The Honest Truth about Honest Abe

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Elise Collins writes, The Abraham Lincoln: Self- Made in America exhibit will be at the Four Mile Historic Park until November 11th.

The Abraham Lincoln: Self- Made in America exhibit will be at the Four Mile Historic Park until November 11th. The Abraham Lincoln exhibit is about the life and times of our 16th President. The exhibit was created to celebrate “the 200th anniversary of the birth of America’s greatest President by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum located in Springfield Illinois”. The Four Mile Historic Park is one of the 40 places where the exhibit is travelling over the next two years. The Four Mile Historic Park got the exhibit, because “there are many great ties with the life of Lincoln as a self-made man,” says Barb Gibson, Executive Director of Four Mile Historic Park. For example the first owner of the Four Mile House, “Mr. Booth (not related to John Wilkes Booth- the man who assassinated Lincoln) was a self-made man.” As well as the second owner of the Four Mile House, “Mary Cawker was a self made woman. She was a prominent business woman of her time.” said Barb Gibson. But why would you want to learn about Abe Lincoln? Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky 200 years ago. His mother died when he was young. Young Abe taught himself to read. As he grew older, he split fences and worked on a ferry boat. During his travels up and down river, he saw the cruelty of slavery for the very first time. Afterwards he became a good lawyer. He was a very truthful lawyer and that earned him the nickname “Honest Abe”. He ran for a Senate seat in Illinois against Senator Stephen Douglas. This began the great series of seven debates called the Lincoln-Douglass debates. Although Lincoln lost the senate seat, the debates gave him attention that would help when he ran for president two years later. He won that election, and soon after, the southern states began seceding from the United States, declaring that they were no longer a part of the USA. Although he tried to keep the peace, the Civil War broke out in 1861. The war lasted for four years, until 1865. During that time Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address (one of the most famous speeches in history) and he signed the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring that all Confederate slaves were free. Soon after the Civil War ended, Lincoln was killed in Ford’s Theatre by John Wilkes Booth (a famous actor of the time). Abraham Lincoln died on April 14th, 1865. The exhibit is made up of seven displays talking about: his childhood, his roles in his family (son, father, husband), his going into politics and law, before he became president, freeing the slaves and the Civil War, during the war, his death. In the displays there were realistic looking replicas of actual Lincoln artifacts! On the backs of the displays, it often asked “what if” questions that made you really wonder and question how history might have changed. There were three additional boards along with the exhibit, telling about how the Four Mile House was connected with the time period. On the other side of the room there are tables showing items that the women, soldiers, and slaves of the time period would have used. The Abraham Lincoln: Self-Made in America exhibit is very interesting, and I strongly encourage you to go check it out (for more information on Lincoln go to the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum website). There are a few fun events along with the exhibit. There are two presentations: · Tuesday, November 3, 2009: Dr. Linda Mizell “Proclaiming Freedom: African Americans and the Lincoln Legacy”· Thursday, November 5, 2009: Dr. Susan Schulten “Lincoln and Civil Liberties in Wartime”On Saturday November 7, 2009 from 10 am to 4 pm, there is a living history day called “Hardtack & Hardships: Military Life on the Colorado Frontier.” They will set up camp and show the day-to-day lives of soldiers in the west. For more information, please email info@fourmilepark.org or call 720-865-0815

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