Abraham Lincoln : Vampire Hunter And Steven Spielburg 's Lincoln
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On President’s Day in 2012 a group of historians at new Ford 's Theatre Center for Education and Leadership in Washington D.C. decided to commemorate their 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. They decided to make a monument using all the books written about Abraham Lincoln, which resulted in a tower of over 15,000 books—measuring about eight feet around and 34 feet tall (Forget Lincoln Logs). Abraham Lincoln has been the subject of thousands of books, television shows, and even movies such as; Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Steven Spielburg’s Lincoln. Paul Tetreault, director of Ford 's Theatre made the comment; "It makes a real statement to anyone that this is an important guy and there was a whole lot written about him…” (Forget Lincoln Logs). That being said, being the subject of so many peoples’ work allows for myths to develop, spread and possibly romanticize or corrupt the perception one has on a historical icon like Abraham Lincoln.
In this research paper I am going to examine some of the mythology surrounding Abraham Lincoln, find out where some of these myths came from and discover if there is any truth in them. I am going to discuss four myths about Abraham Lincoln: “Honest Abe,” “Melancholy president or clinically depressed man,” “The Great Emancipator,” and “The Gay Lincoln Myth.” I will also discuss historians’ points of views and first-hand accounts about these myths, including Lincoln’s opinions in his own words if it is appropriate. Finally I will discuss how society views him today in movies and television and discuss if mythicizing a historical figure is harmful to the way we perceive history.
Every historian can agree that Abraham Lincoln was born Feb. 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky ("Abraham Linco...
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.... The Emancipation Proclamation didn’t free a single slave.
Most revisionist Historians like Lerone Bennett and Ludwell Johnson, even believe that Lincoln was a “reluctant emancipator” (qtd. Zilversmit) and used a letter that Lincoln wrote to Horace Greeley to back up their ideas that stated “I would save the Union. … If I could save the Union without freeing any slave” (“Primary Sources”) Opposed to the revisionist view, historians like Stephen B. Oats and Constitutional historian Herman Belz, believe it “was the most revolutionary measure ever to come from an American president up to that time”
(qtd. Zilversmit). Oates and Belz focus on the idea that it inspired abolitionists, such as Frederick Douglass, and slaves, knowing that slavery will be coming to the end soon.
Although Abraham Lincoln didn’t end slavery the idea that he hated it so much inspired some