©2011 Galesburg Broadcasting Co.
|Celebrating An Icon at the Orpheum Theatre
|The weekend is all about Abraham Lincoln in Galesburg.
Monmouth College and the Orpheum Theatre have teamed up to present "Our American Cousin," the play Lincoln was watching the night he was assassinated at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. Also on the docket Saturday was a free symposium and exhibit, featuring a series of lectures about Lincoln's life and memorabilia and estate items from the Lincoln Collection of the Warren County Public Library.
One of the lectures, "The Life of Mary Todd Lincoln," was presented by Monmouth College history professor Dr. Stacy Cordery. Cordery says Mrs. Lincoln was an extraordinarily complex woman who might have suffered from bi-polar disorder, although that will probably never be known, and at one point after her husband's death she was institutionalized at her son Robert's urging. Cordery says Mary Lincoln believed women were better judges of character than men, and she made over Abraham Lincoln's image. She threw legendary parties, wore contentious clothing, and Cordery says, was ultimately snubbed by the Washington D-C elite.
"She was lonely in D-C, cut off from family and very few real friends. Much worse, the first lady's patriotism was questioned. She was a southerner afterall. Critics accused her of being a Confederate spy, especially when some of her southern relatives visited the White House."
Cordery says Mary Lincoln was holding her husband's hand in Ford's Theature when he was shot by John Wilkes Booth, and she wasn't allowed in the room where Abraham Lincoln died. She says Mary Lincoln did not attend the funeral, and eventually moved to Europe before dying at her sister's home in Springfield in 1882.
Three other lectures delved into conspiracy theories surrounding Abraham Lincoln's assassination (Dr. William Urban), participants in the Civil War from West Central Illinois (Professor Thomas Best) and a production history of the play "Our American Cousin." (Dr. William Wallace)
The final showing of the play is at 2:00 Sunday afternoon at the Orpheum Theatre.
Pictures from "And How Was the Play, Mrs. Lincoln?" A Symposium on the life and times of our 16th president:
Dr. William Wallace of Monmouth College opens the lecture portion of the symposium Saturday at the Orpheum Theatre. Wallace is the stage director of "Our American Cousin."
Jeff Rankin, director of Communications at Monmouth College and western Illinois historian, shows a Lincoln family tree during the symposium
Dr. Stacy Cordery, Monmouth College history professor, discusses the life of Mary Todd Lincoln
Dr. William Urban, senior member of the Monmouth College History Department, gives a lecture about conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln
Items from the Lincoln Collection of the Warren County Public Library on display at the Orpheum Theatre for Saturday afternoon's Lincoln symposium
(Story and pictures by WGIL's Mike Perry)
|04 04 09 by Newsroom
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