Monday, April 22, 2013

Movie Review: History's Mysteries: The Untold Stories: Mr. Lincoln

This movie takes as it foundation the manuscripts of William Herndon.  Herndon had been Lincoln's law partner for many.  These documents had been in the Library of Congress for many years.  It has been looked at again, and delivers a view of Lincoln as a many withe  flaws.  Some of the interesting aspects:  Lincoln used a Bible quote, which lost him the election for the Senate to Douglas, bad created him popularity nationally, "A nation divided against itself cannot stand."
But before we get to this point, Lincoln had gone through a troublesome youth.  He had a strained relationship with his father, as his father thought Lincoln was lazy.  Lincoln was intelligent, and knew he had propensity for learning.  He could be cocky, but would take the edge off by being self deprecating.  However he was required in his father's house to do physical labor all day, and then give his earnings to his father.  As a young man, he traveled to New Orleans, these formed his opinion of slavery.  After this experience he moved to Illinois, New Salem.  There he fell in love with Anne Rutledge, and they were engaged.  However she died from Typhoid, sending Lincoln into a suicidal depression.  He shortly after moved to Springfield to pursue the law at which he was successful, but continued to have issues with love.  Mary Todd pursued him.  She had also courted Stephen Douglas.  They eventually became engaged.  However a young woman turned his eye, and he felt he was not worthy of her.  However, they did marry, with a notice of only a day.  The husband wife relationship continued to have some areas of strain.  She grew up in a household with slaves; now she relied on hired help who could quit.  This was a strain for her.  Lincoln would often travel on the court circuit.  This left Mary Todd feeling vulnerable.  Even so, Mary Todd had glowing praise for her husband as husband and father.  His philosophy of parenting was based on love, not coercion.  As a politician, he started as a humble, simplistic politician.  From there he moved to ridicule and sarcasm  of his Democratic opponents. He then became a positive politician, building his career on the abolishment of slavery.  Lincoln lost and was out of politics for five years.  However after the Kansas Nebraska Act, which allowed the advancement of slavery, he came back into politics.  When he didn't get the vote in the Whig Convention, he suggested the party drop him, and he helped created the Republican Party.  He was nominated for the Senate by the Republicans in 1858.  His keynote speech included the house divided statement.  The country could not continue half slave and half free.  He lost to Stephen Douglas.  But this speech, and the Lincoln-Douglas debates promoted him to prominence.  He was nominated for president at the Republican Convention in 1860.  He won the election, and early on their were threats of assassination.  He had to sneak into Washington.  There were lots of petty things which took place.  Lincoln had issues with Mary Todd.  She is given a budget to remodel the White House.  She goes over budget, and Lincoln pays the over run from his salary.  Lincoln's son, William, dies during thh his period, and both he and Mary Todd take this loss hard.  However Lincoln did establish the emancipation proclamation.  He would not back off of his principles, despite the political cost. 

No comments:

Post a Comment