TWAIN-L Archives

Mark Twain Forum


Options: Use Forum View

Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Show All Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Hal Bush <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 29 Jan 2015 08:46:49 -0600
text/plain (145 lines)
 Thanks for that, Larry.  Yes, I think there is a great deal of evidence,
since it was used over and over in the campaign coverage, in speeches and
newspapers.  And in the political cartoons he is often, for example,
depicted on a raft, or with an axe;  or as a very tall and gangly and
homely man, etc.  There are many, many memoirs to corroborate, later of
course; but the evidence suggests to me that this was all part of the
"Lincoln legend."

I agree that modern coverage is much different tin terms of amount and
immediacy.  But these were the years leading up to Civil War and believe
me, folks were paying attention, north and south; and knew about this
outback giant called Lincoln, and were talking about him.  I may be
overstating it but I rather think the raft trips and rail splitting were
common knowledge, more or less. Just my 2 cents, -hb

ps to Larry: I hope you come to Hannibal this summer, with instrument in
hand; you and I and John Bird can try a few songs out....

On Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 7:59 AM, Lawrence Howe <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hal--=0A=
> =0A=
> You may be right that "pretty much everyone knew about Lincoln's raft
> trips=
> ," but all of the examples you list are presidents whose campaigns were in
> =
> the era of modern media saturation.  Campaigns in the nineteenth century
> do=
> n't really compare with those we experience now.  And even given that, I'm
> =
> not sure "everyone knows" that Reagan was a football announcer; it's true
> t=
> hat he was, but I suspect that people are more familiar with his early
> care=
> er as a radio broadcaster recreating Cubs games from ticker-tape accounts.
> =
> =0A=
> =0A=
> Is there evidence of how common the knowledge of AL's raft trips was?  =0A=
> =0A=
> Best, =0A=
> =0A=
> --LH =0A=
> Larry Howe=0A=
> Professor of English=0A=
> Chair, Department of Literature and Languages=0A=
> Roosevelt University=0A=
> =0A=
> Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Studies, Syddansk
> Universitet--Od=
> ense, 2014-15=0A=
> ________________________________________=0A=
> From: Mark Twain Forum <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Hal Bush
> <bushhk@SLU=
> .EDU>=0A=
> Sent: Thursday, January 29, 2015 7:31 AM=0A=
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Connection between Twain and Lincoln=0A=
> =0A=
> I think I should clarify something about this topic.  Pretty much everyone=
> =0A=
> knew about Lincoln's raft trips -- as they knew about him as a "rail=0A=
> splitter," or they knew that he grew up in southern Indiana, or lost
> his=0A=
> mother Nancy Hanks, etc.  Just like everyone reading this knows that
> Reagan=
> =0A=
> was a football announcer on the radio and went to Hollywood to star in=0A=
> movies; or that Clinton grew up in rural Ark. with a single Mom, that
> he=0A=
> "did not inhale," and that he shook the hand of Jack Kennedy; or that=0A=
> Barack Obama had a white mother and and a Kenyan father, spent time in=0A=
> Indonesia and Hawaii, and that he was a grassroots organizer in
> Chicago;=0A=
> etc., etc.  It was not necessary to read a book as a source for any of=0A=
> these details; they are just sort of in the water of presidential=0A=
> campaigns.=0A=
> =0A=
> Twain would NOT have needed to "read a book" to know that AL took raft=0A=
> trips down the Mighty Mississippi.=0A=
> =0A=
> On Wed, Jan 28, 2015 at 10:40 PM, Arianne <[log in to unmask]> wrote:=0A=
> =0A=
> > Thanks Barbara.  I really appreciate your knowledgeable tips!=0A=
> > Chances are Mark Twain read Howell's work, for sure, and Lincoln's raft=
> =0A=
> > trip might have been mentionied in it, too.  I'll check your archive
> link=
> .=0A=
> > THANKS=0A=
> > Arianne Laidlaw=0A=
> >=0A=
> > On Wed, Jan 28, 2015 at 3:13 PM, Barbara Schmidt <[log in to unmask]>=
> =0A=
> > wrote:=0A=
> >=0A=
> > > I don't think the fact that William Dean Howells wrote an 1860
> campaign=
> =0A=
> > > biography _Life of Abraham Lincoln_ should be overlooked.  This book
> is=
> =0A=
> > not=0A=
> > > listed in Gribben's _Mark Twain's Library: A Reconstruction_.  However=
> =0A=
> > in a=0A=
> > > letter dated 5 Aug. 1876, Howells reminded Clemens: "You know I wrote
> t=
> he=0A=
> > > Life of Lincoln which elected him."  The text of Howell's book is also=
> =0A=
> > > available online at
> > >=0A=
> > > Barb=0A=
> > >=0A=
> >=0A=
> >=0A=
> >=0A=
> > --=0A=
> > Arianne Laidlaw A '58=0A=
> >=0A=
> =0A=
> =0A=
> =0A=
> --=0A=
> Prof. Harold K. Bush=0A=
> Professor of English=0A=
> 3800 Lindell=0A=
> Saint Louis University=0A=
> St. Louis, MO  63108=0A=
> 314-977-3616 (w); 314-771-6795 (h)=0A=
> <>=0A=

Prof. Harold K. Bush
Professor of English
3800 Lindell
Saint Louis University
St. Louis, MO  63108
314-977-3616 (w); 314-771-6795 (h)