reunified the nation. W. C. Calland, a state official in Missouri-which, during the Civil War, had been a border state that contributed 40,000 troops to the Confederate cause-barely contained his astonishment in a memorandum reporting on the festivities: "Perhaps no event could have gathered around it so much of patriotic sentiment in the South as the birthday of Abraham Lincoln....Confederate veterans held public services and gave public expression to the sentiment, that had 'Lincoln lived' the days of reconstruction might have been softened and the era of good feeling ushered in earlier." (1)
In a ceremony at Hodgenville, Kentucky, at the old Lincoln 110-acre farmstead, President Theodore Roosevelt laid a three feet square cornerstone for a granite and marble neo-classic memorial building to enshrine a symbolic replica of the log cabin at the site in which Lincoln was born.
Seven thousand people showed up for the dedication. When Roosevelt began his speech he hopped onto a chair and was greeted by cheers. "As the years [roll] by," he said in his crisp, excitable voice, "...this whole Nation will grow to feel a peculiar sense of pride in the mightiest of the mighty men who mastered the mighty days; the lover of his country and of all mankind; the man whose blood was shed for the union of his people and for the freedom of a race: Abraham Lincoln." The ceremony in Kentucky heralded the possibility of national reconciliation and racial justice proceeding hand in hand. (1)
It was long known that Roosevelt greatly admired Lincoln. “Lincoln, he said, led the formation of a new Republican party when the old Whig party ceased to 'help the people'; Roosevelt followed in his footsteps. Lincoln hated slavery and fought against it all of his life; Roosevelt hated and fought the idea that 'it is one man's duty to toil and work and earn bread and the right of another man to eat it'.” (2) He also said about Lincoln, “Lincoln was the first who showed how a strong people might have a strong government, and yet remain the freest on the earth.” Roosevelt saw Lincoln as honest and reforming and was often guided by Lincoln's philosophy, wisdom and politics.
The cornerstone remained suspended in the air in the grasp of a big derrick and immediately after the speeches was lowered into its place at the signal from the President, who applied the first trowelful of mortar to hold it into place. Concealed in the stone laid a metallic box containing copies of the Constitution of the United States and some other important historic documents. After that, Isaac Montgomery, a former slave of Jefferson Davis, deposited into this box a copy of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, referring to himself as,”...one of the former millions of slaves to whom Lincoln gave freedom.”
The memorial building was completed in 1911 under the administration of President Taft and has 56 steps leading up to the building, representing his age at the time of his death.