Wednesday, November 02, 2005

What's in your wallet?

On April 9, 1865 General Robert E. Lee and Major General Ulysses S. Grant met shortly after noon at the home of Wilmer McClean in the village of Appomattox Court House, Virginia. Lee's surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia to Ulysses S. Grant, general-in-chief of all United States forces, hastened the conclusion of the Civil War.

On April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. and died the next morning. When Lincoln was shot he was carrying two pairs of spectacles and a lens polisher, a pocketknife, a watch holder, called a fob, a linen handkerchief, and a brown leather wallet containing a five-dollar Confederate note (yes, a Confederate note and no, no one knows why) and nine newspaper clippings. The newspaper clippings were two articles about ending slavery in Missouri, one about disaffection among Southern soldiers, praise from a British reformer, a newspaper lamenting (three years in advance!) no person as capable as Lincoln to become president in 1868 stating "none impress the people as being so well entitled to the next term of four years as the man who has so faithfully guided the republic through the terrible storms of civil war." Another clipping was a reprinting of a letter from a Confederate conscript to Jefferson Davis and still another was Sherman's orders for his march to the sea. Finally there was an article about what Lincoln, Johnson and the country stood for.

Every now and then an article reviews what was in Lincoln's pockets when he was shot. The Confederate money is a mystery to this day. Articles praising him and Confederate President Jefferson Davies are also interesting. Carrying a clipping of disaffected Southern soldiers might have been a constant reminder of the work needed to heal the nation. Who knows? What is does show is that Lincoln read newspapers and clipped articles that praised him as well as the South. It showed he was following the vote for Emancipation in Missouri carefully and that his mind was on how to turn a defeated and miserable South back into a United States of America. It shows that Lincoln was a thoughtful, complex and aware of opposing views. In fact he sought them out, clipped them from newspapers and carried them with him.

Why the history lesson?

On Tuesday an Argentine reporter asked W to reveal the contents of his pockets during an interview. The president stood up, fished in his pockets, and pulled out his hands holding nothing but a white handkerchief that he waved playfully in the air. "Es todo," Bush said in Spanish meaning that's all. The great emancipator of money to Halliburton added, "No dinero, no mas. No wallet." Since he's proud to proclaim he doesn't read newspapers, carrying clippings was a longshot.

But what W carries, or in this case what he doesn't carry is very revealing. W's pockets are as empty as his policies, the U.S. Treasury and his promise to be a uniter rather a divider. Waving a white handkerchief, the sign of surrender, is fitting for a guy who has surrendered the Republican party and the nation to religious fanatics who pockets are filled with Bibles, guns and federal dollars. That's the solution for them always. More guns and more Jesus. Oh I wish Lincoln were running in 2008. I'd vote Republican.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've got about $41.00, my cell phone, my keys, my Metrocard (used for subways and buses in NYC), some business cards, a pocket-sized calendar and my wallet. My wallet contains photos of people I love, my bank card, my Amex, my health care info, my drivers licence, three ten-cent Euros and a single Yu-Gi-Oh card. I never actually keep money in my wallet.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

This is a great post!

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Lefty,
I am not mad at you at all.
I hope all is well with you and the family. Call me at the number my brother gave you. (I tried you at the office although you were not in)

I have three extra long golf tees, a Callaway HX Tour, a Divix, (see ) 35 cents, and a cell phone that I want to throw through the window because the service sucks so bad.

I wish Lincoln would have had a gutta percha in his pocket.

2:56 PM  
Blogger Capt. Fogg said...

Lincoln would raise your taxes
Lincoln is soft on crime
Lincoln is a far left liberal with no
respect for property rights.
Lincoln never really served in the Blackhawk wars according to Blackhawk
veterans for truth.
Lincoln collaborated with Jane Fonda.

What's in my pocket? A ticket to Tierra del Fuego.

8:28 AM  
Anonymous pagan liberal said...

A brilliant and insightful posting! Thanks!!

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The $5 in Confederate money was given to Lincoln by a slave who was originally going to use the money to buy his freedom. Lincoln kept it as a reminder.

Yes, Republicans freed the slaves.

2:44 PM  

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