Tag: abraham lincoln
On the creation of new states, the Constitution is pretty clear. Article IV, Section 3, reads that “no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State … without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.”
It appears that someone forgot to tell West Virginia about this. In 1863, the Mountain State carved itself out of the northwestern corner of the Commonwealth of Virginia, raising the question: Is West Virginia unconstitutional?
Breaking up is never easy, especially when a Civil War is under way. While the Virginia government in Richmond seceded from the Union in the spring of 1861, up in the town of Wheeling, delegates from the northwestern part of the state got together to counter-secede. These delegates said the government in Richmond had no right to leave the Union, and as such they now constituted the state of Virginia. Thankfully, to keep things from getting too complicated, they agreed to call themselves New Virginia, or more fancifully, “The Restored Government of Virginia” (Kanawha was another name under consideration).
By 1862, through some questionable electoral processes, the “Restored Government of Virginia” had written up a new Constitution and applied for statehood. After a few edits—Lincoln insisted they insert a provision gradually abolishing slavery—West Virginia was granted statehood in 1863. The 10th … [ Read all ]
Posted by Rob Crotty on November 8, 2010, under - Civil War, - Constitution.
Tags: abraham lincoln, american history, civil war, discovering the civil war, fun facts, NARA, national archives, National archives and records administration, national archives blog, odd history, Pieces of History, prologue blog, Prologue magazine, random history, strange facts, things you didnt know about civil war, us history, weird but true, weird history
Have you looked at your money lately? Among the nickels and quarters and dimes, only the copper penny has a bearded profile.
But although Lincoln’s facial hair eventually became an iconic part of his image, he originally ran for President as a clean-shaven candidate.
Why grow the beard? The answer may lie in a letter written to Lincoln on October 15, 1860, exactly 150 years ago
Eleven-year-old Grace Bedell of Westfield, NY, wrote a letter to Abraham Lincoln, then a Presidential candidate, suggesting he should grow a beard. “You would look a great deal better for your face is so thin,” she wrote, noting that “all the ladies like whiskers.”
Lincoln wrote back, wondering ”As to the whiskers, having never worn any, do you not think people would call it a piece of silly affection if I were to begin it now?” But a month later, Lincoln was sporting a full beard as he campaigned.
What do you think? Does the beard make you want to vote for him?… [ Read all ]
There are few artist in America who so greatly affected the popular landscape as Thomas Nast who was born 170 years ago today. Jolly old St Nick? Not so jolly before the Harper’s Weekly cartoonist plumped him up. The Grand Old Party elephant? Popularized in 1874 by the staunch Republican when talk of a third term by Ulysses S. Grant threatened to sink the Republican Party. The Democratic donkey? Originally introduced as a jackass kicking over a great lion in 1870 and meant to symbolize the Democrats and their harsh treatment of the “great lion” Edwin M. Stanton.
The son of a German trombonist, Nast may seem an odd character to have a dramatic sway over U.S. politics, but the man had influence in spades. Being the most popular illustrator at a time when 20 percent of American adults were illiterate made Nast’s pen a powerful weapon.
Abraham Lincoln called the cartoonist “our best recruiting sergeant.” The Great Emancipator’s 1864 reelection campaign was significantly boosted by a single drawing done by Nast implying that Lincoln’s loss would mean a lost war for the Union. Ulysses S. Grant attributed his 1868 reelection campaign to Nast. Nast’s cartoons were so influential (and accurate) that when Boss Tweed—the scammer politician of Tammany Hall fame—fled prison, he was picked up in Spain after a border agent identified the crook from one … [ Read all ]
Posted by Rob Crotty on September 27, 2010, under Uncategorized.
Tags: abraham lincoln, american history, cartoons, NARA, national archives, National archives and records administration, odd history, Pieces of History, political cartoons, prologue blog, Prologue magazine, random history, thomas nast, weird US history
Last week we asked our readers to share photos that match up with some old images we have in our library. We got two responses that really show just how much things have changed in Washington, DC. See our then and now photos, and share your own on our Facebook page!
Posted by Rob Crotty on August 6, 2010, under Uncategorized.
Tags: abraham lincoln, black and white DC, district of Columbia, fords theatre then and now, lincoln memorial construction, old and new photos, old washington dc photos, Washington DC
With his goatee and mustache, photographer Mathew Brady himself is an excellent addition to Facial Hair Fridays. In fact, he is the reason we have so many follicle follies to celebrate.
There are 6,066 photographs by Brady and his associates in the National Archives collections. Many of the images we’ve looked at and been inspired by come from Record Group 111, Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. The negatives for these images were purchased for $2,840 by the War Department in 1874, when Brady’s fortunes had taken a turn for the worse, and he could not pay the bill to store them.
But before and during the Civil War, Brady was a successful and well-known photographer with several studios.
He also changed the way Americans viewed war. Although there are no action shots (the subjects had to be still, making it a process for the patient), the photographs of the battlefields, both before and after, and the wounded being operated on and recovering outside and in hospitals, made Americans see war as they never had before.
He and his associates in his studios photographed many famous civilians, including Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Walt Whitman, and Clara Barton. There are also photographs of groups of officers, looking dapper … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on June 18, 2010, under - Civil War, Facial Hair Fridays.
Tags: abraham lincoln, civil war, Civil War photography, Clara Barton, Facial Hair Fridays, Jefferson Davis, Mathew Brady, Record Group 111, walt whitman