Civil War Washington…with the Lincolns

There is no shortage of interesting and engaging blogs concerning the Civil War, especially given the current commemorations of the 150th anniversary of the war. For the digital history project, I am looking to create a WordPress blog and Civil War Washington D.C travel blog, through the eyes of the Lincolns. There are plenty of great travel blogs, including numerous ones that detail all of the fantastic opportunities here in DC. This blog is an opportunity to present some great historic sites and historic conversations from the perspective of the Lincolns’ experience in Washington.

Each week I would post as a member of the family who spent time in Washington during Lincoln’s presidency. Posts would also include Tad or Willie, who could offer families some great insights and suggestions of places to bring their children to see. One of the types of blog posts I plan on using to help relate our current environment in DC to our historic past is by asking readers to to post pictures of the buildings and monuments to show where old buildings used to stand. In addition to just presenting information about historic sites and programs in D.C., the blog will offer visitors the chance to comment on their experiences at these sites while engaging in conversations about memory.

The best contribution this blog can offer is a chance to participate and help create memory surrounding the Civil War in the nation’s capital.This past year historian David Blight published American Oracle, a book that details how historians and authors wrote and remembered the Civil War during the Civil Rights Movement. This blog can serve as a tool for historians, including myself, when trying to analysis and reflect on how our unique society remembered this crucial period in history during the 150th anniversary. With the first African-American President still serving here in the city that Lincoln helped craft, I am hoping to give people a rescource for exploring not only this city, but history too. Every corner in Washington has a Civil War story, and the chance to use Lincoln as the voice would only attract more members to this conversation. I want this blog to be a forum for people to present how and why they engage and remember these places Americans, including the Lincolns, frequented. This is our capital, and this blog is a chance for people to use their voices to determine how we memorialize one of the saddest times in our history.

2 Replies to “Civil War Washington…with the Lincolns”

  1. This is such a great project! I am already excited for the final product. Not only can visitors gain insight into primary sources on the Lincolns, but also learn about how spaces were perceived 150 years ago. I also really like the aspect of how visitors can then add their own pictures and comments–further shaping how these spaces are perceived today.

    For scholars and Civil War researchers (and maybe just Civil War enthusiasts), it might also be great to have a place at the bottom of the blog post where you can cite where the material for this certain post came from and include recommendations for other historical books related to the same topic. This way scholars and researchers can further their understanding of the Lincolns in Washington, D.C. and personally engage in the source material.

  2. This is a fun idea. I think it would be of broad interest to a range of folks. I remain a little bit confused on exactly how it will work to blog as the Lincolns about events that are commemorating them. I could imagine doing something where you pretend to blog as them from the past, or where you just blog as yourself and review/draw attention to Civil War commemorations in DC but I have a hard time imagining exactly what it looks like to combine them.

    In any event, this is a great topic, and I think you can generate a lot of interest in this.

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