New Lincoln Letter: Who Cares

Lletter Can someone please explain to me why the emergence of this new Lincoln document is so important.  This morning it even showed up as a news item on AOL News.  The letter tells us nothing new and I assume that this isn’t the first Lincoln letter uncovered in recent years.  I would love to know how this story took off and spread so quickly.  Listening to both Brian Williams of NBC and Katie Couric of CBS mention Lincoln, Gettysburg, and Robert E. Lee sounded so surreal to me and I can’t quite explain why. 

3 comments… add one
  • Bruce Miller Jun 8, 2007 @ 12:10

    And when these stories went out, it must have been at least a couple of hours since there was anything new on Paris Hilton…

  • Clio Bluestocking Jun 8, 2007 @ 11:34

    But…but…it’s Lincoln!!1!11!!

    Seriously, what has me curious about this story is how the document was “lost” and then “found.” Was it just misfiled? If scholars have know this letter existed (as the Washington Post reported) then why is it considered new? How did the archivist who found it know that is was “new”? And, again, why the big deal? Is this a publicity stunt to get funding for something?

  • Brooks Simpson Jun 8, 2007 @ 11:17

    The document is interesting primarily as artifact, as Halleck passed the message along to Meade, and it’s in that form that people know about it (and have for some time). The National Archives did an excellent job of manipulating thre media to get maximum exposure. Then again, we had the same issue several months back when various archivists discovered letters from Lincoln seeming to sanction the ratification of the original 13th Amendment protecting slavery. The letters were simply cover letters of transmission, but some people made a big thing of this.

    You would think that with all the books on Lincoln that someone would read them. 🙂

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