DATELINE: Early 1865, Part 1
John Wilkes Booth had been planning an incredible scheme to capture President Abraham Lincoln. He had considered making the nab while Mr. Lincoln was sitting in his private box at Ford’s Theater. He and his conspirators would lower the President bound and gagged from the box using a rope while the gaslights in the theater had been extinguished. From the theater he would be transported along a preconceived route down to Richmond, Virginia and surrendered to Confederate authorities.
DATELINE: Early 1865, Part 2
A different plan had been devised and an execution attempted. The plan backfired!
Booth and his conspirators waited for the President who was to be in a carriage traveling down a road. They had brought necessary equipment, including: weapons, a monkey-wrench, and a rope (sounds like board tokens from the game ‘Clue.”). The outcome was still the same: Mr. Lincoln would have been taken to Richmond. He was to be used as a bargaining chip to win the release of Confederate POW’s. That was to change the tide of the war for the South!
Booth and his men were ready. Tension filled the air. All eyes were on the road. Suddenly a carriage appeared! It must be the President! Booth leapt out on a horse and forwarded to the carriage. His fingers were sweating. The moment had arrived. He would change everything. Booth peered in the carriage. Drats! It wasn’t Lincoln! At that moment he feared that the plot had somehow been discovered. The authorities knew of his plan. Wasting no time he and his men left the scene to wait out what might have been their doom. In reality, the feds did not know about the capture plans. Booth, very shortly, would come up with a new more deadly plan.
DATELINE: Summer, 2007, Part 3
I walked into an old but well-stocked antique store in McMinnville, Tennessee. It had the usual assortment of odds and ends that such places tend to have. I noticed several Confederate battle flags for sale. There were also framed pictures of Confederate heroes available to purchase :Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, to name a few. Then glancing over at a shelf my eyes caught hold of a sight I didn’t expect by any stretch to see: a bust of Abraham Lincoln. Taking it off the shelf I observed its beauty up close. It was made of ceramic and white in color (see above picture). I liked it immediately. Then in my thoughts, I queried the President: “Mr. Lincoln, what are you doing down here, in Tennessee? In the heart of enemy territory?” In reply, he stated: “Well, ‘I’ve been here a longtime. And I’m rather tired of having to look at that picture of Bobby Lee over there. Although I do recall commenting on a picture of him to my son Robert Todd on the morning of April 14, 1865. I had mentioned that I thought his face to be fair or kind-or something like that. I don’t recall ever having been in Tennessee until now.”
“Mr. Lincoln,” I said, “I’ve got to get you outta here.” He looked at me intently. “You don’t belong in a store in Tennessee sitting on a dusty shelf amid all those Confederate flags and stuff.” “Mr. Nash,” he said patiently, “you seem to have forgotten the point that I wanted to make to General Meade after he had stated that he driven the enemy (referring to Lee and his army) from our soil. He just didn’t get it at the time. It was all our soil.” I continued listening. “Mr. Nash, it’s all the United States of America. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking Tennessee, New Jersey, or California. It’s all America.”
Having been duly reminded of that most important concept, I still insisted that he be ‘captured’ and removed elsewhere. “John Wilkes Booth had failed to capture you but I won’t.” Abe then answered, “Just take me to the cash register and purchase me. By the way, where do you live Mr. Nash?” “Michigan,” I replied. “Well,” voiced Abe “I said it a long time ago so excuse the use of the expression again: Thank God for Michigan!” Finally, I finished our talk by assuring him that I was going to purchase him but I had one really important request: “Don’t tell my wife we’ve had this conversation.” He smiled and returned to being the plaster Lincoln bust he formally was. He now sits proudly on my mantle at home-in Michigan.Mail this post