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James F. Epperson

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Apr 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/25/96
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We have occasionally seen mention of a Prof. Dwight Dumond in these
parts. I know his work mostly through the volumes of editorials that he
edited (SOUTHERN EDITORIALS ON SECESSION, NORTHERN EDITORIALS ON
SECESSION), but he apparently was an active and important researcher in
the general area of American slavery. Anyway, he was on the faculty at
the University of Michigan and the alumni magazine recently carried the
following somewhat tragic story about him.

Dumond had a large collection of documents etc., relating to slavery, in
his personal possession. He was especially proud, apparently, of a
collection of rare anti-slavery pamphlets from the 1850's. One day a
student encountered him carrying a load of boxes up to his office in Haven
Hall. The student inquired what Prof. Dumond was doing, and learned that
he was moving this material from his home to his office so it would be
more secure in case of something like a fire or tornado. The box in
question contained the anti-slavery pamphlets.

That weekend an arsonist set fire to Haven Hall and it burned to the
ground. Everything was lost.

Jim Epperson | I would like to see truthful
Department of Mathematical Sciences | history written -- US Grant
University of Alabama in Huntsville +-------------------------------------
eppe...@math.uah.edu URL: http://www.math.uah.edu/~epperson
URL: http://members.aol.com/jfepperson

RStacy2229

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Apr 25, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/25/96
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In article <Pine.SUN.3.91.960424230608.5549A-100000-100000@zonker>, "James
F. Epperson" <eppe...@math.uah.edu> writes:

>Dumond had a large collection of documents etc., relating to slavery, in
>his personal possession. He was especially proud, apparently, of a
>collection of rare anti-slavery pamphlets from the 1850's. One day a
>student encountered him carrying a load of boxes up to his office in
Haven
>Hall. The student inquired what Prof. Dumond was doing, and learned that
>he was moving this material from his home to his office so it would be
>more secure in case of something like a fire or tornado. The box in
>question contained the anti-slavery pamphlets.
>
>That weekend an arsonist set fire to Haven Hall and it burned to the
>ground. Everything was lost.
>
>

OK, so was the arson related to Dumond? Anti-Vietnam protest? What?
Sincerely
RSMcCain

James F. Epperson

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Apr 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/26/96
to

On 25 Apr 1996, RStacy2229 wrote:

> In article <Pine.SUN.3.91.960424230608.5549A-100000-100000@zonker>, "James
> F. Epperson" <eppe...@math.uah.edu> writes:

[Dumond story snipped]


> OK, so was the arson related to Dumond? Anti-Vietnam protest? What?

The fire occurred before the Vietnam protest era began, and I do not
recall the arsonist's motivation. It had nothing to do with Dumond
though; that was kind of the point: tragic coincidence with no real
meaning, other than the priceless loss of material.

Maury

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Apr 26, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/26/96
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~<Pine.SUN.3.91.960424230608.5549A-100000-100000@zonker>,
~eppe...@math.uah.edu wrote:


>We have occasionally seen mention of a Prof. Dwight Dumond in these
>parts. I know his work mostly through the volumes of editorials that he
>edited (SOUTHERN EDITORIALS ON SECESSION, NORTHERN EDITORIALS ON
>SECESSION), but he apparently was an active and important researcher in
>the general area of American slavery. Anyway, he was on the faculty at
>the University of Michigan and the alumni magazine recently carried the
>following somewhat tragic story about him.
>

>Dumond had a large collection of documents etc., relating to slavery, in
>his personal possession. He was especially proud, apparently, of a
>collection of rare anti-slavery pamphlets from the 1850's. One day a
>student encountered him carrying a load of boxes up to his office in Haven
>Hall. The student inquired what Prof. Dumond was doing, and learned that
>he was moving this material from his home to his office so it would be
>more secure in case of something like a fire or tornado. The box in
>question contained the anti-slavery pamphlets.
>
>That weekend an arsonist set fire to Haven Hall and it burned to the
>ground. Everything was lost.
>

>Jim Epperson

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
It's a "Sherman's Bummer".

Do you or do you not think it best that some written materials should
be "burned", or in some other way, "eliminated" from the world?


Maury in Virginia


liz leigh

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Apr 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/27/96
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Perhaps no single ACW character is more respected and even deified than
Abraham Lincoln. Yet Lincoln's eldest son, Robert, was kept out of
harm's way during the entire war. For most of the period he was a
student at Harvard and late in the war served in a safe position on
Grant's staff. His appointment on that staff was at the President's
direct request.

For the record, I'm a great admirer of Lincoln's but this conduct is
iconoclastic and in sharp contrast to that of the ten of thousands of
families that lost sons in the war. Consider, for example, R.E. Lee
whose own son Rooney was both wounded and captured in the fighting.

Just a reality check. Any thoughts?


Phil Leigh Without Thomas Edison we'd all be watching TV by candle
light.

James F. Epperson

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Apr 27, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/27/96
to

Phil and I have discussed this via email a few months back, so my views
should not be new to him.

Robert Lincoln wanted into the war, but was kept out by his parents,
almost surely in order to keep Mary Lincoln's fragile psyche from going
into total overload. They had lost one son in the 1850's, and another in
1862, and she probably would have gone over the edge (it was a short
trip) if Robert had been killed in the war.

I do think it was a mistake for Lincoln to make the arrangement with
Grant that he did, because it does look like favortism. Hell, it is
favortism. But many generals on both sides had their sons as aides, and
I am not prepared to be very judgemental of Lincoln on this. He had to
live with Mary Todd Lincoln and we do not.

The situation with Lee is not as clear-cut different as one might
think. Yes, the two older boys (GWC and Rooney) joined the army as soon
as the war began, but they were older men out on their own at that
point. Lee's youngest son, Robert Jr., was at UVa in Charlottesville,
and General Lee did not permit him to join the army until 1862, when
Confederate conscription began. So the Lee-Lincoln situation is more
alike than one might think. In both cases there was a son in college
whom the parents wanted to stay in college rather than join the army.

But I ain't going to rain on either man's parade for their conduct in
this regard.

Tennessee Reb

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Apr 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/28/96
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On Apr 27, 1996 16:13:06 in article <Father Abraham>, 'liz...@ix.netcom.com

(liz leigh )' wrote:


>For the record, I'm a great admirer of Lincoln's but this conduct is
>iconoclastic and in sharp contrast to that of the ten of thousands of
>families that lost sons in the war. Consider, for example, R.E. Lee
>whose own son Rooney was both wounded and captured in the fighting.
>
>Just a reality check. Any thoughts?

For the record, I am not an admirer if Lincoln. However, in his defense
regarding Robert's military service, I have always assumed that this
situation developed due to Mary Lincoln's desire to keep him safe (in light
of the deaths of the other boys), and Abe's desire to keep his wife from
chewing through her leash.

T. Reb

Maury

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Apr 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/28/96
to

In article <4lth2i$3...@dfw-ixnews2.ix.netcom.com>, liz...@ix.netcom.com
says...

>
>Perhaps no single ACW character is more respected and even deified than
>Abraham Lincoln.


Lincoln isn't even discussed as much as many others here.
Other than that, it was he who started the Civil War by his
"call for 75,000 troops to put down the rebellion", which
pulled FOUR more States into that war, including Virginia.

I do believe Lincoln was smart enough to have known the
feelings of the people in these neutral states who had not
yet sided with the CSA, and therefore the *result* when he
made that call for 75,000 troops.
-- Maury in Virginia

============================================================


t Lincoln's eldest son, Robert, was kept out of
>harm's way during the entire war. For most of the period he was a
>student at Harvard and late in the war served in a safe position on
>Grant's staff. His appointment on that staff was at the President's
>direct request.
>

this conduct is


>iconoclastic and in sharp contrast to that of the ten of thousands of
>families that lost sons in the war. Consider, for example, R.E. Lee
>whose own son Rooney was both wounded and captured in the fighting.
>
>Just a reality check. Any thoughts?

>Phil Leigh


Ted Waltrip

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Apr 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/28/96
to

In <4lth2i$3...@dfw-ixnews2.ix.netcom.com> liz...@ix.netcom.com (liz

leigh ) writes:
>
>Perhaps no single ACW character is more respected and even deified
than
>Abraham Lincoln. Yet Lincoln's eldest son, Robert, was kept out of

>harm's way during the entire war. For most of the period he was a
>student at Harvard and late in the war served in a safe position on
>Grant's staff. His appointment on that staff was at the President's
>direct request.
>
>For the record, I'm a great admirer of Lincoln's but this conduct is

>iconoclastic and in sharp contrast to that of the ten of thousands of
>families that lost sons in the war. Consider, for example, R.E. Lee
>whose own son Rooney was both wounded and captured in the fighting.
>
>Just a reality check. Any thoughts?
>
>
>Phil Leigh

>
> The word you're looking for is "Hypocrite" YTed Waltrip


Maury

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Apr 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/28/96
to

In article <4luhkt$p...@news1.h1.usa.pipeline.com>,
tennes...@usa.pipeline.co says...

>
>On Apr 27, 1996 16:13:06 in article <Father Abraham>, 'liz...@ix.netcom.com
>(liz leigh )' wrote:
>
>
>>For the record, I'm a great admirer of Lincoln's but this conduct is
>>iconoclastic and in sharp contrast to that of the ten of thousands of
>>families that lost sons in the war. Consider, for example, R.E. Lee
>>whose own son Rooney was both wounded and captured in the fighting.
>>
>>Just a reality check. Any thoughts?
>
>For the record, I am not an admirer if Lincoln. However, in his defense
>regarding Robert's military service, I have always assumed that this
>situation developed due to Mary Lincoln's desire to keep him safe (in light
>of the deaths of the other boys), and Abe's desire to keep his wife from
>chewing through her leash.
>
>T. Reb

==========================================

I also feel compelled to defend Lincoln here, although I'll not
refer to him as some sort of Biblical figure such as 'Father Abraham',
since I view him as one who started the American Civil War and kept
POWs of both sides confined in Hell.

However, regarding what is termned "nepotism", it was not uncommon
at that time on either side, nor before that war or even after that
war. It wasn't uncommon during Viet Nam either. -- Maury

Stephen Schmidt

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Apr 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/28/96
to

liz...@ix.netcom.com (liz leigh ) writes:
>Perhaps no single ACW character is more respected and even deified than
>Abraham Lincoln. Yet Lincoln's eldest son, Robert, was kept out of
>harm's way during the entire war. For most of the period he was a
>student at Harvard and late in the war served in a safe position on
>Grant's staff. His appointment on that staff was at the President's
>direct request.
>For the record, I'm a great admirer of Lincoln's but this conduct is
>iconoclastic and in sharp contrast to that of the ten of thousands of
>families that lost sons in the war. Consider, for example, R.E. Lee
>whose own son Rooney was both wounded and captured in the fighting.
>Just a reality check. Any thoughts?

Lincoln was embarrassed about this too; it was done at the
request of, and out of benefit for, Mary Todd Lincoln. In
fairness we might point out that Mrs. Lincoln did lose a
son during the war, though not to combat, and that there was
loss in the Lincoln family even if the war was not the
direct cause of it. Also, while this is not any sort of
justification, Mrs. Lincoln's mental health was not strong
and there was fear that she might collapse if something
happened to Robert, which was at least part of the reason
why it was done.

One might also note that staff duty was not a completely
safe occupation, and that while Robert Lincoln was not in
the same danger that he would have been if he had become,
say, a major in an Illinois regiment, he was exposed to
enough risk of wounding and death to scare any sane man.

Steve
--
Stephen Schmidt Department of Economics
210A Social Sciences Union College
(518) 388-6078 Schenectady NY 12308

James F. Epperson

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Apr 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/28/96
to

I just remembered something relevant to this discussion. Mary Todd
Lincoln did lose a close relative in the war. Her half-brother Benjamin
Hardin Helm was killed at Chickamauga -- of course, Helm was serving in
the Confederate army, which made the loss even more painful for there was
no significant public support for her grief.

Brad Meyer

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Apr 30, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/30/96
to

In message <4lum6e$g...@dot.cstone.net> - Ma...@vbs.com (Maury) writes:
(snip)

>Other than that, it was he who started the Civil War by his
>"call for 75,000 troops to put down the rebellion", which
>pulled FOUR more States into that war, including Virginia.
>
As to if those states were "pulled" or were waiting for an issue so (or to
influence the conventions in the states were they were sitting or to be
called) is, IMO, very much an open question; but surely the civil war was
already well started at that point with the firing on Sumter, if not sooner.
If the poster means to say that Lincolns call was the event that esclated
revolution to civil war I still disagree. That event, IMO, was the seven days
battles.

> I do believe Lincoln was smart enough to have known the
>feelings of the people in these neutral states who had not
>yet sided with the CSA, and therefore the *result* when he
>made that call for 75,000 troops.

With this I agree. Lincoln knew exactly what he was doing -- and what he was
doing was in effect telling the so-called neutral states "My friends, we have
arrived at the time, as we called it back on the farm, when bulls are turned
into steers. With the firing on Ft Sumter comes the resort to force of arms.
There are, and can be, no more neutrals -- so choose your side and 'Root hog
-- or die'." I think at that juncture his most important task was to sort out
the sheep from the goats and he did indeed accomplish that.


Brad Meyer

"It is history that teaches us to hope."

-- R E Lee


liz leigh

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May 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/1/96
to

In <1996Apr28.1...@unvax.union.edu> schm...@unvax.union.edu

(Stephen Schmidt) writes:
>
>liz...@ix.netcom.com (liz leigh ) writes:
>>Perhaps no single ACW character is more respected and even deified than
>>Abraham Lincoln. Yet Lincoln's eldest son, Robert, was kept out of
>>harm's way during the entire war. For most of the period he was a
>>student at Harvard and late in the war served in a safe position on
>>Grant's staff. His appointment on that staff was at the President's
>>direct request.
>>For the record, I'm a great admirer of Lincoln's but this conduct is
>>iconoclastic and in sharp contrast to that of the ten of thousands of
>>families that lost sons in the war. Consider, for example, R.E. Lee
>>whose own son Rooney was both wounded and captured in the fighting.
>>Just a reality check. Any thoughts?
>
>Lincoln was embarrassed about this too; it was done at the
>request of, and out of benefit for, Mary Todd Lincoln. In
>fairness we might point out that Mrs. Lincoln did lose a
>son during the war, though not to combat, and that there was
>loss in the Lincoln family even if the war was not the
>direct cause of it. Also, while this is not any sort of
>justification, Mrs. Lincoln's mental health was not strong
>and there was fear that she might collapse if something
>happened to Robert, which was at least part of the reason
>why it was done.

Others have presented this same defense, but it is just not satisfying.
First, Lincoln was PRESIDENT of the United States in a position of
supreme leadership during a most bitter war perpetuated by his own
election. He cannot escape the responsibility of leadership by example.
Second, no doubt there were countless other families on each side of the
conflict with matriarchs suffering from equal, if not greater, emotional
distress because of the unassociated loss of a small child thru illness
in addition to the loss of a son or more in the actual fighting often
compounded by even greater economic hardship.

>
>One might also note that staff duty was not a completely
>safe occupation, and that while Robert Lincoln was not in
>the same danger that he would have been if he had become,
>say, a major in an Illinois regiment, he was exposed to
>enough risk of wounding and death to scare any sane man.

From my readings, it appears that Robert's staff duty WAS almost
completely safe. He was intentionally kept far from the actual
fighting. For example, one of his apparent duties was to show visiting
dignitaries around the supply depots. He was on such a tour when Gordon
attacked Fort Steadman (sp)?. Finally, I don't believe he even showed
up in that limited capacity until the last few months of the war when
few on Grant's staff were in any real danger.

There's just no denying it. This conduct is nothing that Lincoln or his
admirers (including myself) can be proud of. We all have feet of clay.


>Steve

Phil Leigh

RStacy2229

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May 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/1/96
to

In article <4m02ip$n...@dot.cstone.net>, Ma...@vbs.com (Maury) writes:

>However, regarding what is termned "nepotism", it was not uncommon
>at that time on either side, nor before that war or even after that
>war. It wasn't uncommon during Viet Nam either. -- Maury
>

Nor in any other American war in which conscription/drafts existed. The
draft board, we note, is always a local agency, so that influential
citizens almost always were able to keep their sons out of the war, if
they wanted to. But prior to Vietnam, the influential, realizing that a
war record would help the offspring's political prospects, often pushed to
get the kid into a "glamorous" branch, such as Air Force. Many young and
ambitious Americans actually volunteered for combat duty despite parent's
wishes -- Jack Kennedy being just one example.
But with Vietnam, it was somehow different. How many poor kids in Cape
Girardeaux, MO, were shipped off to die in Vietnam, while Lardass Limbaugh
-- his dad a prominent attorney -- stayed home with (by varying accounts)
a bad knee or some kind of cyst. Ever since I learned about that, I've had
ZERO respect for Limbaugh, Gramm, Gingrich, George Will, Dan Quayle or any
number of other hawkish "conservative" Republicans who managed to avoid
'Nam. "Whited sepulchres," as I was taught in Sunday School.
Sincerely
Robert Stacy "whaddya mean this isn't alt.politics.demo?" McCain
Rome GA

Charles Ten Brink

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May 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/1/96
to

[in response to Steve Schmidt's argument regarding Mary Lincoln's
tenuous emotional state, Phil Leigh wrote]

>Others have presented this same defense, but it is just not satisfying.
>First, Lincoln was PRESIDENT of the United States in a position of
>supreme leadership during a most bitter war perpetuated by his own
>election. He cannot escape the responsibility of leadership by example.
>Second, no doubt there were countless other families on each side of the
>conflict with matriarchs suffering from equal, if not greater, emotional
>distress because of the unassociated loss of a small child thru illness
>in addition to the loss of a son or more in the actual fighting often
>compounded by even greater economic hardship.
>
[Steve Schmidt]

>>One might also note that staff duty was not a completely
>>safe occupation, and that while Robert Lincoln was not in
>>the same danger that he would have been if he had become,
>>say, a major in an Illinois regiment, he was exposed to
>>enough risk of wounding and death to scare any sane man.
>
[Phil Leigh]

>From my readings, it appears that Robert's staff duty WAS almost
>completely safe. He was intentionally kept far from the actual
>fighting. For example, one of his apparent duties was to show visiting
>dignitaries around the supply depots. He was on such a tour when Gordon
>attacked Fort Steadman (sp)?. Finally, I don't believe he even showed
>up in that limited capacity until the last few months of the war when
>few on Grant's staff were in any real danger.
>
>There's just no denying it. This conduct is nothing that Lincoln or his
>admirers (including myself) can be proud of. We all have feet of clay.
>
Abe certainly wasn't perfect, but I think the Lincoln with feet
of clay in this scenario isn't Abraham but Robert Todd. I find
it curious that this is being discussed from both sides as if he
were some kind of cipher with no free will of his own. Abe
may not have been the Lucius Junius Brutus of the Civil War,
but Robert wasn't any Horatius at the bridge himself. It
isn't exactly like Abe engineered some sleazy exception peculiar
to Robert, after all; Robert was excluded from the draft under
exactly the same provisions as the thousands of sons of the
wealthy and powerful that infested the Ivy League during the
War years. And the question of the safety of his staff service
must be read in light of the fact that it wasn't really necessary
for him to volunteer for any service whatsoever; he could have
stayed safely at Harvard Law School for another year or so, where
the greatest risk he would have experienced would have been getting
blisters on his fingers while sculling on the Charles.

Abe's sin was one of omission; he failed to coerce his son into
volunteering for hazardous duty. What would we be saying about
him had he done so?
Yours,
Chuck Ten Brink
--
D'Angelo Law Library < He did not catch babies with a spearhead as
University of Chicago * was the practice of other Vikings; for this
c-ten...@uchicago.edu > reason he was called "child-friend".

Maury

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May 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/1/96
to

In article <4m6d53$k...@dfw-ixnews6.ix.netcom.com>, liz...@ix.netcom.com
says...

>
>In <1996Apr28.1...@unvax.union.edu> schm...@unvax.union.edu
>(Stephen Schmidt) writes:
>>
>>liz...@ix.netcom.com (liz leigh ) writes:
>>>Perhaps no single ACW character is more respected and even deified than
>>>Abraham Lincoln. Yet Lincoln's eldest son, Robert, was kept out of
>>>harm's way during the entire war. For most of the period he was a
>>>student at Harvard and late in the war served in a safe position on
>>>Grant's staff. His appointment on that staff was at the President's
>>>direct request.
>>>For the record, I'm a great admirer of Lincoln's but this conduct is
>>>iconoclastic and in sharp contrast to that of the ten of thousands of
>>>families that lost sons in the war. Consider, for example, R.E. Lee
>>>whose own son Rooney was both wounded and captured in the fighting.
>>>Just a reality check. Any thoughts?
>>
>>Lincoln was embarrassed about this too; it was done at the
>>request of, and out of benefit for, Mary Todd Lincoln. In
>>fairness we might point out that Mrs. Lincoln did lose a
>>son during the war, though not to combat, and that there was
>>loss in the Lincoln family even if the war was not the
>>direct cause of it. Also, while this is not any sort of
>>justification, Mrs. Lincoln's mental health was not strong
>>and there was fear that she might collapse if something
>>happened to Robert, which was at least part of the reason
>>why it was done.
>
>Others have presented this same defense, but it is just not satisfying.
>First, Lincoln was PRESIDENT of the United States in a position of
>supreme leadership during a most bitter war perpetuated by his own
>election. He cannot escape the responsibility of leadership by example.
>Second, no doubt there were countless other families on each side of the
>conflict with matriarchs suffering from equal, if not greater, emotional
>distress because of the unassociated loss of a small child thru illness
>in addition to the loss of a son or more in the actual fighting often
>compounded by even greater economic hardship.
>
>>
>>One might also note that staff duty was not a completely
>>safe occupation, and that while Robert Lincoln was not in
>>the same danger that he would have been if he had become,
>>say, a major in an Illinois regiment, he was exposed to
>>enough risk of wounding and death to scare any sane man.
>
>From my readings, it appears that Robert's staff duty WAS almost
>completely safe. He was intentionally kept far from the actual
>fighting. For example, one of his apparent duties was to show visiting
>dignitaries around the supply depots. He was on such a tour when Gordon
>attacked Fort Steadman (sp)?. Finally, I don't believe he even showed
>up in that limited capacity until the last few months of the war when
>few on Grant's staff were in any real danger.
>
>There's just no denying it. This conduct is nothing that Lincoln or his
>admirers (including myself) can be proud of. We all have feet of clay.
>
>
>>Steve
>
>Phil Leigh
==============================================

It is well that Robert Todd Lincoln was saved from harm because
he later *served* under my kinsman, President Chester A Arthur
who was married to Ellen HERNDON. Now, "Herndon" is a name you
should all be familiar with and love by now. :-)
Yes, they have descendants living today.

_"War or No War"_
aka
"How To Keep Power In The Family"


Mike Miller

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May 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/1/96
to

liz...@ix.netcom.com (liz leigh ) wrote:

>There's just no denying it. This conduct is nothing that Lincoln or his
>admirers (including myself) can be proud of. We all have feet of clay.


I don't see how this can be a topic for serious discussion, since
anybody with $300 could buy a substitute.

Mike Miller


liz leigh

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May 2, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/2/96
to

(Discussion of Abe Lincoln's role in Robert Lincoln's avoidance of military
service until the final months of the war and then only in a safe position on
Grant's staff. Comments by Leigh & Schmidt snipped))

>Abe certainly wasn't perfect, but I think the Lincoln with feet
>of clay in this scenario isn't Abraham but Robert Todd. I find
>it curious that this is being discussed from both sides as if he
>were some kind of cipher with no free will of his own. Abe
>may not have been the Lucius Junius Brutus of the Civil War,
>but Robert wasn't any Horatius at the bridge himself. It
>isn't exactly like Abe engineered some sleazy exception peculiar
>to Robert, after all; Robert was excluded from the draft under
>exactly the same provisions as the thousands of sons of the
>wealthy and powerful that infested the Ivy League during the
>War years. And the question of the safety of his staff service
>must be read in light of the fact that it wasn't really necessary
>for him to volunteer for any service whatsoever; he could have
>stayed safely at Harvard Law School for another year or so, where
>the greatest risk he would have experienced would have been getting
>blisters on his fingers while sculling on the Charles.
>
>Abe's sin was one of omission; he failed to coerce his son into
>volunteering for hazardous duty. What would we be saying about
>him had he done so?
>Yours,
>Chuck Ten Brink

Consider the following points:

1. In an earlier posting that you may have missed on this topic, Jim Epperson
states that Robert WANTED to serve but was discouraged from doing so by his
parents, particularly his mother.

2. While it is true that Robert did get into a uniform during the final months of
the war, he was placed in a safe position on Grant's staff at the direct request
of the President.

3. There can be no doubt that the sons of many of the wealthy and powerful
avoided military service through legal loopholes just like Robert. However, There
is also no doubt that the sons of many other wealthy and powerful families took
the opposite approach and placed their lives in danger. Some, probably many, were
killed. Again, consider the sons of Robert E. Lee. While one did serve in a staff
position in Richmond, the other two were on the front lines. Rooney Lee was both
wounded and captured, I think on separate occasions.

4. Again, Abe Lincoln was PRESIDENT in a supreme leadership position
during a most bitter, sanguinary and lengthy conflict which was
precipitated by his OWN election. Moreover, it was an election in which
he received only a minority of the popular vote. There were something
like 50% more votes 'against' him than 'for' him. In such a situation
the responsibility for leadership by example is genuine.

5. Finally, I continue to admire Lincoln. As a parent myself, I do not
condemn him. In fact I'm somewhat relieved to note that even a 'great'
man will occasionally put personal interests first, because I would be
strongly tempted to protect my own sons in a similar situation.
However, I would feel compelled to yield even greater respect to a
family that proved to be more self sacrificing than my own.


Phil Leigh


Stephen Schmidt

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May 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/3/96
to

cj...@midway.uchicago.edu (Charles Ten Brink) writes:
>Abe certainly wasn't perfect, but I think the Lincoln with feet
>of clay in this scenario isn't Abraham but Robert Todd.

Actually, Robert wanted very much to serve, but respected his
mother's wish that he not do so, until he graduated.

>I find
>it curious that this is being discussed from both sides as if he
>were some kind of cipher with no free will of his own.

In his mother's presence, he didn't have much.

>It isn't exactly like Abe engineered some sleazy exception peculiar
>to Robert, after all; Robert was excluded from the draft under
>exactly the same provisions as the thousands of sons of the
>wealthy and powerful that infested the Ivy League during the
>War years.

Among the famous Americans who were in their twenties during
the Civil War but who did not fight:
Grover Cleveland
John Rockefeller
Philip Armour
Andrew Carnegie
J.P. Morgan

Cleveland bought a substitute. I'm not sure if the others did
as well, or were simply lucky enough not to be drafted.

Stephen Schmidt

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May 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/3/96
to

Chuck Ten Brink sez:
>Abe's sin was one of omission; he failed to coerce his son into
>volunteering for hazardous duty. What would we be saying about
>him had he done so?

With all due respect, I have to disagree. Abe, along with
Congress and with a big hand from Jeff Davis, was in the
process of coercing hundreds of thousands of other people's
sons into volunteering for hazardous duty, or drafting them
if they didn't volunteer. (The CSA was doing the same thing;
had been doing it longer, in fact).
What would we say about Lincoln if he was willing to coerce
every other Northern family, but not his own? Is that, in fact,
what we should be saying? I don't think so, but I agree it
might have been better for national morale if Robert had
taken a line command and shared the same risks that Lincoln
expected other people's sons to take.

moni...@ux1.cso

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May 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/3/96
to

Lincoln may have been more courageous, and have set a better example, than
we give him credit for. As I recall on two or three occassions, most
notably in the defenses of Washington in 1864, he exposed himself to enemy
fire. Not many presidents [commanders in chief], other than Jefferson
Davis, have done that.

Jerry Monigold

In article <1996May3.1...@unvax.union.edu>,
schm...@unvax.union.edu (Stephen Schmidt) wrote:

> Chuck Ten Brink sez:
> >Abe's sin was one of omission; he failed to coerce his son into
> >volunteering for hazardous duty. What would we be saying about
> >him had he done so?

>

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