HistoryBuff.com November 2010 Newsletter
To unsubscribe from the HistoryBuff.com newsletter, click here and enter your email address in the form. Your email address will be immediately removed.

Two 13-Year-Old Boys;
Each With a Unique Abraham Lincoln Distinction

John C. Collins was the younger brother of William Collins. His older brother was stationed at Washington City (DC) in 1864 and 1865. John had come to spend a few days with his brother at camp and became the camp mascot. Boston Corbett was the man who shot and killed Booth. John meet Boston Corbett and had a visit with him. Corbett gave John an autographed photo of himself.

Shortly after the death of Booth, John's older brother, William, was injured in a skirmish with Morgan's men and was sent to the Soldier's Home (hospital) in Washington City. Thus, John stayed with the camp until his brotherís return. In the meantime, the Lincoln Conspirator's Trail was finishing up. His brother was still in the hospital on the day of the hanging of the conspirators, so John got the questionable idea that he wanted to witness the hanging.

The yard where the execution took place had a high brick wall to keep people out and all the doors leading to the yard were guarded because only the select few with tickets were supposed to be allowed in. John did not have a ticket, but Captain Doherty, with William's regiment, knew the boy and let him in anyway. John soon regretted witnessing the hanging. He wrote in a letter, years later, that after the drops were released "I turned away with a sensation of horror and faintness and a feeling that I have never since lost, that I had no wish ever to witness another such scene." John has the indubitable distinction of being the last living person that had witnessed the hanging of the Lincoln conspirators. John died in 1928. He was also the founder of the current Boy's Clubs.

Abraham Lincoln died on April 15, 1865. In November 1876, thieves attempted to steal his body buried inside the Lincoln Tomb in Springfield, Illinois and hold it for ransom. The sarcophagus had been opened but, fortunately, they were caught before they could actually make off with the body. Rumors persisted that Lincolnís body was NOT in the casket because the thieves had actually succeeded in stealing it. Some people claimed there was a government cover-up. In 1899, the Lincoln Tomb was literally falling apart and had to be torn down completely and rebuilt. It wasnít finished until 1901. At that time, the Lincoln Guard of Honor, a group of men responsible for guarding the tomb, decided that they would open the casket to confirm that Lincolnís body was really in it.

One of the men sent word to his 13-year-old son to hurry over to the tomb to see "something he will remember for the rest of his life." The boy's name was Fleetwood Lindley. When the coffin was opened there was a strong pungent odor. Despite this, the group leaned over the casket and peered in. Lincolnís face was covered in white powder but still highly recognizable including his beard, hair, and wart. The powder was actually chalk that had to be applied to Lincoln's face while in route for his many funerals in April and May 1865. Midway through the 1,700 mile journey, Lincoln's face had turned black. Lincolnís clothing had yellow mold on them. The flag that was draped over his body had mostly disintegrated with only small swatches of red, white and blue cloth left. Fleetwood Lindley died in 1963. He was proud of the distinction of being the last living person to peer on the face of Abraham Lincoln.

After the viewing, Lincoln's casket was sealed and moved to a previously dug hole that was a ten-foot cube. Lincolnís casket was lowered in it, then covered with concrete. This way, it would be impossible for anyone to try and steal the body again.

Will Rogers and Politics

Will Rogers was a famous humorist during the depression of the 1930s. Here are some of his quotes concerning politics and government:

"In America we have the best politicians money can buy."

"I could never understand why a man would spend $50,000 to get elected to an office when the job only pays $3000 a year!"

"The taxpayers are sending congressmen on expensive trips abroad. It might be worth it except they keep coming back!"

"Why don't they pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting anybody from learning anything? If it works as well as prohibition did, in five years Americans would be the smartest race of people on Earth."

"You can't say civilization isn't advancing; in every war they kill you in a new way."

"I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts."

"There's no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you."

"Ancient Rome declined because it had a Senate; now what's going to happen to us with both a Senate and a House?"

"On account of being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only nation in the world that has to keep a government four years, no matter what it does."

"Elections are a good deal like marriages. There's no accounting for anyone's taste. Every time we see a bridegroom we wonder why she ever picked him, and it's the same with public officials."

"The Democrats and Republicans are equally corrupt -- it's only in the amount where the Republicans excel."

"I can remember way back when a liberal was generous with his own money."

"A fool and his money are soon elected."

"We always want the best man to win an election. Unfortunately, he never runs."

"You've got to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and you've got to be a humorist to stay one."

"Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for."

"I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat."


As a result of my appeal for donations in the previous issue, Grant Johnston, Pamela Mathewson and Joseph D'Allocco made one-time donations. Thank you.

If you desire to make a one-time donation through PayPal, utilize the link below. The dollar amount donated is up to you.

Help Support HistoryBuff.com

Another method to make a donation is a paid subscription for the HistoryBuff.com newsletter. If you feel the newsletter is worth $1, per issue, you may want to pay for a subscription. A paid subscription is totally optional. You'll never miss that $1 each month and it will greatly help to keep HistoryBuff.com online and free. Thank you.

The HistoryBuff.com newsletter will continue to be free of charge.
A paid subscription is optional.

Subscribe to the HistoryBuff.com Newsletter - $1 Per month (Optional)

If you prefer NOT to use a credit card or PayPal, a check or money order can be mailed to: Rick Brown, HistoryBuff.com, 6031 Winterset Drive, Lansing, MI 48911. Make check or money order payable to HistoryBuff.com. Thank you.


October Contest

CONTEST ONE QUESTION: Which American general and supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in World War II launched the invasion of Normandy in 1944 and oversaw the final defeat of Germany in 1945?

ANSWER: Dwight David Eisenhower

CONTEST TWO QUESTION: Of all the states in the United States, which one has its capitol the farthest south?

ANSWER: Hawaii

Eighty-nine people entered the contests. Seven people had an incorrect subject heading. Five failed to select a prize if they won. Six people selected a prize from Contest One prize list but answered the Contest Two question. Four people sent the answers for both contests in one email and failed to select a prize if they won. One prize went unclaimed.

The October Contest Winners Were:
  • Michael A. DeLia - New Jersey
  • Morgan Dubiel - Illinois
  • Ann Thomas - Maryland
  • Grover Godwin - South Carolina
  • Clare Sleeter - Washington
  • Julie Hutchins - Kansas

This Issue's Questions:

To enter Contest One, answer the question: In only one United States presidential election the vote of the electoral college was unanimous. Who was named president in this campaign?

To enter Contest Two, answer the question: What 1950s TV series used the William Tell Overture as its theme song?

Contest Rules

  • Contest entry deadline is Thursday, November 18, 2010. Later entries will be disqualified. Winners will be notified by email within 72 hours after the contest deadline. Winners' names and states will be published in the next issue of the HistoryBuff.com newsletter.

  • To enter Contest One or Contest Two, email your answer to curator at historybuff.com

  • To enter Contest One, use "Contest One Entry" for the emailed contest entry subject heading and answer the Contest One question. Any other subject heading will be disqualified.

  • To enter Contest Two, use "Contest Two Entry" for the emailed contest entry subject heading and answer the Contest Two question. Any other subject heading will be disqualified.

  • Subscribers may enter both contests, but only win one prize.

  • If entering both contests, entries must be sent in separate emails.

  • If answering the Contest One question, select your prize from the Contest One prize list.

  • If answering the Contest Two question, select your prize from the Contest Two prize list.

  • From subscribers entering the contest, submitting the correct answer, correct subject heading, submission received by the deadline, as well as advising which ONE contest prize they want to win, SEVEN will be selected to win ONE of the contest prizes below.

  • Subscribers to this newsletter that won a prize in my trivia contests in the last 90 days are ineligible to win.
October Contest One Prize List
(Select ONE of the two prizes below if enterering Contest One)


Victory at Sea
11 Hours of WWII Documentaries

DVD Game

Trivia Party
Movie Trivia Questions

October Contest Two Prize List

(Select ONE of the prizes below if enterering Contest Two)

DVD Movie

Mr. Robinson Crusoe (1932)

Douglas Fairbanks Jr.


The Betty White Show
Epsodes of the original 1950s TV series

Original Historic Newspapers

Manchester American & Messanger (New Hampshire) historic newspaper from 1853

The World (New York) from 1864

Original Coldwater Republican (Michigan) historic newspaper from 1876
That's it for this issue.

Rick Brown

To visit HistoryBuff.com go to http://www.historybuff.com
To unsubscribe from the HistoryBuff.com newsletter,
click here and enter your email address in the form.
Your email address will be immediately removed.