Here’s a brief clip from author Tom Wheeler’s site about his book, Mr. Lincoln’s T-Mail . . .
“The Civil War was the first ‘modern war.’ Abraham Lincoln became president of a divided nation during a period of both technological and social revolution.
Among the many modern marvels was the telegraph, which Lincoln used to stay connected to the forces in the field in almost real time. No leader in history had ever possessed such a powerful tool. As a result Lincoln had to learn for himself how to use the power of electronic messages. Without precedent to guide him, Lincoln developed his own model of electronic communications — an approach that echoes today in our use of email.”
Lincoln probably wouldn’t approve of an elaborate tribute and a blog isn’t the platform for elongated entries.
But, it is election day and because I’ve spent my whole life (except for a few months in Indiana) as a resident of the Land of Lincoln, I’d like to share a few thoughts and links with you.
Growing up in Danville, Illinois my home was only a few blocks from Ward Hill Lamon’s office. As a teenager, I volunteered as a Vermilion County Museum tour guide. The museum is housed in William Fithian’s home. Lincoln gave a speech on the balcony in his stocking feet and slept in the bed in the room. Visit the museum the next time you’re in Danville, Illinois.
Learn up more about Lincoln online . . .
One last thing I’d like to share . . .
Here at home, we have a rare copy of Ida M. Tarbell’s The Life of Abraham Lincoln, written in 1895. Our copy is from 1900. “Drawn from original SOURCES and containing many SPEECHES, LETTERS and TELEGRAMS hitherto unpublished, and illustrated with many reproductions from original Paintings, Photographs, et cetera,” says the intro on the faceplate.
The preface to Volume II’s appendix [pages 265-459] states, “The following Letters, Telegrams and Speeches of Abraham Lincoln have been collected by the author in the course of the work of preparing this Life of Lincoln. None of these documents appear in Lincoln’s ‘Complete Works’ edited by Nicolay and Hay or in any other collection of his writings.” The first telegram is dated August 10, 1883; the last is dated April 11, 1865, only 4 days before his passing.
After reading about Wheeler’s take on Lincoln’s telegrams, I’m anxious to page through my over 120-year-old book as a reference for expedient email communication.
If you’re wondering about Ida M. Tarbell . . .
Known for her exposes of corporate America, particularly Standard Oil, along with her Lincoln biographies, Ms. Tarbell was a newspaper and magazine writer
as well as an editor, lecturer, and muckraker.
“Imagination is the only key to the future. Without it none exists – with it all things are possible.” Ida M. Tarbell
Image: Lincoln Memorial by Barbara Rozgonyi from the DC collection