DL Fowler's Blog

Political Theater

A recent news item reminded me of an ominous episode of political theater that took place some 153 years and twelve days ago. Now don’t get me wrong. It’s not my intent in this post to compare or contrast the two occasions, or the people involved. I’ll leave that to you.

By the way, the event I recalled isn’t the one that happened on April 14, 1865. My mind is too complex to travel somewhere that easy.

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Take a close look at Abraham Lincoln’s eyes …

What’s unusual about Abraham Lincoln’s eyes?

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If you think you know, leave a comment below.

Lincoln Scholarship – an evolution

Writing about Lincoln is tricky, in part because today’s author must reconcile three distinct periods of Lincoln scholarship that take different slants on who he was and what he believed.

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Lincoln Trivia Question #19

Posted in Assassination, Lincoln Trivia, Lincoln's Diary, Lincoln's Psychology, Plots, PTSD, Research by DLFowler on April 14, 2011

Yes, I know I’m skipping around. If you’re keeping score this is the third trivia question I’ve posted.  The complete list of 20 is on my website.  Okay, here it is:

Q: What deadly act did Lincoln offer to perform for his cabinet?

A: He offered to hang himself.

A pretty fitting question for the 146th anniversary of his assassination, don’t you think?

Well, there are a variety of explanations, but who knows what was actually going on in Lincoln’s head.  It’s true that he suffered from acute bouts of depression during most of his adult life. It’s also possible he was being melodramatic; it wouldn’t have been the first time.

Something else is worth considering. Have you ever dealt with someone suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? Lincoln probably suffered from that, possibly a variation called Acute Traumatic Stress. He suffered sympthoms common to both disorders, including catalepsy. In those episodes, he would slip into a kind of catatonic state. His law partner William Herndon witnessed more than one such episode.

When PTSD sufferers commit suicide, it’s rarely out of despondency. More often it’s an attempt on their part to take control of a situation that seems out of hand. In that vein, Lincoln might have seriously consided martyring himself to turn public and political opinion in favor of his Reconstruction Plan which was on the cusp of failure. 

Of course that’s something we’ll never know. Not unless he confessed it in a diary that’s not turned up in the last 140+ years.

Just sayin.

Lincoln Trivia Question #1

As I travel the country in coming months, promoting my new book, Lincoln’s Diary – a novel, I’ll be engaging readers with some tidbits about the real Abraham Lincoln. Focusing on some thngs they never told us in school. There will even be prizes for people who invest in some research to answer the trivia questions on my website.

So here’s some help on your research, one of the questions – and the answer:

What was the name of the boy who saved Lincoln from drowning in Knob Creek when he was just 7 years old?

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Lincoln Trivia #20

Posted in Lincoln, Lincoln Trivia, Lincoln's Diary, My Books, PTSD, Research by DLFowler on March 7, 2011

As I travel the country in coming months, promoting my new book, Lincoln’s Diary – a novel, I’ll be engaging readers with some tidbits about the real Abraham Lincoln. Focusing on some thngs they never told us in school. There will even be prizes for people who invest in some research to answer the trivia questions on my website.

So here’s some help on your research, one of the questions – and the answer:

Which former US Presidents did Lincoln most dislike? (Dislike is putting it mildly.)

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Some Lincoln Trivia Fun

Posted in Lincoln, Lincoln Trivia, Lincoln's Diary, My Books, Research by DLFowler on December 31, 2010

While I was researcing LINCOLN’S DIARY – a novel, I came across some intriguing tidbits about Mr. Lincoln. Below are some questions I developed for a trivia contest that I posted on a previous blog.  No contest this time, but see how many you can answer:

  1. What was the name of the boy who saved Lincoln from drowning in Knob Creek when he was just 7 years old?
  2. What was Abraham Lincoln’s official position on US Patent #6469, and what was the patent for?
  3. On January 20, 1841, Lincoln completed an aggressive medical treatment for a severe bout of depression.  What was his doctor’s name?
  4. At what age did Lincoln go hunting for the last time, and what animal did he shoot?
  5. Who read the read the Declaration of
    Independence in public at the Portsmouth, MA town square on July 4, 1860?
  6. First Lady Mary Lincoln celebrated the New Year of 1863 at a seance in the Georgetown home of Cranstoun Laurie.  What was the name (first and last) of the friend who accompanied her?
  7. Even though Mary Lincoln promised a close friend that she wouldn’t leave her husband while he was president, rumor has it that she almost eloped from the White House with another man.  Who was the man she allegedly planned to elope with from the White House?
  8.  Who said the following – “I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me, and causes me to tremble for the safety of our country. Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people, until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the republic is destroyed. “
  9. In March 1837 an acquaintance suggested to Lincoln that he become a lawyer.  What was the name of the person who urged Lincoln to become a lawyer?
  10. On June 8, 1864 Abraham Lincoln broke a 30 year tradition in American presidential politics.  What did he do?
  11. After Lincoln stopped riding the circuit in 1857, Metamora’s first resident lawyer moved to town. He lived in a two story colonial style house about a block from the town square. What was his name?