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Lincoln’s Dog: Fido

While living in Illinois, Abraham Lincoln was known as an animal lover who abhored hunting and fishing. (Abraham Lincoln Blog) That was considered a bit unusual, since he was also known as an outdoorsman.

He named his favorite dog Fido.


Today, we consider that as a catch-all name for dogs. In those days, it was considered unusual. Lincoln had named his dog Fido, because Lincoln knew Latin;  it means faithful.

When Lincoln was elected President, he was faced with the decision of taking his beloved dog to Washington. Some say that Lincoln’s wife was very much against taking this undisciplined dog to the White House to ruin the furniture there. In Fido’s very picture, he is shown sitting “on his couch” in the Lincoln house.

Others say that Lincoln did not take Fido with him because he was concerned that the dog would not survive the trip to Washington, and  he was also concerned about the quallity of life that Fido would have there.

So, for whatever reason, Lincoln left Fido with a good family friend in Illinois; with the intention of moving back to Illinois and Fido, when his Presidency had ended. Lincoln stipulated that Fido would continue to be an indoor dog; receive special treats, since Lincoln was also known to feed him treats from the table; and that Fido would also be allowed to sleep on his favorite horsehair sofa brought over from his Lincoln home.

Those conditions were met. In fact, Fido became a nationally known dog, which is part of the reason that people began to name their own dogs by the name of Fido. Lincoln also had photographs of Fido taken, considered very rare at that time. Here’s another from

Fido again

As we know, Lincoln never made it back to Illinois. After Lincoln was assassinated, Fido was brought to the Lincoln home in Illinois, to also greet mourners there.  About a year later, Fido was also “assassinated” in the street when a drunk man stabbed the dog without any real reason.

Today, photographs of Fido are rare and have become highly collectible. A photograph of Fido has even “fetched” upwards of thousands of dollars. Plus, the name of Fido has become as common as the human name of “John Doe”.

DID YOU KNOW that there was once a state named Franklin. Ultimately, it became the state of Tennessee. For some real history reading, here is how it became the state of Tennessee, with additional names along the way that included the Free Republic of Franklin, and the State of Frankland. (Wikipedia history)

And from Amy M. for pic o’ day on a Monday, here’s to looking cool:


Jury Foreman Bully

At the conclusion of the trial, the Judge reads the instructions of law that apply to that case. That is the law of the case that the jury is to use in determining its verdict. Then, the Judge tells the jury that they are to “retire” to the jury room to begin their deliberations.

The first thing that a jury does when that door closes, is to select a foreman. In Virginia, civil cases have 7 jurors and criminal cases have 12 on the jury. In selecting the foreman, the job includes making sure that everyone is part of the deliberation process and then ultimately filling out and signing the verdict form, before it is handed to the Judge. That’s why the Judge then turns to the jury and asks the foreman, “Have you reached a verdict?”. Then, the foreman responds for the record, “we have, your honor”.

All that seems organized and orderly. In a courtroom in Nasheville, Tennessee, it did not work out like that. According to an article in the “Tennessean” (I tried to attach the article but it only allowed one visit) , a U.S. District Judge recently excused a foreman from his duties, and the jury deliberation process.

Judge Aleta Trauger felt that the foreman had been bullying the other jurors and that it had even gone into the realm of abuse. This occurred during the deliberations following four weeks of evidence in a case of drug conspiracy and distribution.

The Judge told the lawyers that she had received five notes from other jurors advising that the deliberations were being effected by the bullying of the foreman. She told the lawyers, “people are feeling abused in the jury room”.

She replaced the foreman with one of the alternates and told them to continue to deliberate. In the play “Twelve Angry Men”, that ultimately was made into a movie; the characters were aggressive with one another in attempting to come to an agreeable finding. Jury “Number 8” becomes an important character as he displays the temperament of seeing all sides to arrive at the truth. If you have never seen it, it is worth finding to watch as one of the old classics. (Entertainment recommendations are just part of the blog excitement!)

For the present day situation in Tennessee, it will be interesting to see whether the final deliberations with the substitution of the alternate will give rise to an appealable issue. When the Judge said that the foreman caused one juror to leave the room in tears, it begs the question whether that jury can ever start over to fairly and impartially deliberate.

For pic o’ day, I figured that it would be appropriate to go with one about shopping… for this time of year:

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