Happy Birthday, Honest Abe!

Happy Birthday, Honest Abe!

Today, February 12, is the birthday of our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln.  Honeybee Vintage is based in Alton, Illinois, and here in Illinois we *all* seem to love to lay claim to connections to this great man of humble beginnings.  We have a signed letter of Abraham Lincoln in our town's library, and statues of Lincoln and Douglas in their famous debate on the former site of the courthouse where it took place.

So, today I thought I'd share this quote from another local favorite, Mark Twain, who is known for his wit and writing, and who captained a riverboat that travelled up and down the mighty Mississippi River, which we enjoy viewing from the shop.  So, let's hear from Mark Twain on the subject of Abraham Lincoln:

It was no accident that planted Lincoln on a Kentucky farm, half way between the lakes and the Gulf. The association there had substance in it. Lincoln belonged just where he was put. If the Union was to be saved, it had to be a man of such an origin that should save it. No wintry New England Brahmin could have done it, or any torrid cotton planter, regarding the distant Yankee as a species of obnoxious foreigner. It needed a man of the border, where civil war meant the grapple of brother and brother and disunion a raw and gaping wound. It needed one who knew slavery not from books only, but as a living thing, knew the good that was mixed with its evil, and knew the evil not merely as it affected the negroes, but in its hardly less baneful influence upon the poor whites. It needed one who knew how human all the parties to the quarrel were, how much alike they were at bottom, who saw them all reflected in himself, and felt their dissensions like the tearing apart of his own soul. When the war came Georgia sent an army in gray and Massachusetts an army in blue, but Kentucky raised armies for both sides. And this man, sprung from Southern poor whites, born on a Kentucky farm and transplanted to an Illinois village, this man, in whose heart knowledge and charity had left no room for malice, was marked by Providence as the one to "bind up the Nation's wounds." 
- quoted in New York Times, January 13, 1907

If interested in reading more from either Lincoln or Twain, you may be interested in these little gift books:

Abraham Lincoln book

Mark Twain book

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