Abraham Lincoln's Cooper Union Address

Cooper UnionImage via Wikipedia

Today is the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's
 speech at Cooper Union in New York City.

We’d like to say something clever, and original;
but we're seldom original, and never clever.

Sure . . . there are all the tidbits we pick up here and there,
like that Lincoln’s voice was, unexpectedly,
 a shrill, tweedy thing . . .

Or, that he wasn't very popular until AFTER he got shot.

{Which kind of explains why he got shot.
 AND why he became popular afterwards}

{We DO SO LOVE our hero’s dead.
 JC, Ghandi, MLK, JFK . . .}

Then, there's his mad wife, Mary.  . . . Hmmm. . . .
"Mad Wife" now, there's an inevitability.

Lincoln's birthday was recently celebrated,
 We COULD talk about his chopping down the cherry tree,
. . . Uh . . . uhm. . . er . . . uh, was that  George? Never mind.

Okay, okay, let’s stick to the speech at Cooper Union.

Abraham Lincoln's Cooper Union Address:
"If slavery is right, all words, acts, laws, and constitutions against it, are themselves wrong, and should be silenced, and swept away. If it is right, we cannot justly object to its nationality - its universality; if it is wrong, they cannot justly insist upon its extension - its enlargement. All they ask, we could readily grant, if we thought slavery right; all we ask, they could as readily grant, if they thought it wrong. Their thinking it right, and our thinking it wrong, is the precise fact upon which depends the whole controversy. Thinking it right, as they do, they are not to blame for desiring its full recognition, as being right; but, thinking it wrong, as we do, can we yield to them? Can we cast our votes with their view, and against our own? In view of our moral, social, and political responsibilities, can we do this?"


Aw, nuts! Ye kin read this for yourselves, 
As ye kin also Google, Wiki, n' Yahooey
as many trivia-n-tidbits as ye' like to research.

Hmmmmm . . . 

so? What now?


When we were a young man
we had the opportunity to
work at Cooper Union 
for a summer.

We were involved in a project to
study traffic patterns in New York City.

The task force we worked for
included other students, and a staff
of computer scientists, engineers, 
secretaries, clerks, and others as one may expect
 in an office environment of this sort.

The project itself may be of some interest,
yet that will have to wait for another day.

Today we'd like to tell you of a very bad thing
that we did then, and which haunts us to this day.

Ye see, there was this woman who worked there,
ten or fifteen years our senior and we were
 very attracted to her,
 . . . fiercely attracted.

We were young, and we acted impulsively,
seldom considering the landscape.
So, we asked her on a date. She’d been 
acting receptive, as expected when we asked she accepted.

shortly, we came to realize that this woman was
 our bosses' girlfriend! 
We were horrified! 
What would he think, say or do? 

As the date approached we worried.

Finally, the day arrives, the woman comes to
 the office dressed to the nines,
and  . . . we chicken out.

We make up some lame excuse, which she politely
accepts, though she is visibly shaken and embarrassed
by our withdrawal.

 . . .

So, there it is. we asked this woman on a date,
then stood her up. We worked there for a couple of months
after this and she never looked our way, or spoke to us again.

And the embarrassment was unbearable.

(years later, her boyfriend taught a class
 we attended, and spent the semester trying
to place us in his memory. but we digress . . .)

So aside from taking place at Cooper Union,
you may ask, what does this have to do with
 Lincoln’s speech.

Not much. but it seems to us,
upon reading said speech, that though Lincoln
 had the conviction of his anti-slavery stance, 
he was more concerned with preserving the union
 than he was in abolishing slavery. He was ready to compromise.

you may keep your slaves; we will not take them away,
If you agree not to expand the practice into the territories,
and further agree not to break up the government.

This is akin to asking the anti-slavery movement
on a date then standing it up in order to keep
 his job. Sort of like we did with our bosses' girlfriend.

Who are we to judge? whaddooweenoh?

today we have a level of ideological split in this
 country, not seen since Lincoln's time.

 We have a President
 who seeks the same sort of compromise as Lincoln.

We have a President who will compromise
 progressive conviction
 for the sake of preserving national unity.

We don't like how the story ends,
 we didn't like how it ended for us,
nor do we like how it ends 
either for the country,
 . . .  nor for the President .


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Momza said...

FIRST: This is my most favorite post of yours because you shared something about yourself in it and I loved it! The whole story from the past thru Lincoln and to Obama!
Makes me think you have more to say than you let on...there's no turning back now.
Thanks so much for sharing!

Also, did not know that Abe Lincoln had a shrill voice. Woulda never guessed that.

bARE-eYED sUN said...

hi Momza!

thank you very much for the visit,
and the sweet comments.

life has been kind'a hectic
around here, not much time for

we Do however visit our favorites,
{you ARE one of 'em}

{love the new banner,
haven't checked the new blog,
are menfolk allowed?} :-0

and, we try to post something
to one of our blogs here and there,
'cause we DO enjoy blogging,

but, we seldom have much of
anything "ours" to share,
though ocassionally the bug
DOES bite.

thanks once more for the visit.
you always make us smile.


p.s. we were also surprised to
learn of Lincoln's voice;
kinda changed our image of

for the record,
we have the voice of Froggy from
the Little Rascals. some call us
Wolfman Jack.
bwaaahhaaaahaaaa! :-)


stregata said...

This was interesting, .ero!

bARE-eYED sUN said...

thank you, stregata.



Anonymous said...

People seem to have an affection for my cousin, President Lincoln. Or, they don't. Not sure where you stand but I will be satisfied with the post that I like. Thanks too for your visit.

Captain Dumbass said...

I just finished reading Team of Rivals which, if you haven't heard of it, is about Lincoln and how he assembled his cabinet. Amazing book.

Momza said...

;-)'re welcomed to any both blogs! Of course! I haven't been to a birth where there wasn't a man/father there!
Just so you're the only male blogger I follow.