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Now he belongs to the ages/angels

Discussion in 'Book & Movie Review Tent' started by diddyriddick, May 26, 2009.

  1. diddyriddick

    diddyriddick Sergeant Major

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    Read Manhunt: The 12 Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer this weekend. While I wouldn't call it serious history, it was an entertaining read.

    But I have a question. When Swanson narrates Linconln's death, he quotes Stanton as saying "Now he belongs to the angels." I had always heard that it was "Now he belongs to the ages."

    So was it the spiritual former, or the poetic latter?
     

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  3. samgrant

    samgrant Captain Retired Moderator

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    This question has long been speculated on.

    Adam Gopnik (an excellent writer, by the way) devoted an article on the question in the May 28, 2007 issue of The New Yorker magazine.

    You can read it here:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/05/28/070528fa_fact_gopnik

    Gopnik expanded on that with a book published early this year titled "Angels and Ages: A Short Book About Darwin, Lincoln, and Modern Life". Lincoln and Darwin were born on the same day!

    You can read some reviews of that book here:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/pr...85/ref=dp_proddesc_0?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=books

    --

    I was reminded of that recently when the Chicago Historical Society recently had a Lincoln exhibition which included the Everett Copy of the Gettysburg Address, his writing desk, comb and brush, pocket watch, etc. and the bed in which he died. I asked the museum guard if he had measurements of the bed. He said "I don't know, the curator was just here 5 minutes ago. He knows everything about this!" So I stepped it off and it was no longer that 6 feet long.
    Not the bedclothes of course.

    It was unexpectedly quite emotional to read Lincon's words in his own hand.

    --
     
  4. atthelevy

    atthelevy Corporal

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    With regard to Lincolns death bed;
    About 17 years ago I had a very funny experience with Lincolns personal items.
    The Death bed was then on exhibition at the the Chicago Historical Society along with many personal objects of Lincolns.
    I was transfixed and stood by the bed for at least a half hour. Lincolns reading glasses were enclosed in a glass case which my husband saw me admire for an unhealthy length of time. Now, my children were still children at the time and my family has long been aware of my unnatural obsession with Lincoln (my surprise 30th birthday was Lincoln themed- who does that?)- anyway my young son exited into a courtyard that was a fire exit. Naturally alarms went off all over the building and security surrounded me. My husband came running for he had assumed I had stolen Lincolns eyeglasses in some fit of insanity and bizarre devotion to the Man.
    When he realized it was the "kid" I said "honey , how could you even entertain the notion I would steal, let alone from a museum?" He said "When it comes to Lincoln you're crazy" Ironically, many years later my son would supervise the move of many of these historical Lincoln items when the Society was renovated. I have heard it was a misquote that it was really said "now he belongs to the angels instead of ages: who knows -either way it is accurate.
     
  5. Glorybound

    Glorybound Major Retired Moderator

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    Atthelevy, I tend to lean towards your position when it comes to Lincoln. I'm guessing you have been to his tomb in Springfield. That's a very solemn, reverent place. I've visited his boyhood homes in Kentucky and Indiana, and of course his home in Springfield.

    Everything I've heard in my formal education, books, and elsewhere has the Stanton quote ending in "ages", although it could very easily have been "angels" too, I suppose. But you are right, both words convey the same thing, an eternal existence, which I think is quite fitting and proper.



    Lee
     
  6. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    Gotcha, gals and guys. "Angels" or "Ages" are not different. The sentiment is the same.

    Ole
     
  7. diddyriddick

    diddyriddick Sergeant Major

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    Unless, of course, you don't believe in angels.
     
  8. larry_cockerham

    larry_cockerham Southern Gentleman, Lest We Forget, 2011

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    Abraham Lincoln was a man faced with an almost insurmountable task. A nation divided was not exactly a team of oxen pulling on the same tree in a positive sense. How did he attempt to solve the problem? With politics of course, the only weapon he knew and could manipulate. Therein lie the few negative images he left on this earth. A slow walk up the memorial in Washington, pausing to read his words chiseled on the wall behind and to stare at his ugly ****[self inflicted] will cause even the non-believer to take note of his greatness.
     
  9. hoosier

    hoosier 2nd Lieutenant Forum Host

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    I hesitate to start a theological discussion, but my concept of the Christian tradition is that the souls of the departed belong either to the Lord or to Satan. If angels have custody at all, it's only temporary.

    For that reason, I find it hard to believe that Stanton would have said "angels," but maybe his concept was different from mine.

    Either way, Stanton's words are certainly more memorable than if he would have said something like "Well, he's dead. Somebody go tell Johnson he's President now."
     
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  10. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    I think Stanton said and meant to say "ages." But then, your nickel is worth the same as mine is.

    Ole
     
  11. diddyriddick

    diddyriddick Sergeant Major

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    I, too, didn't mean to start a religious row. Just curious. Thanks for all the great responses, folks!
     

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