Erin Carlson Mast
Foundation President & CEO
October is National Arts & Humanities month! President Lincoln was a student of many subjects that comprise the humanities, including history, philosophy, and religion. He was also a devotee of the arts. The arts and humanities are windows into who we are and whence we came. Knowledge of the humanities helps us frame essential questions about the world around us and to think creatively about our future. I hope you’ll join us for one of our upcoming live humanities programs, listed below.
Last month we held the much-anticipated premiere of the No Malice youth film contest winning films at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. It was an inspiring day of celebrating artists inspired by Lincoln’s example. We also resumed our Four Score Speaker series with a program on U.S. Grant and I was delighted to be asked to lead a program on Lincoln’s Road to the Emancipation Proclamation for our friends at Looking for Lincoln. We’re happy to provide links to recordings of these events for those who missed them, want to share them, or want to relive them. (See YouTube link below)
What we’re reading in October:
Looking forward to our program featuring Illinois State Museum Curator Erika Holst, we’re reading “Hoopskirts and Hospitals Don't Mix,” an article by Dr. Anya Jabour. Dr. Jabour served as a consultant for the PBS series “Mercy Street.” Corsets, Crinolines, and the Civil War: The Politics of Women’s Fashions | Mercy Street (pbs.org)
We’re also re-reading Mrs. Lincoln, a Life, to prepare for our Four Score program later this month with Dr. Catherine Clinton.
What Abraham Lincoln read in October:
This month in 1861, Abraham Lincoln reportedly read, The Rejected Stone: or Insurrection vs. Resurrection in America, by Moncure D. Conway. Conway was an abolitionist minister though he was descended from slave-holding First Families of Virginia and Maryland, including one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence from Maryland. Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner gave Lincoln the book. The Rejected Stone - Google Books
Also this month in 1861, Lincoln read a dispatch announcing the death of his close friend, Colonel Edward D. Baker, namesake for the Lincolns’ son Edward “Eddy” Baker Lincoln, who had died over a decade earlier at the age of three.
Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s step-mother, in honor of National Book Month. When his new stepmother arrived with her three children to the Lincoln homestead in Indiana, she brought with her books, including the Bible, Aesop’s Fables, Pilgrim’s Progress, and Lessons in Elocution. She encouraged Lincoln’s love of reading and learning. Sarah Bush Johnston Lincoln (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov)
We’re raising an apple to Captain James Handley, founder of National Apple Day, now National Apple Month in October. Abraham Lincoln was reportedly a fan of apples and said people should eat foods that agreed with them and that apples agreed with him, so we think he would approve. James Handley was born in Rhode Island and spent much of his early years around apple orchards. He later studied botany but became involved in the press and publicity side of the fruit trade. In later years he settled in Quincy, Illinois where he helped organize the Mississippi Valley Apple Growers Association. The association was created “for the purpose of observing more closely the causes of failures in the production of fruit” and providing education and awareness on the subject.
Thank you for your support
Interested in renewing your membership or becoming a supporter for the first time?