Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Washington Whirlwind #3: Lincoln's Platform


Washington Whirlwind #3: Lincoln's Platform by Becky Brown
Purple for Mary Lincoln's favorite color, set with black & white for ours.

Lincoln's political platform was enough of a threat to the South
 that several states seceded before he was even inaugurated in March, 1861. 

President Buchanan tipping his hat beside Lincoln on
the way to Lincoln's inauguration from Harper's, March 16, 1861.

But we aren't here to talk politics---rather parenting. The Lincolns may have argued noisily and held different opinions on many things but parenting was not one of them. The official Lincoln Platform was, “Let the children have a good time,” according to Mary Federico in her introduction to the recent edition of Julia Taft Bayne's Tad Lincoln's Father. Federico describes them as “doting parents” of bad boys.

An idealized Lincoln family, Willie with his mother and Robert
and Tad next to their father

Julia agreed, remembering that Tad and Willy were "never accustomed to restraint.” Lincoln's secretaries John Hay and John Nicolay had little patience with the "mischievous" boys who had the run of the White House. Secretarial assistant William Stoddard recalled an episode in their offices, one of which overnight...
"Assumed a suddenly disastrous look...The green cloth cover of the broad table was ink-stained and work-worn, last evening, but it was whole. It is by no means a unit, now. Tad and Willie Lincoln have been here, and they are the happy owners of brand-new pocket-knives. They are sharp knives, too, that will cut outline maps of the seat of war, or of anything else, upon green cloth table-covers.”

Thomas "Tad" Lincoln and indulgent father 

Lincoln's Platform by Jeanne Arnieri

William Wallace Lincoln

Willie Lincoln, older by three years and often characterized as "sweet," followed his younger brother into the rascality explored by the Lincoln and Taft boys. Certainly those Tafts were not raised by an indulgent mother and Mary Cook Taft probably knew little of what went on at the Lincoln home. Tad was the brains of the bunch.

John Hay in later years recalled Tad, as a "chartered libertine...idolized by both his father and mother...He had a very bad opinion of books and no opinion of discipline...The President took infinite comfort in the child's rude health, fresh fun, and uncontrollable boisterousness." 

John Hay (1838-1905) when he began working as a Lincoln secretary.

Lincoln's Platform by Denniele Bohannon

The Block
We have at least 3 published versions of "Lincoln's Platform." BlockBase
shows the simplest as published in Carrie Hall's 1935 book.(BlockBase 1646a)

Oh for heaven's sake! I forgot the pattern. Here it is! Thanks Rina.

 Lincoln's Platform by Becky Collis


Anonymous said...

Hello Mrs Barbara, interesting story as always! But I do t see any measures for the block, and I don’t have Blockbase!

Anonymous said...

This is Rina, from Italy 🇮🇹

Faunacoco said...

Hello Barbara, I think you left off the little part with the instructions about measurements for the block.

Mary Says Sew! said...

What is it about this design that something to do with Lincoln or his platform? Or "Sherman's March".

I've never seen or figured out why this block has associations with the (American) Civil War.

I see how it resembles a butter churn's paddles, a monkey wrench and maybe even "hole in the barn door" (a smaller, pass-through door in a much larger barn door), but I've never figured out a Lincoln or Sherman connection.

Barbara Brackman said...

Selling quilt patterns has never been about historical accuracy, I am afraid. I can see this as a wooden platform like a stage where a political candidate might speak but do recall that Carrie Hall who named it was writing 70 years after the Civil War.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mrs Barbara, I was trying to make it as regular block size 12”.