The 16th President of the United States, unlike so many of his fellow nineteenth century White House occupants, has not been lost to History.
Indeed, his name lives on as the Capitol of Nebraska, as a popular car brand, and as a name for one of America’s two political parties. Beyond the United States, his legacy also has a powerful reach. Here in Scotland, there is statue of him in Edinburgh, while in 2009, the Rwandan government saw fit to issue a stamp bearing his face. And that face, which he took great pleasure in mocking for its ugly features, has been included at one time or another on the 1, 5, 10, 20, 100, and 500 dollar bill. It is sculpted on Mount Rushmore along with Washington, Jefferson, and Theodore Roosevelt.
And, perched high upon a grand seat and surrounded by Roman columns and his most famous words, he gazes across the National Mall at the Congress of the United States, acting as a symbolic conscience of the nation.
We are, of course, talking about Abraham Lincoln.
Today, on American History Too!, joined by the University of Edinburgh's Cat Bateson we ask whether the so-called Great Emancipator deserves such lofty and widespread recognition, and we also examine the uses and abuses of Honest Abe’s legacy since his assassination on Good Friday in 1865.