Abraham Lincoln by Kevin Wood

Bringing history –
and his story –
to life!

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The purpose of my blog, entitled "Loath to Close ... Still!", is simply to encourage others to reflect upon and learn from Abraham Lincoln's life and legacy, as I myself have done.  That Lincoln was "loath to close", we can be thankful, for there is much we can learn from the inspirational and insightful words of his speeches and writings.

I publish blog articles occasionally, as frequently as monthly or as infrequently as every few months.  They are often related to current events or to some important anniversary, but not always.  I always translate them in their entirely into Spanish, and sometimes (usually abridged) into French and/or German.


The blog is hosted by WordPress and allows for leaving comments.


[November 26, 2022] Thanksgiving has become a controversial social and political topic in the USA in recent years, including articles with titles like "The True, Dark History Behind Thanksgiving" and "Everything You Learned About Thanksgiving Is Wrong". But is the new "history" about Thanksgiving factually accurate? Learn all about it, including Lincoln's role in the creation of the modern Thanksgiving tradition.

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: Proclamations for a Day of Thanksgiving (October 3, 1863 and October 20, 1864)

Thanksgiving: Celebrate It or Cancel It?

El Día de acción de gracias: ¿Celebrarlo o cancelarlo?

Thanksgiving : le célébrer ou l’annuler ? (non traduit)

Erntedankfest: Feiern Sie es oder sagen Sie es ab? (unübersetzt)

[June 19, 2021] As you no doubt know, June 19 is now a Federal holiday called "Juneteenth Independence Day", to celebrate the end of slavery in our nation. But maybe not all you've heard about it is historically accurate!

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: Emancipation Proclamation

Juneteenth: A Worthy Holiday, but the Wrong Date and Name

Juneteenth: Un día festivo digno, pero con fecha y nombre equivocados

Juneteenth : Un jour férié digne, mais une date et un nom erronés (non traduit)

Juneteenth: ein würdiger Feiertag, aber falsches Datum und Name (unübersetzt)

[January 6, 2021] Lest you think that concerns about election fraud – whether founded or unfounded – are a peculiarity of our own times, I invite you to read what Abraham Lincoln had to say on the subject!

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: Remarks in Illinois General Assembly concerning election frauds (November 28, 1840); Letter to Gustave Koerner regarding upcoming election (July 25, 1858); Endorsement on letter to Seward regarding upcoming election (October 16, 1864)

Election Fraud – Real and Imagined – in Lincoln’s Day

El fraude electoral, real e imaginario, en la época de Lincoln

Fraude électorale – réelle et imaginée – à l’époque de Lincoln (non traduit)

Wahlbetrug – real und imaginär – zu Lincolns Zeiten (unübersetzt)

[October 12, 2020] On this date in the year 1864, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney died, with only 27 days remaining until the presidential election, and President Lincoln’s Republican Party had a majority in the Senate.  That much of Kamala Harris's "history lesson" during last week's Vice-Presidential debate was correct.  But what about her interpretation of Lincoln's response?

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: none because the supposed quote was fabricated!

Lincoln and the Supreme Court (II): The Right Thing to Do

Lincoln y el Tribunal Supremo (II): Lo correcto que hacer

Lincoln et la Cour suprême (II) : La bonne chose à faire (non traduit)

Lincoln und der Oberste Gerichtshof (II): Das Richtige zu tun (unübersetzt)

[August 8, 2020] What is the best way for a nation or a society to reconcile its imperfect history with its desire to do better in the future?  Is it to attack, disparage, or try to forget its history, or is it to build upon it?  Abraham Lincoln had an idea which we can apply to this question ... unless we toss him out, too.

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: Last Public Address (April 11, 1865); Annual Message to Congress (December 8, 1863); Second Inaugural Address (March 4, 1865); Gettysburg Address (November 19, 1863)

Addressing Our Imperfect History

Abordando nuestra historia imperfecta

Faire face à notre histoire imparfaite (non traduit)

Sich um unsere unvollkommene Geschichte kümmern (unübersetzt)

[May 7, 2019] On this date in the year 1861, at a time when the modern republican form of government seemed doomed to failure, the President of the world's largest republic responded to a curious letter sent to him by the leaders of perhaps the world's smallest republic.

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: Letter to the Regent Captains of the Republic of San Marino (May 7, 1861)

Lincoln's Gracious Letter to a Tiny, but Admiring, Republic

La amable carta de Lincoln a una diminuta, pero admirativa, república

Une lettre bienveillante de Lincoln à une république minuscule mais admirative (non traduit)

Lincolns liebenswürdiger Brief an eine winzige, aber bewundernde, Republik (unübersetzt)

[October 7, 2018] In stark contrast to recent U.S. Supreme Court nominations, all five of Abraham Lincoln's nominees were approved by the Senate in one week or less.  But that doesn’t mean that the Court wasn't a controversial topic in Lincoln's day, or that Lincoln didn’t have a great impact on it.

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: Annual Message to Congress (December 3, 1861); note to Edward Bates requesting preparation of nominations (July 16, 1862)

Lincoln and the Supreme Court: Little Drama, Much Impact

Lincoln y el Tribunal Supremo: Poco Drama, Mucho Impacto

Lincoln et la Cour suprême : Peu de drame, beaucoup d’impact (non traduit)

Lincoln und der Oberste Gerichtshof: Wenig Drama, viel Einfluss (unübersetzt)

[September 5, 2018] When young Abe Lincoln would return to school, it was usually in the winter, but since late summer is the traditional "back to school" time in most of the USA today, this post takes a look at Lincoln's earliest extant writings: one of his very own school notebooks!

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: personal school notebook from youth; autobiographies written for Jesse W. Fell (December 20, 1859) and John Locke Scripps (c. June, 1860)

Readin', Writin', and Cipherin': Young Abraham Lincoln at School

El leer, el escribir y el cifrar: El joven Abraham Lincoln en la escuela

La lecture, l’écriture et le chiffrement : Le jeune Abraham Lincoln à l'école (non traduit)

Lesen, Schreiben und Chiffrieren: Der junge Abraham Lincoln in der Schule (unübersetzt)

[July 28, 2018] You've no doubt heard about some of Abraham Lincoln's most famous speeches, including his Gettysburg Address, his "House Divided" speech, and his two inaugural addresses.  Yet some claim that Lincoln's greatest speech wasn't any of these, but rather his "Lost Speech", delivered in 1856 in Bloomington, IL at an exceedingly tense and tumultuous time.

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: "Lost Speech" (May 29, 1856)

Lincoln's "Lost Speech": His Greatest Speech Ever?

El "discurso perdido" de Lincoln: ¿El mejor discurso de su vida?

Le « Discours perdu » de Lincoln : Son plus grand discours jamais ? (version abrégée)

Lincolns „Verlorene Rede”: Seine größte Rede überhaupt? (unübersetzt)

[November 19, 2017] It was on this date – November 19 – in the year 1863 that Abraham Lincoln delivered in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania what would become his most famous speech. What might he wish us to remember about it?

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: Gettysburg Address (November 19, 1863); response to serenade (July 7, 1863)

The Gettysburg Address: Memorable Words, Memorable Deeds

El discurso de Gettysburg: Palabras memorables, hechos memorables

Le discours de Gettysburg : Paroles mémorables, actes mémorables (version abrégée)

Die Gettysburg-Rede: Denkwürdige Worte, denkwürdige Taten (gekürzte Version)

[August 17, 2017] In light of recent events in our country, it has been suggested that if we try to get rid of all of the memorials and monuments honoring any person who ever held views of white supremacy, we would need to remove even those of Abraham Lincoln.  There may be a least a little truth in that.

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: Debate with Stephen Douglas at Ottawa (August 21, 1858), plus others

Abraham Lincoln, White Supremacist?

Abraham Lincoln,¿'supremacista' blanco?

Abraham Lincoln, suprémaciste blanc ? (non traduit)

Abraham Lincoln, Weißer Supremacist? (unübersetzt)

[July 25, 2017] It was on this date in 1850 that Abraham Lincoln pronounced in Chicago a eulogy for President Zachary Taylor, who had died in office two weeks earlier.  Although it's not one of his greatest speeches, it is interesting in that it gives insight into what Lincoln admired in other people, which perhaps not surprisingly aligns pretty well with what many others admire in Lincoln.

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: Eulogy on "The Life and Services of the Late President of the United States" at Chicago (July 25, 1850)

Lincoln's Eulogy on President Taylor: An Example to Others, Lincoln Himself Included

El elogio de Lincoln sobre el presidente Taylor: Un ejemplo para otros, el propio Lincoln incluido

L'éloge de Lincoln sur le président Taylor : Un exemple pour les autres, Lincoln lui-même inclus (non traduit)

Lincolns Eulogie auf Präsident Taylor: Ein Beispiel für andere, Lincoln selbst eingeschlossen (unübersetzt)

[May 28, 2017] Our national holiday of Memorial Day serves to honor the memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice, but also to express our condolences and gratitude to those left behind: the family members and friends who have suffered the terrible loss of a loved one.  Lincoln had tragic occasion to demonstrate this in late May 1861, long before the establishment of any such official day of remembrance.

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: Letter of condolence to the parents of Col. Elmer E. Ellsworth (May 25, 1861)

On Sacrifice and Suffering: Lincoln's Preview of Memorial Day

Acerca del sacrificio y del sufrimiento: El anticipo de Lincoln del Día de Conmemoración a los Caídos

Sur le sacrifice et la souffrance : L'aperçu du Memorial Day par Lincoln (non traduit)

Auf Opfer und Leiden: Lincolns Vorschau des Gedächtnistages (unübersetzt)

[November 16, 2016] If you've recently heard, or even said, something along the lines of "our nation has never been so divided", perhaps you'd better read this post, which looks at President-elect Lincoln's actions following his own election in 1860.

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: Various letters and speeches from November and December 1860

A President-Elect to a Divided Nation: Be Nice and Do Good!

Un presidente electo a una nación dividida: ¡Sean amables y haced el bien!

Un président-élu à une nation divisée : Soyez gentil et faites du bien ! (non traduit)

Ein gewählte Präsident zu einer geteilten Nation: Seien Sie nett und tun Sie gut! (unübersetzt)

[July 20, 2016] Have you ever heard about the time a bunch of Republicans discontented with the "Establishment" held a convention in Cleveland and nominated a controversial, contradictory, brash self-promoter for President?  It really happened … way back in 1864!  And some people say that history is boring and irrelevant to the present!

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: N/A

The Cleveland Convention (of 1864): Discontented Republicans Nominate a Brash Self-Promoter

La convención de Cleveland (de 1864): Republicanos descontentos nominan a un descarado autopromotor

La convention de Cleveland (de 1864) : Les républicains mécontents nommer un auto-promoteur effronté (non traduit)

Die Cleveland Convention (von 1864): Unzufriedene Republikaner nominieren einen dreisten Selbstdarsteller (unübersetzt)

[June 30, 2016] Some more of Abraham Lincoln's stories and jokes, all of these having to do with horses!

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: Various stories and jokes

Horse Sense: Abraham Lincoln as Storyteller, Part II

El 'sentido de caballo' (sentido común): Abraham Lincoln como cuentacuentos, 2ª parte

La 'raison du cheval' (bon sens) : Abraham Lincoln comme conteur, partie II (non traduit)

Der ‚Sinn des Pferdes' (gesunder Menschenverstand): Abraham Lincoln als Geschichtenerzähler, Teil II (unübersetzt)

[April 30, 2016] Read about one of Abraham Lincoln's funny stories, and why he told it.

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: A story from Lincoln's days riding the Eighth Judicial Circuit

The Wrong End of the Dog: Abraham Lincoln as Storyteller

El extremo equivocado del perro: Abraham Lincoln como cuentacuentos

Le mauvais bout du chien : Abraham Lincoln comme conteur

Das falsche Ende des Hundes: Abraham Lincoln als Geschichtenerzähler (unübersetzt)

[February 20, 2016] In light of this year's rather unusual Republican presidential primary, this post provides an example from Lincoln which some of this year's candidates might do well to follow.

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: Letter to William H. Henderson (February 21, 1855) and other unpublished communications

The Cause Is to Be Preferred to Men: A Lesson on Selflessness from Lincoln

La causa debe preferirse a los hombres: Una lección de abnegación de parte de Lincoln

La cause doit être préféré à des hommes : Une leçon sur l'abnégation par Lincoln (non traduit)

Die Ursache ist bis auf Männer bevorzugen: Eine Lektion auf Selbstlosigkeit von Lincoln (unübersetzt)

[January 31, 2016] In celebration of today's anniversary of the U.S. House of Representatives' passage of the 13th amendment abolishing slavery, it's important to remember (discover?) that our nation's history would have been very different if an earlier proposed 13th amendment, an 'unlucky' one, had instead been ratified by the states.

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: Response to a serenade (February 1, 1865) and others

A Kiss of Death or a King's Cure: An Unlucky vs. Lucky Thirteenth Amendment

Un 'beso de la muerte' o un 'remedio del rey': Una desafortunada vs afortunada decimotercera Enmienda

Un baiser de la mort ou un remède d'un roi : Un malchanceux contre chanceux treizième amendement (non traduit)

Ein Todeskuss oder eine Königsheilung: Ein unglücklicher vs. glücklicher 13. Zusatzartikel zur Verfassung (unübersetzt)

[December 23, 2015] In celebration of the Christmas season, this post is about General Sherman's well-known note to the President at Christmastime in 1864, and also about Lincoln's lesser-known note in reply.

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: Letter to General William T. Sherman (December 23, 1864)

Lincoln's Best Christmas Gift: The City of Savannah and a Great Light

El mejor regalo de Navidad de Lincoln: La ciudad de Savannah y una gran luz

Le meilleur cadeau de Noël de Lincoln : La ville de Savannah et une grande lumière (version abrégée)

Lincolns bestes Weihnachtsgeschenk: Die Stadt Savannah und ein großes Licht (gekürzte Version)

[November 1, 2015] In October 1854, Abraham Lincoln gave an important speech in Peoria, IL which marked his re-entry into politics after a five-year hiatus.

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: Speech in Peoria, IL (October 16, 1854)

Aroused As Never Before: Nebraska, Peoria, and Lincoln's Revival

Incitado como nunca antes: Nebraska, Peoria y el reavivamiento de Lincoln

Suscité comme jamais avant : Nebraska, Peoria et la renaissance du Lincoln (version abrégée)

Erregt wie nie zuvor: Nebraska, Peoria und Lincolns Rückkehr (gekürzte Version)

[September 26, 2015] An analysis of Abraham Lincoln's views on immigration to the USA.

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: Letter to Joshua Speed (August 24, 1855); speech at Chicago during Senate campaign (July 10, 1858); Annual Message to Congress (December 8, 1863); more

"Land of Opportunity": Lincoln on Immigration

"Tierra de oportunidad": Lincoln sobre la inmigración

« Le pays où tout est possible » : Lincoln en matière d'immigration (version abrégée)

„Land der Gelegenheit”: Lincoln über die Einwanderung (unübersetzt)

[June 27, 2015] The decision on same sex marriage in the context of another important decision in Lincoln's time (Dred Scott v. Sanford), along with a funny story by Lincoln about building a house.

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: The "House Divided" speech accepting the Republican nomination for the US Senate race (June 16, 1858)

The Supreme Court: The Final Word? (Also, Lincoln Talks Housebuilding)

El Tribunal Supremo: ¿La última palabra? (Además, Lincoln habla de la construcción inmobiliaria)

La Cour suprême : Le dernier mot ? (De plus, Lincoln parle de la construction immobilière) (version abrégée)

Der Oberste Gerichtshof: Das letzte Wort? (Außerdem, Lincoln spricht über Wohnungsbau) (unübersetzt)

[May 17, 2015] Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, delivered as the Civil War neared its end, was not the victory speech some must have been expecting, but rather a theological treatise on the reasons for the war, and he was not afraid to express to the people an unpopular truth.

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: Second Inaugural Address (March 4, 1865)

An Unpopular Truth: Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address

Una verdad impopular: El segundo discurso inaugural de Lincoln

Une vérité impopulaire : Second discours inaugural de Lincoln (non traduit)

Eine unpopuläre Wahrheit: Lincolns zweite Antrittsrede (unübersetzt)

[May 1, 2015] In light of rioting in Baltimore, MD in April 2015, what was Lincoln's response to rioting in that city in April 1861, as the first Federal troops tried to make their way to Washington, DC?

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: Letter of reply to a committee representing Baltimore YMCAs (April 22, 1861)

The Baltimore Riots of April … 1861!

Los disturbios de Baltimore de abril … ¡de 1861!

Les émeutes de Baltimore d'avril … 1861 ! (version abrégée)

Aufruhr in Baltimore im April … 1861! (unübersetzt)

[April 15, 2015] Lincoln's great ambition to be esteemed and remembered by the people of his time was, in his opinion, not fully realized until near the end of his life.

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: Candidacy announcement to the People of Sangamo County (March 9, 1832); communication with Joshua Speed (early 1841); Emancipation Proclamation (January 1, 1863)

Now He Belongs to the Ages: Lincoln's Legacy as He Would Have It

Ahora pertenece a la eternidad: El legado de Lincoln como él lo tendría

Maintenant, il appartient à l'éternité : L'héritage de Lincoln comme il l'aurait (version abrégée)

Jetzt gehört er in die Ewigkeit: Lincolns Erbe, wie er wollte es (gekürzte Version)

[April 1, 2015] Just one week after Lincoln's inauguration, the Confederate States of America adopted its own constitution, and their Vice President Alexander Stephens in a fascinating speech ten days later addressed the fundamental differences between the two constitutions, as well as the ideologies and beliefs behind them.

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: N/A

The Confederacy's (Not-So-) "Great Truth"

La (no tan) "Gran Verdad" de la Confederación

La (pas tellement) « Grande Vérité » de la Confédération (version abrégée)

Die (Nicht-So-) „Große Wahrheit” der Konföderation (gekürzte Version)

[March 18, 2015] It's clear from Lincoln's First Inaugural Address that the Constitution was first and foremost in his mind at that moment.  His theme that day was essentially the following: in light of the Constitution and laws of our country, what was he going to do in response to the current crisis?

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: First Inaugural Address (March 4, 1861)

Lincoln's First Inaugural Address: Constitution and Union

Primer discurso inaugural de Lincoln: Constitución y Unión

Premier discours inaugural de Lincoln : Constitution et Union (version abrégée)

Lincolns erste Antrittsrede: Verfassung und Union (gekürzte Version)


[March 4, 2015] The historical significance of the date of March 4 in our nation.

Lincoln speeches/writings cited: N/A

The Fourth of March: A Most Fitting Day to Inaugurate My Blog

El cuarto de marzo: Un día muy adecuado para inaugurar mi blog

La quatrième de mars : Un jour très approprié pour inaugurer mon blog (version abrégée)

Der vierte März: Ein sehr geeigneter Tag, mein Blog zu eröffnen (gekürzte Version)