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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Economy, Beer, Lincoln, and Sir James of Taylor

There is no doubt that we are in a great "national crisis." However, as yesterday's post notes, there is an amber lining to the dark cloud of economic despair -- beer!

Thomas Jefferson has been getting a lot of Knight's Press lately for Endeavoring to Engage the great unknown West. Thomas Jefferson was also an avid brewer and beer enthusiast. Thomas Jefferson’s wife Martha oversaw periodic brewing operations. From her first arrival at Monticello in 1772, she recorded in her account book the brewing of a fifteen-gallon cask of small beer about every two weeks. And, I've also documented George Washington's love of beer and homebrewing.

Today I thought I would throw Lincoln into the brew.

I bring up Lincoln because on this day in 1865, John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer, fatally shoots President Abraham Lincoln at a play at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. The attack came only five days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, effectively ending the American Civil War.

Trivia Question: What was the name of the performance that fateful night?

I bring all this up for a couple of reasons. First, not too far from here (Rockport, IN) the county where Abraham Lincoln grew up will mark the 144th anniversary of his assassination by displaying a replica of Lincoln's coffin in its courthouse. The ornate coffin is displayed at the Spencer County Courthouse, 144 years after Lincoln was mortally wounded at Ford's Theater. He died the morning after the shooting.

Guards in period uniforms keep watch over the coffin as it lays in state in the courthouse (Our own Sir James of Taylor plans to attend in his Civil War uniform). The replica coffin currently touring the country was created in Indiana by Batesville Casket Co. and is authentic down to the smallest detail. It's draped in black cloth, is 6 feet, 6 inches long and is made of solid walnut with sterling silver handles and studs.

Second, what does Lincoln and beer have in common? Well, one of the great "national crisis" and beer quotes of all time:

"I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer."
-Abraham Lincoln

Sir Bowie "off to watch Our American Cousin" of Greenbriar


  1. was it in Chicago that we saw the bloodstained sheet?
    one of the fascinating, yet horrific, items we've come across in museums through the years

    Lady Suzanne of Greenbriar

  2. Sir James, you do the Knights proud!

    Sir Hook Who Like Lincoln Has Lived in Illinois, Kentucky and Indiana of Warrick