President Lincoln Deals with Books and Bodyguard

November 11, 1862

President Lincoln did not much like being surrounded by bodyguards, but he liked – as did his son – the unit from Pennsylvania assigned to guard him at the White House and Soldiers’ Cottage.   Lincoln confers with General Samuel P. Heintzelman, a Pennsylvania native, regarding the bodyguard.  Lincoln had become close to the commander of Company K, David Derickson.

The New York Tribune Assistant Editor William Fry writes President Lincoln to  protest the sale of books to from a South Carolina college: “I have just had placed in my hands a pamphlet of 95 pages entitled — Government Sale Catalogue of an immense collection of library books in all departments of Literature, Arts, Sciences; including every many important & scarce works &c &c to be sold at auction Nov. 17, in New York” etc.– This collection, is understood to belong to a college or literary institution of Beaufort, South-Carolina, and it strikes me, that it is carrying the war beyond Africa, to strike at benign learning and Science after this fashion. I fear it will be viewed as an act of injustice & bad taste should this sale take place — supposing I have been rightly informed as to the place & circumstance of the seizure. I beg, therefore, Mr. President, to call your kind attention to the subject, in the hope that the sale may be arrested, and the ‘immense collection’ preserved, if possible, for restitution when the Union is restored, if ever.”

Published in: on November 11, 2012 at 9:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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