Hello Portugal! I’ve always wanted to visit Portugal. It looks pretty awesome.
No, the city of Cleveland, Ohio is not named after Grover Cleveland. It was founded before President Cleveland was born by a veteran of the Revolutionary War whose name was actually spelled “Cleaveland”. Somewhere along the way, the city planners screwed up and start spelling the name of the city incorrectly because…well, because it’s Cleveland and unfortunate things just tend to happen there.
As for the second part of the question, there are many cities and towns, counties, rivers, lakes, and mountains named for Presidents. Four that stand out besides the national capital of Washington, D.C. (and the State of Washington) would be the four state capitals named for Presidents: Lincoln, Nebraska; Jefferson City, Missouri; Madison, Wisconsin; and, Jackson, Mississippi.
However, the film adaptation of the book is not good, to say the least. Sam Waterston (a real-life Lincoln history buff) isn’t terrible as Abraham Lincoln, but if you see Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln and then go back and watch Waterston in the same role, it’s just not fair.
I can’t think of any others off the top of my head, but I’m sure there are a few other stinkers that my brain worked hard to forget about.
NO! I’ve been waiting for a theater within 40 miles of me to actually show Lincoln, but that hasn’t happened and I haven’t wanted to drive to St. Louis just to see it. I think I’m finally going to go to see it tonight, though. I’m dying to catch the movie. If I don’t go tonight, I’ll go tomorrow, but I’ll be sure to let you guys know what I think.
I thought it was awesome. I’ll be giving it a full review sometime soon in AND Magazine, but you’re right about a lack of biographies on Seward, especially in-depth biographies of the magnitude of Walter Stahr’s Seward: Lincoln’s Indispensable Man (BOOK•KINDLE).
The title is no exaggeration, either. Seward was an extremely important figure in American history in the 19th century because Lincoln truly did count on his counsel and rely on his diplomatic skills to keep foreign countries from undermining the war effort by recognizing the Confederate government. Without Seward in the State Department and Edwin Stanton as Secretary of War, Lincoln would have had a far more difficult time with the non-military affairs of his day-to-day government. Stahr also tells Seward’s story prior to the Civil War. Because of his role in Lincoln’s Cabinet, Seward’s earlier life and career tend to be overshadowed, but Seward had played a big role in American life for three decades prior to the war and had come very close to winning the Republican nomination for President in 1856 and 1860.
With his victory in 1860, Lincoln was the first successful Republican candidate for President. John C. Frémont was the first Presidential candidate nominated by the Republicans, but he lost the 1856 election to James Buchanan.
Prior to becoming a Republican, Lincoln was a Whig and that’s the party he was a member of during his one term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Lincoln’s ties to the Whig Party included major loyalty to Henry Clay and Zachary Taylor. In fact, two of Lincoln’s most well-received speeches prior to becoming a major national figure were eulogies to those two Whig leaders — a eulogy for President Taylor in Chicago two weeks after Taylor died in office, and a eulogy for Clay in Springfield, Illinois.
Yes, quite a few people — and people who you wouldn’t think of as crazy have claimed to have witnessed Lincoln’s ghost. Actually, I think it was Churchill who said he saw the ghost while getting out of the bathtub (and, of course, had a great quote about it). I wrote a Random Fact of the Day about Lincoln’s ghost for Halloween a couple of years back, so I’m going to copy and paste:
“About ten days ago, I retired late. I soon began to dream. There seemed to be a death-like stillness about me. Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs. There the silence was broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible. I went from room to room; no living person was in sight, but the same mournful sounds of distress met me as I passed along.
It was light in all the rooms; every object was familiar to me, but where were all the people who were grieving as if their hearts would break? I was puzzled and alarmed. What could be the meaning of all this? Determined to find the cause of a state of things so mysterious and so shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the East Room, which I entered. Before me was a catafalque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng of people, some gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully.
‘Who is dead in the White House?’, I demanded of one of the soldiers.
‘The President’, was his answer. ‘He was killed by an assassin.’
Then came a loud burst of grief from the crowd, which awoke me from my dream. I slept no more that night; and although it was only a dream, I have been strangely annoyed by it ever since.”
Abraham Lincoln’s spooky recollection of this dream to his friend and personal bodyguard Ward Hill Lamon took place somewhere in the two weeks prior to his death on April 15, 1865. Lincoln, of course, was killed by an assassin and his body “wrapped in funeral vestments” rested on a catafalque in the East Room of the White House, surrounded by grief-stricken mourners and soldiers.
Since Lincoln’s assassination, many people have claimed to see Abraham Lincoln’s ghost in the White House. Of course, any ghost stories should be accepted only with caution, but the people who claimed to have seen the apparition might surprise you: Theodore Roosevelt, Grace Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Queen Wilhelmina of The Netherlands, Harry Truman, Margaret Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Jacqueline Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, as well as many White House employees, valets, ushers, and a few Press Secretaries.
Those who have experienced Lincoln’s ghost have mentioned that Lincoln either walks back-and-forth in second-floor hallways, knocks on doors and windows, or stares out of a window pensively with his hands clasped behind his back. One of Benjamin Harrison’s bodyguards searched the White House almost every night because he frequently heard footsteps. Worried about protecting President Harrison but weary from his fruitless search, the bodyguard held a séance to attempt to contact Lincoln and ask him to stop haunting him. Winston Churchill claimed to have seen Lincoln’s ghost as he was staying in the White House. Churchill had just gotten out of the bath and was naked except for his cigar and glass of scotch when he encountered Lincoln’s apparition. Churchill claimed he told the ghost, “Good evening, Mr. President. You seem to have me at a disadvantage.”
Many of the Lincoln sightings occur in-or-near the Lincoln Bedroom. Contrary to popular belief, Abraham Lincoln never slept in the Lincoln Bedroom. During his Presidency, the Lincoln Bedroom was actually President Lincoln’s Cabinet Room. It is where Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.
March 4, 1865
All dreaded it
All sought to avert it
Both parties deprecated war
One would make war
Rather than let the nation survive
One would accept war
Rather than let it perish
And the war came
Neither party anticipated
That the cause of the conflict might cease
With or even before
The conflict itself should cease
Both read the same Bible
Pray to the same God
His aid against the other
It may seem strange
That any men should dare to ask
A just God’s assistance
In wringing their bread from the sweat
Of other men’s faces
Let us judge not
That we be not judged
Woe unto the world because of offenses!
For it must needs be that offenses come
Woe to that man by whom the offense cometh
American slavery is one of the offenses
Which must needs come
Fondly do we hope
Fervently do we pray
That this mighty scourge of war
May speedily pass away
If two hundred fifty years of unrequited toil
Shall be sunk
Until every drop of blood drawn with the lash
Shall be paid
By another drawn with the sword
It must be said:
The judgments are true and righteous
With malice toward none
With charity for all
With firmness in the right
As God gives us to see the right
Let us strive
Finish the work we are in
Let us strive
Bind up the nation’s wounds
Let us strive
Care for him who born the battle
For his widow
For his orphan
Let us strive to do all
Let us strive to achieve
Let us cherish
A just and lasting peace
Among ourselves and with all nations.
While practicing law, Abraham Lincoln, like many lawyers, would “ride the circuit” and travel with the Eighth Circuit Court to different counties around Illinois in order to hold legal proceedings and settle disputes in rural areas lacking a permanent judicial presence. It was a relatively informal process that took place over a few weeks about twice a year, but Lincoln absolutely loved riding the circuit.
From time-to-time, the chief Judge David Davis, who Lincoln would later appoint to the United States Supreme Court, would be unable to preside over the court. When that happened, Lincoln would often be sworn in as a Judge and hold court in Davis’ absence. Though it is rarely noted in his biographies, Abraham Lincoln actually presided over more than 300 legal cases as a substitute Judge on the Eighth Circuit Court of Illinois.