Recently, I have seen messages on Facebook that are being passed around by Trump supporters, that basically say that never before has a President been so attacked by people and the liberal media. Then, they issue their “unbiased” request to “leave him alone and give him a chance“.
This isn’t a blog about whether to agree or disagree with how our President is being treated. Instead, I thought that a look back to Lincoln and the coverage of his Gettysburg Address speech might give you a smile.
First, just like many witnesses in car crashes, there was a difference of opinion about that day of November 19, 1863. Some memories in history:
One spectator noted that the weather was “bright and clear.” The Washington Chronicle reported rain showers.
Crowd estimates hearing the speech have ranged from 15,000 people crowding the town for the event. Others have recounted that there were over 100,000 people there.
Some went to their deaths insisting that Lincoln took a tour of the battlefield in the early morning hours on dedication day. Others swore that he stayed inside the Wills House until it was time to mount up for the procession to the ceremony (source)
Next is how the speech was reviewed by newspapers:
The Chicago Times reviewed the speech ,”The cheek of every American must tinge with shame as he reads the silly flat and dishwatery utterances of the man who has to be pointed out to intelligent foreigners as the President of the United States”. This was the same newspaper that had described Lincoln by asking, “Is Lincoln less refined than a savage?”.
On November 23, 1863, they continued their assault on Lincoln and his speech with descriptions of “ignorant rudeness,” “boorishness” and “vulgarity“, because they claimed that he included “political partisanship”..
The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania newspaper known as The Patriot and Union, reviewed the speech and the President by saying that he, “acted without sense and without constraint in a panorama that was gotten up more for the benefit of his party than for the glory of the nation and the honor of the dead.” How about that meanness? 150 years later, they retracted their bad review of Lincoln’s speech. (Here at Time.com)
The London Times described the ceremony as “rendered ludicrous by some of the luckless sallies of that poor President Lincoln”. They were already known as a regular critic of Lincoln and his Presidency.
I could keep inserting more critical reviews of the speech, but I will end with one from his hometown paper. On November 24, 1863, The Illinois State Register gave this scathing review, “Nothing could have been more inappropriate than to have invited the prince of jokers, Old Abe, to be present at the consecration of the Gettysburg Cemetery,” the Register wrote on Nov. 24, 1863.
“But having been invited, it was hoped by his apologists that he would at least refrain from his clownish jokes about standing over the new-made graves of thousands who had been slain in the recent battle“.
History records that Lincoln faced harsh criticism. And the worst was yet to come.
So when I see people angered by the way that Trump is being criticized today, it fits in with seeing through personal opinion. That’s expected. I don’t understand why they think that Trump is facing a liberal media like never before.
One thing for certain, it didn’t impact Lincoln’s Sense of humor. He had some great quotes. “If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?”. And he described tact as “the ability to describe others as they see themselves”. And finally, “If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.”
See…some history and opinion.
I hope you have a great weekend. These are the good days!
And for our pic o’ day, sometimes I feel like this. Right?