Dear Trusty Book Club Friends,
Hoping you are doing well and ready to "Spring forward!" This weeks forecast in our nation's capital is calling for temps in the 70's...I am guessing that our very own Fergy will be adorning his more casual summer wardrobe! :) I so wish I were there to observe-soon!! In the interim, I have completed reading "Lincoln On The Verge, Thirteen Days To Washington," by Ted Widmer, and the following are my thoughts:
**Lincoln's thirteen day, 1,900 mile train journey from Springfield, Illinois, to Washington, D.C. making 12 stops in Indiana, 28 stops in Ohio, 6 stops in New Jersey, 20 stops in New York, and 10 stops in Pennsylvania was a historical masterpiece of an adventure. Abraham Lincoln went further than any president had gone before in addressing the American people. It always seemed as if he was having direct conversations with voters, with newspapers, and with the telegraph. Lincoln experienced many ups and downs during his journey which at times was compounded by his bouts of melancholy. However, Lincoln was triumphant!
**Cincinnati, Ohio: I personally found it to be fun the way author Ted Widner described Lincoln's stop in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati known as the "Queen City" as well as "Porkopolis" because of its pork industry which would lead to the rise of Proctor & Gamble in the 1840's. Having grown up in Ohio, as a child, I traveled to Cincinnati a time or two. And as a college student studying in Indiana, we found ourselves in Cincinnati a "time or two" visiting our friends at Xavier University.
**At each of Lincoln's train stops, Widner's readers are introduced to future presidents or historical figures who were either in attendance to see Lincoln, or who could have very well been in the audience-Benjamin Harris in Indianapolis, Rutherford B. Hayes in Cincinnati, James Garfield in Columbus, Frederick Douglas in Rochester, John D. Rockefeller in Cleveland, Andrew Carnegie in Pittsburgh, Grover Cleveland in Buffalo, Chester Arthur, and John Wilkes Booth in Albany, in town for a performance.
**February 21, 1861, toward the end of Lincoln's thirteen day journey, Frederick W. Seward delivered a letter from his father, Senator William Seward that discussed a plot to assassinate Lincoln in Baltimore. The Philadelphia railroad company's detectives supported this intelligence. On Friday, February 22, 1861, Lincoln departed Philadelphia with Allen Pinkerton by his side for Washington, D.C. by way of Baltimore. Telegraph lines out of the city were cut to prevent word of the trip from spreading south.
**Even in death, Abraham Lincoln united his people. By Tuesday, April 18, 1865, just four days after his assassination a hundred thousand people had arrived to Washington, D.C. to pay their respects. It more than doubled the city's population.
**While the focus is on Lincoln's travels, author Ted Widner interweaves so many small details relevant to Abraham Lincoln's life. Widner's writing style is that of a storyteller. "Lincoln On The Verge, Thirteen Days To Washington," is as interesting as it is informative.
Now, this brings me to the book that we are now beginning to read-"The Women With Silver Wings," The Inspiring True Story Of The Women Airforce Service Pilots Of World War II," written by Katherine Sharp Landdeck. I hear from Christine, that our very own Marion Marques is on board to read this wonderful book club selection! And, that's a very good thing!!
See you all soon!