Saturday, September 27, 2008

The River of Time

We met Mary Todd Lincoln today at the River of Time.  We talked to her for at least 90 minutes.  She had a lot to say.  To say the least.  She told us she decided to marry the President when she was 9 years old.  She told us that when she moved into the White House, it was a wreck and congress gave her $20,000 to fix it up.  She told us about her sons Willie and Tad loosing goats into a White House tea party.  She showed us her top petticoat under her dress and on top of her hoop skirt, with an American flag embroidered on it.  That was as political as women got since they were not allowed to vote. 

And she told us that Mr. Lincoln made all of his decisions by following God's direction.  His congress was always mad at him because he read the bible every morning instead of letting them advise him.  What happened to that kind of politician?  She talked to us about the United States being born of a need for human freedom.  That was exactly what made President Lincoln free the slaves in the southern states.  And that is exactly why we have intervened in so many wars around the world.  It is the reason we are in the war right now in Iraq.  We are helping people gain their freedom.  Some things never change, hmmm Mrs Lincoln?  I sure hope this is one thing that doesn't change.

And we talked to a Quartermaster Sergeant about the realities of being a soldier in the civil war.  

And this lovely lady told us all about the underground railroad.  

And this is our favorite french voyageur.  The voyageurs are a big part of the history of the area around Bay City.  The life of a voyageur was both exciting adventure and danger.  If you are 5'4"  or less, can carry 180 pounds, and cannot swim, you would have been hired to be a voyageur.  They made decent money.  They paddled a canoe 12-16 hours a day.  We talk to this guy every year, he is fascinating.

Here is what I think.  It would be a real blast to learn a character from history so well that you could act her out and answer questions about her life.  I would like to do that with the life of my 11th great grandmother Marie Rollet Hebert who settled Quebec with her husband in 1605.  
Normal Girl


votemom said...

did she tell you about how 3 (i think) of her sons died at very young ages?

hey, where was this?

Imaginina said...

She told us about the one that died as an infant, and about Willie who was 11. THe only other son she mentioned was Robert who had her committed to the insane asylum for shopping. She bought 7 sets of curtains. Pushed him over the edge.

It was in Bay City.

American Girl said...

TOTALLY COOL EVENT! I wish I would have been there.

I want to know more about your 11th grandmother...

Imaginina said...

Maybe I will blog about them sometime. It is a very cool story. There is a statue of my ancestors in old town Quebec.

Anonymous said...