Saturday, March 21, 2009

A strange confluence of events

I just watched this 2 hours documentary on TV about the stealing of Lincoln's body (which I highly recommend by the way, it was really excellently made) and was reminded of something that I read about in Theodore Roosevelt's biography. 

Roosevelt's father knew Lincoln and his mother was a southern belle so it's not surprising that young Teddy was made to watch (though knowing TR's interest in taxidermy he may have been eager to see) the slain President's funeral procession. In this photo of the funeral procession passing the corner of 14th street and Broadway, we see on the left the mansion of Cornelius Roosevelt and in the second floor are the figures of 6-year old Teddy and his brother Elliot. (as a side note, and rather sadly, that site is now a very modern building and a store called Shoe Mania, which Amanda and I have been in and do not recommend).

This is really the kind of history I love because while it's so simple and logical, it's thrilling to see how people's lives overlap, and how history actually unfolds--especially when those people happen to be Presidents of the United States. While I could go on and on about the strange events that surround Lincoln in life and in death, I'll just leave it with this one: Teddy lived at his father's house a few blocks away at 28 East 20th and literally a block east opposite Gramercy Park at number 16 lived Edwin Booth, one of the most famous actors in America and brother of Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. That's quite a neighborhood.


Amanda said...

1) wow.

2) Shoe mania... that place sucked.

parisienish said...

wow is right.