“The Dispatch” — September 2015

A Monthly Supplement to Lincarnations, the Biannual Newsletter of the ALP

In Memoriam:

James A. Getty, 83, of Gettysburg, Pa., died Sept. 26, 2015, in Gettysburg. For the past four decades, Jim’s full-time vocation was the study and portrayal of Abraham Lincoln. Over the years, he touched countless thousands of lives with his vast knowledge of all-things Lincoln. A full obituary can be found here.

Award Nominations Due by Nov. 1

A Reminder: Nominations for the ALP Excellence Award are due by Nov. 1. Nominations should be submitted to any member of the Awards Committee — Homer Sewell (chair, abeusa16@aol.com), Vern Risty (vristy@hotmail.com), Jim Sayre (lincolna@dcr.net), Sharon Wood (sharon_wood@pobox.com\), or Joe Woodard (vwoodard@eiu.edu). The award will be presented at the April conference.

Guidelines are available here.

A Look into Stephen A. Douglas’ Character

Submitted by Murray Cox, Indiana

A recent issue of For The People (Vol.17, #2), the newsletter of the Abraham Lincoln Association, has an article about Stephen A. Douglas that gives insight into his character. Cox writes: “I had not read about him except what appears in Lincoln biographies, and I wasn’t surprised to see he chose Illinois over New York to practice law when he learned that in Illinois he only had to have recommendations of fitness from two lawyers, rather than New York’s seven years of classical and legal study. After all, Lincoln obtained his law license in this manner.

“However, I was surprised to read that in Jacksonville, Ill., where he first settled, 12 lawyers did not feel he was fit to practice law. After some study, he finally got two of Jacksonville’s Democratic lawyers to give him recommendations, and then he was licensed. After getting elected to the legislature, he wrote a bill that would pack the Illinois Supreme Court, then managed to get himself appointed to that body. He got Gov. Carlin to appoint him secretary of state, but resigned after only three months after promoting and signing a charter for the Mormon city of Nauvoo. In short, the article provides an insight to an ambitious political character and how he achieved some of his successes.”

Lincoln’s Clone: Much More than Appearance; Amazing Coincidences, As Well

Submitted by Cortland Savage, Texas

On Feb. 12, 1976, Cortland Savage began his Lincoln look-alike beard in preparation for the U.S. Bicentennial. He first appeared in costume on July 4, 1976, to represent the 16th president for the Patriotic Pageant in Beaumont, Texas.

Savage had moved his family to Jefferson County, Texas, some 10 years earlier to work for the Texas State Welfare. Fellow employees began to say “Cortland, you have got to be kin to Abraham Lincoln!”

Savage’s maternal grandmother was born near Roanoke, Va., in 1889. (Both of Lincoln’s parents were born in Virginia.) Her father, Norman Kesler, was born on Lincoln’s birthday — Feb. 12 – in 1853.

Savage’s father was born 100 years after Lincoln in 1909. Both had a sister two years older. Sarah Lincoln married Aaron Grigsby. Savage’s Aunt Versie, born in 1907, married Harvey Grigsby (about 100 years apart).

A. Lincoln announced his law partnership on April 12, 1837. (An advertisement in the Springfield newspaper shows that Lincoln hung out his shingle on that date.) The Civil War began April 12, 1861. Savage was born April 12, 1932.

Lincoln had been reading and studying law in New Salem and moved to a larger city in the state where he met his wife and where their first son was born. History repeated itself in 1960 when, after training and studying for his profession, Savage moved to a larger city in his state where he met his wife and where their first son was born. Their brides were both 23 years old.

In 1976, Savage’s younger son, Michael, was in photos representing Tad Lincoln. Full-time portrayal of the 16th president began for Savage on April 9, 1977.

One hundred years before Savage’s birth in Texas in 1932, A. Lincoln was in the Army during the Black Hawk War (1832). He was released May 27, 1832, from service. Savage was drafted May 27, 1954, into the U.S. Army. His army discharge was on his future wife’s birthday, May 3, 1956. On May 3, 1865, the funeral train bearing Lincoln’s body rounded the bend into Springfield early in the morning. The procession began and the funeral was on May 4.

Legend tells of Lincoln’s relationship with Ann Mae Rutledge. Savage’s college heartthrob was born in Kentucky 100 years after the death of Ann Rutledge on Aug. 25, 1835. That relationship was also a platonic one.

Savage’s father died in Kentucky near the birthplace of Lincoln and is buried in Lexington, Ky., Mary Todd Lincoln’s home town. Her father died in 1849, and Mary died on same date — July 16 – in 1882. On July 16, 1982, Savage and his wife began their wedding rehearsal at 7 p.m. — 100 years later to the hour. The wedding was the next evening.

William Herndon, Lincoln’s final law partner, described Lincoln’s method of work and said his stovepipe hat was size 7 1/8 inches on the hatter’s block. Savage’s hat size is the same (7 1/8). Savage does employ much of Lincoln’s methods as a plodder.

Detective Allan Pinkerton guarded the president-elect on the train trip to Washington City for Lincoln’s inauguration. Hearing of a plot in Baltimore, he disguised Lincoln in a Scot’s garb to move him to another train car. Interesting. Savage was the first “Scotsman” on stage in a 1978 production of “Brigadoon: The Musical” and “Come Ye to the Fair.”
During the life of ALP Founder Dan Bassuk, Savage’s digital clock read 7:22 when he awakened. (Numbers always spoke to him somewhat.) This experience was occasional. Dan autographed one of the books Savage purchased “To Honest Abe himself.” To top it off, Savage’s digital clock read 7:22 a.m. on an April 15 and he phoned Dan Bassuk to relay this. Bassuk’s response was, “I don’t doubt it!”

In 1978, a notarized document was sent to the Library of Congress titled “Lincoln’s Clone.” With this report, Cortland Savage presents excerpts to the ALP for “Lincarnations” (an honest report).

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