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Understanding Lincoln and Women

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Jami Beck

on 18 November 2013

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Transcript of Understanding Lincoln and Women

Abraham Lincoln, Mary, Fanny, and Lydia,
By Jami Beck
Understanding Lincoln Course

Abraham Lincoln's Correspondence with Mary, Fanny and Lydia
Abraham Lincoln to Mary Todd Lincoln September 21,1863
Abraham Lincoln to Fanny McCullough
December 23, 1862
Abraham Lincoln to Lydia Bixby
November 21, 1864
Abraham Lincoln to Mrs. Todd Lincoln
September 21, 1863
Abraham Lincoln is writing to his wife who happens to be staying at the Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York. She has been away from the White House (Executive Mansion) for awhile. He writes, "The air is so clear and cool, and apparently healthy, that I would be glad for you to come. Nothing very particular, but I would be glad [to] see you and Tad.”
A. Lincoln

Mary Todd Lincoln
A True Love Story
Abraham Lincoln to Lydia Bixby
November 21, 1864
How many of Mrs. Bixby's sons actually died in the War?
Two sons died in the War,
Oliver and Charles
Sergeant Charles Bixby
was killed on May 3, 1863.
Private Oliver Bixby
was killed on July 30, 1864
George Bixby
had enlisted under a different name and was captured on July 30, 1864. He was imprisoned first at Richmond and then at Salisbury. It is reported that he may have deserted to the South and to have died at Salisbury.
Corporal Henry C. Bixby
was honorable discharged at Boston on December 17, 1864.
Private Edward (Arthur Edward) Bixby
deserted May 28 or 29, 1862

Abraham Lincoln to Fanny McCullough
December 23, 1862
Student Letter to Fanny
2nd Grade students completed a Close Reading on Abraham Lincoln's letter to Mary Francis (Fanny) McCullough. After many classroom discussions, students had to write their own letter to Fanny.
How many of Mrs. Bixby's sons actually died in the war?

Who actually is the author of the Bixby Letter?

Mrs. Lydia Parker Bixby
1801-October 2, 1878
Cromwell Bixby (1803-1854)
Oliver Cromwell Bixby 1828-1864
Private Fifty-eight Massachusetts Infantry
Henry C. Bixby 1830-1871
Corporal Thirty-second Massachusetts Infantry
Charles N. Bixby 1833-1863
Sergeant Twentieth Massachusetts Infantry
George Way Bixby 1836-?
Private Fifty-six Massachusetts Infantry
Arthur Edward Bixby 1843-1909
Private First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery
Author of the Bixby Letter?
This remains a question to be answered.
Some historians believe that John Hay, President Lincoln's private secretry, wrote the letter on behalf of President . The actual letter has not been found. It is said that the Widow Bixby was a Copperhead and that she ripped up the letter after receiving it.
In the movie Saving Private Ryan by Steven Spielberg there is a mention of the Bixby Letter. The letter is read outloud in the movie thus creating a memory that is very extremely difficult to erase.
They truly had a unique relationship. President Lincoln was 10 years older than Mrs.Lincoln. He provided her with a safe haven He was so smart and.she was able to help his self-confidence grow. They truly loved each other.
Mary Francis McCullough
Fanny is 21 years old at the time of her Father's death.
Lieutenant Colonel William McCullough of the 4th Illinois Cavalry died in action on December 5, 1862.
McCullough had served as a clerk of the McLean County Circuit Court before the Civil War and was well known to President Lincoln.
Judge David Davis requests that the President writes to Fanny, because she will not eat, she is depressed and she has islolated herself from people.
Her family and friends are worried about her health.

Lincoln's Own Trials
There were a number of trying times in President Lincoln's life that allowed him to write Fanny's letter with extreme compassion.
Nine months before Fanny's father died, President Lincoln lost his second son, Willie. Sadness was fresh on the Presidents mind, when he wrote to Fanny. The President wrote Fanny's letter two days before Christmas and 2 days after what should of been Willie's 12th Birthday on December 21st. 1862.

William Wallace Lincoln
December 21, 1850-February 20, 1862
Executive Mansion
Washington, Nov. 21, 1864
Dear Madam,
---I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts, that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.
I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the gried of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.
I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the alter of Freedom.
Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
A. Lincoln
Mrs. Bixby
Transcription of Text
The Bixby Letter
Fanny's Father
Lieutenant Colonel William McCullough
Sources Used:

Donald David Herbert Lincoln Simon and Schuster New York 1995
Fleischner, Jennifer, Mrs. Lincoln and Mrs. Keckly, Broadway Books, New York, 2004
Judson, Karen, United States Presidents Abraham Lincoln , Enslow Publishers, Inc.,Springfield, New Jersey 1998
Kunhardt. Peter J.R, Philip B. III, Peter, Lincoln an Illustrated Biography Alfred A. Knopf, New York 1993
Stone, Tanya Lee, Abraham Lincoln A photographic story of a life. DK Publishing ,Inc., New York 2005
Wynalda, Stephen A. 366 Days in Abraham Lincoln’s Presidency Skyhorse Publishing, New York 2010

Saving Private Ryan Released by Dreamworks Paramount Pictures, 1998;directed by Steven Spielberg

Students Give Their Opinion: McCullough vs. Bixby
Students were given a writing prompt that asked them to choose either Abraham Lincoln's letter to Fanny McCullough or Lydia Bixby and give their opinion as to why every second grader should study it.
What the Students Chose
Lydia Bixby Letter: 10 students

Fanny Mc Cullough Letter: 6 students

One student chose her favorite restaurant

Student's Own Words
October 24, 2013
I think all second graders need to know about Fanny McCullough. She lost her father. She is only twenty one years old. I think Fanny McCullough is heart broken. Abraham Lincoln knew Fanny. He used to bounce her on his knee. As you can see Fanny is the letter all second grade need to know about.
Questions Remain
1.Would the students still choose Mrs. Bixby's letter if they knew the truth?
2. Is it wrong to teach partial truths?
3. How do you change memory?

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