Friday, February 15, 2013

Watch Abraham Lincoln give the Gettysburg Address at McSorley's

Well, in honor of Presidents' Day, McSorley's Day (Feb. 17) ... and the Oscar-busting "Lincoln" ... we give you the above video, in which, according to the YouTube description: "Greg Nissen portrays Abraham Lincoln [Ed Note: What, you expecting Daniel Day-Lewis?] on Lincoln's Birthday Feb. 12, 2011. Captain Zorikh is the Union soldier announcing him as he visits McSorley's Alehouse in New York City to recite the Gettysburg Address."

According to legend, Lincoln did actually visit McSorley's back in the day... reportedly after his famous Cooper Union Speech at Cooper Union's Great Hall on Feb. 27, 1860 ... which, according to scholar Harold Holzer, helped propel Lincoln into the presidency.

Find out more about Lincoln and the Cooper Union Speech here at the Greenwich Village Society for Historical Preservation.

A few years ago, The Examiner offered details about Lincoln's visit to McSorley's in 1860. Do with this information what you please. There's zero sourcing for it:

Later, several men took him to the nearby McSorley's Old Ale House at 15 East 7th Street. Sipping an ale, Lincoln looked around curiously. The "Men Only" pub, with its sawdust covered floors, pot-bellied stove in the middle of the room, and friendly Irish bartenders gave him a comfortable feeling.

His confidence was renewed by his tremendous success in New York. Both the speech at Cooper Union and his visit to McSorley's helped to make his political career.

Using public records, historian Richard McDermott has pointed out that the bar really opened in 1862 and not 1854, according to New York magazine. Makes a good story nonetheless.


pinhead said...

Well done, sir, but us sticklers noticed you forgot the part where Lincoln jams a silver swizzle stick into the vampire bartender.

EV Grieve said...

@ Pinhead

Haha! "There is darkness EVERYWHERE!"