Donald R. McClarey

Gettysburg Addresses

              Presidents during their presidencies make hundreds of speeches.  Most are utterly forgotten soon after they are delivered.  Even most of the speeches by a president who is also a skilled orator, as Lincoln was,

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Ghosts of the Library

  One of my favorite stops at the Abraham Lincoln Museum in Springfield.   The Thirty-third Infantry Illinois Volunteers was organized at Camp Butler, Illinois, in the month of September, 1861, by Colonel Chas. E. Hovey, and mustered into the

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Ten Years of TAC: The Almighty Has His Own Purposes

(The American Catholic will observe its tenth anniversary in October.  We will be reposting some classic TAC posts of the past.  This post is from October 13, 2010.  The above video is a new addition to the post.)   My

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Abraham Lincoln

Now, my countrymen if you have been taught doctrines conflicting with the great landmarks of the Declaration of Independence; if you have listened to suggestions which would take away from its grandeur, and mutilate the fair symmetry of its proportions;

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Fortnight For Freedom: Why Do We Celebrate the Fourth?

Why do we observe Independence Day on the Fourth of July each year?  Is it merely a historical commemoration, or is it because the lightning words of the Declaration of Independence still have meaning and relevance today?  This is not

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Ten Years of TAC: Dagger John and Honest Abe

(The American Catholic will observe its tenth anniversary in October.  We will be reposting some classic TAC posts of the past.  This post is from February 11, 2009.) Archbishop John Hughes (1797-1864) of New York, was a titan within the

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Theodore Roosevelt on Lincoln and Free Speech

On May 16, 1918 Congress passed an amendment to the Espionage Act of 1917,  This Amendment is known to history as The Espionage Act of 1918.  Here is the text:   Whoever, when the United States is at war, shall

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Jordan Peterson: The Problem With Atheism

“If God does not exist, everything is permitted.”   Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov       A civilization where belief in God is on the wane, is a civilization where people are merely objects and will be treated as such.  The greatest

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Two Minutes to Change the World

        Presidents during their presidencies make hundreds of speeches.  Most are utterly forgotten soon after they are delivered.  Even most of the speeches by a president who is also a skilled orator, as Lincoln was, are recalled only

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

What If Abraham Lincoln Had Died Young?

On his 209th birthday it is perhaps appropriate to consider how the world would have changed if Abraham Lincoln had died young.  Unlike many great figures in history, Lincoln did not matter in a historical sense until around the last

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

February 11, 1865: Robert Todd Lincoln Goes To War

      A  biography of Robert Todd Lincoln a few years ago is entitled Giant in the Shadows, and that is an accurate description of him.  One of the foremost attorneys of his day, a noted philanthropist, Secretary of War

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Lincoln and Liberty Too

  The low clown out of the prairies, the ape-buffoon, The small-town lawyer, the crude small-time politician, State-character but comparative failure at forty In spite of ambition enough for twenty Caesars, Honesty rare as a man without self-pity, Kindness as

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Fifteen Below Zero

      Well, the new year has dawned in Central Illinois with the temperature a balmy fifteen degrees below zero.  For those in Celsius lands, that is about negative 26 Celsius.  The temperature here is thirteen degrees colder than

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

I Guess They Don’t Teach History at UW Madison

My bride obtained her master’s degree in library science from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.  Judging from a recent event, I guess they don’t teach history, at least American history, there anymore:   The University of Wisconsin-Madison certainly shows

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Of Vineyards, God and Abraham Lincoln

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: “Hear another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a tower. Then he

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Abraham Lincoln

Judge Douglas ought to remember when he is endeavoring to force this policy upon the American people that while he is put up in that way a good many are not. He ought to remember that there was once in

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Abraham Lincoln

    The people—the people—are the rightful masters of both congresses, and courts—not to overthrow the constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert it. Abraham Lincoln, September 17, 1859  

Read More »
Donald R. McClarey

The Entire Civil War

      Any understanding of this nation has to be based, and I mean really based, on an understanding of the Civil War. I believe that firmly. It defined us. The Revolution did what it did. Our involvement in

Read More »

July, Lincoln and Springfield

    Last Friday my family and I made our annual pilgrimage to Springfield to attend the Lincoln Museum and go to the Lincoln Tomb.  As we made our way though the Museum we encountered, for the second year in

Read More »

Fortnight For Freedom: Bulwark of Freedom

      On this date 239 years ago New Hampshire adopted the Constitution and the Constitution went into effect, as the “Live Free or Die State” was the ninth state to vote to ratify it.  I love the Constitution. 

Read More »

Theodore Roosevelt on Abraham Lincoln

  Theodore Roosevelt had two heroes:  his father and Abraham Lincoln.  In 1905 he wrote this introduction to a collection of the writings of Lincoln:   Immediately after Lincoln’s re-election to the Presidency, in an off-hand speech, delivered in response

Read More »

Cross Examination the Lincoln Way

  I have always loved this scene from Young Mr. Lincoln (1939).  Few things are more enjoyable for a trial attorney than a cross examination that is tearing up the opposition case!  Of course in real life in the video

Read More »

Lincoln on Taylor

I have never liked Presidents’ Day.  Why celebrate all presidents when only a select few of them, like Washington and Lincoln, deserve to be celebrated?   Officially the date is still the commemoration of George Washington’s birthday, which actually won’t occur until February 22. 

Read More »

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Abraham Lincoln

The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise — with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew.

Read More »

Lincoln and Liberty Too

    The low clown out of the prairies, the ape-buffoon, The small-town lawyer, the crude small-time politician, State-character but comparative failure at forty In spite of ambition enough for twenty Caesars, Honesty rare as a man without self-pity, Kindness

Read More »

The Whole Great Family of Man

These communities, by their representatives in old  Independence Hall, said to the whole world of men: “We  hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are  created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with  certain unalienable rights;

Read More »

Abraham Lincoln Sums Up the Obama Years

“It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words, “And this

Read More »

March 4, 1865: The Greatest Inaugural Address

Hands down the most moving  inaugural address in American history is the second inaugural address given by President Lincoln, little over a month before his death.  It is short, to the point and powerful.  It is also the most important theological

Read More »

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Abraham Lincoln

  The very next day, somebody was discussing with him the difference between character and reputation, when he said,—with a look at me, as if to remind of what he had been talking about the day before,—perhaps a man’s character

Read More »

Tad and the Turkey

Stories cluster about Lincoln like barnacles on a great ship. Many of them cannot be sourced at all and have to be consigned to legend. One such story that is probably just a legend is that of Tad and the

Read More »

Trump on Lincoln

My personal favorite in the debate last night.  Clinton’s attempt to invoke Lincoln deserved Trump’s comeback.  It reminds me of the politician who said that his opponent reminded him of Abraham Lincoln, if one could imagine a short, fat, corrupt

Read More »