Tag Archives: abraham lincoln

Vinnie Reams:A Beautiful American Teen Sculptress

Vinnie Reams could serve as a role model for young women of today.She had everything that a girl dreams of.The Victorian teen had an exquisite appearance,marvelous talent,& a quick witted intellect. The charming beauty was only 18 when she was selected by the U.S. Congress to sculpt the Lincoln memorial becoming the first woman to receive a commission to do so.She truly deserved to be regarded as a “child prodigy.”

This was a female artist that should be revered by many. Her story is truly inspirational & riveting.Yet,Vinnie Reams is largely unknown.Most folks do not know much about the beautiful American teen sculptress who  created the statue of Lincoln that now stands in the U.S. Capitol.

Here’s more from Suite101.com:

Vinnie Ream was a colorful character – not exactly the loveable type, but not truly detestable either. She was somewhat of a cross between Donald Trump (with much better hair) and Sarah Palin (without the perpetual victimhood). In other words, she knew the scent of a great business opportunity when she smelled one, was relentless enough to go after it until she got what she wanted, and wasn’t above batting her eyelashes to sway public opinion.

With the dexterity of a born politician, Lavinia Ellen Ream – Vinnie to her friends – integrated herself into Washington, D.C.’s political society, a feat relatively unheard of for a woman without the benefit of a prominent husband. Her friendships with powerful men were enviable across gender lines, and she never failed to use them to further her own agenda. These connections catapulted Vinnie to artistic fame, and her statues stand tall in the rotunda of the capitol building and in Farragut Square, Washington, D.C.

Vinnie Ream: An American Sculptor recounts the life of the 19th-century artist as she lobbied for the Congressional commission to sculpt a memorial of Abraham Lincoln after his death. Having convinced the president to sit for her by playing up her humble beginnings, Vinnie created the most honest likeness to date of the statesman.

Over the course of a few sessions, the sculptor managed to capture Lincoln’s relentless pensiveness, the dour expression, the elongated face, and the famous quiet brooding. But earning the commission meant going up against long-held attitudes about the ability of a woman to do a “man’s job,” so Vinnie used what she had and embedded her artistic skills in feminine charm.

In a relatively short time, she acquired the support of President Andrew Johnson, General Ulysses S. Grant, Admiral David Farragut, senators Thaddeus Stevens (Pennsylvania) and James S. Rollins (Missouri), and Representative Daniel Voorhees (Indiana).

Not surprisingly, the social scene at her studio, which multitudes of politicians regularly visited, became insatiable fodder for the media. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported, “Her studio is crammed with every conceivable thing…including two Confederate generals and a lady…. People are coming and going all the time, a thousand interruptions; how is it possible for her to work?”

Despite the churning rumor mills, these influential men would go on to play a remarkable role in helping Vinnie establish her place in history.

All this attention invited tabloid-style critiques, particularly in the form of attacks on her character. Vinnie suffered accusations of everything from trading sexual favors to influencing the outcome of President Johnson’s impeachment trial, and some of the harshest admonishments came from women incensed by her popularity and guile.

It was for this reason that she rebuffed Elizabeth Cady Stanton, prominent figure of the Women’s Suffrage Movement, when Mrs. Stanton solicited her signature on a petition recognizing “women and women’s labor under the Government.”

“You are a working girl, getting your bread by your hands! If you do not help yourself and us, how can Woman help you?”

“‘Mrs Stanton,”’ Vinnie said, airing old grievances, “‘no help has any woman given me here. From Grace Greenwood to Mrs Swisshelm, they have all sought to strike me down…. I will be befriended by gentlemen only, for whilst I never got any justice from a woman, I was never treated meanly by man!’”

Vinnie did indeed believe in women’s suffrage and equality between the sexes. To not would be to ignore the fact that she was fighting daily to be “respected as a sculptor, and not as a female sculptor” (94). Voicing that belief, however, would have meant possibly biting the hands that fed her. Several of the senators who had supported her commission and aided her in securing a studio in which to work, vehemently opposed giving women the right to vote.

Read more here.

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Filed under Historical Reasons, People Who Do Us Proud, America

Both A Brit & An American Helped Shape Modern Thinking!

Happy birthday to two 19th century fellows that brought in a new way of thinking. In the book “Angels and Ages: A Short Book About Darwin,Lincoln, & Modern Life“, author Adam Gopnik illustrates how two great minds helped shape the thinking of modern-day Western society. Charles Darwin & Abraham Lincoln shared more than a birthday. One of their other commonalities is the main focus of this book. They both were extremely gifted intellectuals that left their mark on the world. One was a Brit whose theory of evolution is the subject of great debate & has influenced the way modern human beings approach science. The other was an American who is known as “The Great Emancipator” & as the man who was quite crafty with words! Here’s more on this book from Time:

Much has been made in recent weeks of the shared birthday of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin, two juggernauts not only of their own age, but of all the years since. New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik explores their legacies in this book-length series of essays, focusing on their abilities as writers and thinkers of the highest caliber. As Gopnik writes, “Literary eloquence is essential to liberal civilization; our heroes should be men and women possessed by the urgency of utterance.” With their adherence to logic and observation, and devotion to thoughtful expression, Lincoln and Darwin — in addition to everything else they accomplished — helped kickstart the engine of the modern age.”(End of Excerpt) Read the rest here.

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U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald On The Arrest Of Gov. Blagojevich:”This conduct would make Abraham Lincoln roll over in his grave.”

He Just Wants To Get Paid!

He Just Wants To Get Paid!

  Now if I had any doubts or concerns about Obama,I have to admit that the arrest of Illinois Gov.Blagojevich would increase them! The birth certificate issue is much ado about nothing in my opinion! But, this business about Blagojevich looking to sell Obama’s Senate seat raises a whole lot of questions. Even if you like & admire Barack Obama as much I do, it makes you wonder… This is one for the Obama conspiracy theorists to feast on! Although, U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald said Obama had nothing whatsoever to do with this case! But,Obama is a Chicago politician,after all. Remember, John McCain said that during one of his speeches?

I saw one comment on the internet concerning this scandal that really piqued my interest! This person said that we are replacing an ignorant president with a corrupt one! Does this individual really believe that George Bush isn’t corrupt? Some Bush conspiracy theorists believe the whole war in Iraq was behind his greed for oil.

You see, most politicians are dishonest & corrupt. But if the allegations about Gov. Blagojevich are true, he takes the cake! He is a true believer in capitalism because he was trying to capitalize off Obama. Except he wasn’t selling Obama t-shirts or any other gear. The goods that Gov. Blagojevich was trying to auction off were Obama’s senate seat! It’s being called a pay-to-play scheme & he has been under investigation for 3 years for corruption. Apparently, Blagojevich knew that he was being wiretapped & he is alleged to have tried to sell the senate seat,anyway! W.T.F,dude!!!!! I’m sure that Abraham Lincoln would be turning over in his grave! Illinois is now gaining the reputation as being the most politically corrupt state in the union!

This isn’t the first time that Chicagoans have had a crooked governor. Check out this interesting tidbit from a Republican perspective. It’s from a site that reports on what they perceive as media bias.Here’s more from NewsBusters:

“As folks in Illinois were waking up or just getting to work, news hit like an avalanche that Governor Rod Blagojevich had been taken into custody by federal authorities this morning. The news was flying hot and heavy, and still is, over what the feds are alleging that Blago (as we call him in Chicago) did. There are reports of wiretaps, solicitations for bribes, mail and wire fraud… the list is long and shocking.

But one thing seems to be missing from many of these news reports. You guessed it, the fact that Blago is a Democrat seems to have slipped under the radar. But also his connections to Obama and his associates has continually gone unnoticed.”

And on Chicago politics,the blogger states:
There is an intricate and deep web of corruption that surrounds Illinois politics. We already have our last Governor, George Ryan (Republican), in jail at this time. He was jailed for bribery and for selling Illinois drivers licenses for campaign cash. From this illegal action, many truck drivers got licenses they did not qualify for. Ryan and Blago are part of what many Chicagoans call “the Combine.” The Combine is the close and corrupt intermingling of both major parties. In Illinois is is widely considered true that the state’s Democrats and Republicans are absolutely indistinguishable. Both fill each other’s pockets with the public’s cash on a regular basis. But, because of the corruption of Chicago, the Democrats have institutionalized it to the enth degree.

Now the rest of the nation is getting a small taste of Illinois politics. It’s business as usual, sadly.”(End of Excerpt) Read the rest here:(http://newsbusters.org/blogs/warner-todd-huston/2008/12/09/ill-gov-taken-custody-feds-media-never-did-connect-him-obama

Although it is a stretch to claim that Obama is somehow involved in this sordid scheme,folks who were suspicious of him sure as hell won’t be reassured by this! Most of Obama’s skeletons have been in other people’s closets. He has always been guilty by association in the minds of his detractors. The author of the excerpt that I posted definitely feels that Obama has been implicated in this scandal.And so the conspiracy theories begin. Check this out from TPM Election Central:

The GOP is wasting no time trying to tie Obama to the news of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s arrest on charges of conspiring to sell Obama’s Senate seat.

The Republican National Committee blasted out an email highlighting Obama’s ties to the Governor, noting that Obama advised Blagojevich on his gubernatorial run and highlighting an August 2006 quote from Obama:

“We’ve got a governor in Rod Blagojevich who has delivered consistently on behalf of the people of Illinois.”(End of Excerpt) Read the rest here:(http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/12/post_8.php

See what I mean, folks? But, I think that the statement, ” In Illinois it is widely considered true that the state’s Democrats and Republicans are absolutely indistinguishable”, applies to just more than Illinois.Maybe they should just be called Republicrats or Demopublicans! If you don’t know what that is, here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia:
“Republicrat or Demopublican (also Republocrat[1] or Demoblican[2])* is a portmanteau of the names of the two major political parties in the United States (the Republicans and the Democrats) to form a pejorative term used by those on both the right and left who allege the policies of the two parties are in practice indistinguishable, and so form essentially one party with two names. One of the earliest uses of the term online was a net.politics.theory usenet post from 1985.” (End of Excerpt) Read the rest here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republicrat

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Obama’s “Team Of Rivals” Demonstrates That He Is The SuperChanger After All!

SuperChanger Mosaic

SuperChanger Mosaic

Whether Obama represents change or not should not be under any kind of speculation. He has already changed the way the world views America and he hasn’t even been inaugurated yet! Not to mention that he’s changed the face of the administration as well. I believe that we will have a diverse administration that is made up of a lot of young & attractive people. Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emmanuel, may have a hot temper but that’s not the only thing that’s sizzling. He is a cutie for sure. Yeah, Barack Obama is bringing a change from the last 8 years already.

Obama is not shy about drawing on the past to get a sense of how to handle the future. Everyone has been talking about how many folks from the Clinton administration will now be a part of his. But he knows that in order to change the direction that America is headed in, he can’t have a team of unknowns. Taking a cue from Abraham Lincoln’s playbook, Barack Obama may be constructing a “team of rivals“.

Barack Obama is a very intellectual & studious man. Having a president that is a thinker is also a definite change. Look at what Obama said at a town meeting earlier this year:

“”I will tell you, though, that my goal is to have the best possible government, and that means me winning,” Obama said, per ABC News’ Sunlen Miller. “And so, I am very practical minded. I’m a practical-minded guy. And, you know, one of my heroes is Abraham Lincoln.”

Obama then referred to “a wonderful book written by Doris Kearns Goodwin called ‘Team of Rivals,’ in which [she] talked about [how] Lincoln basically pulled in all the people who had been running against him into his Cabinet because whatever, you know, personal feelings there were, the issue was, ‘How can we get this country through this time of crisis?”(End of Excerpt) Read the entire article here:(http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/05/obama-proposes.html

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Even The White House Has It’s Ghost Stories…

Is The White House Haunted?

Is The White House Haunted?

We are getting very close to picking a winner on Nov 4. It’s either going to be Barack Obama or John McCain that will be moving their family into the White House. But, will they hear things go bump in the night or see a wisp of a transparent Abraham Lincoln in the hallways? Since it’s Halloween, I thought about the rumors that the White House was an eerie place. It has been around for over 200 years so it’s not unlikely.  Here’s an excerpt from suite101.com :

Winston Churchill refused to sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom after he purportedly witnessed the ghost of Abraham Lincoln walking the room. Another witness, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, fainted after seeing Lincoln in the room. Maids, butlers and employees have claimed to see Lincoln. In one instance, a witness reported that Lincoln removed his boots over the bed.

According to various White House members of staff, Abigail Adams cleans her laundry in the East Room. When the wife of President Woodrow Wilson, First Lady Ellen Wilson, wanted to dig up the rose garden and the spirit of former First Lady Dolley Madison supposedly manifested and told the workmen not to ruin the garden.

Gary J. Walters served as the White House Chief Usher since his appointment by President Ronald Reagan in 1986. Although he’s never actually seen an apparition, he and several police officers shared a strange experience. According to Walters, “I was standing at the state floor of the White House adjacent to the staircase that comes up from the ground floor. The police officers and I felt a cool rush of air pass between us and then two doors that stand open closed by themselves. I have never seen these doors move before without somebody specifically closing them by hand. It was quite remarkable.” A common report by various members of staff claims that doors close by themselves all over the building.” (End of Excerpt) Read the whole article here:  http://ghostshauntings.suite101.com/article.cfm/ghost_stories_abound_in_washington_dc

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