Monday, March 11, 2013

Times-News: Quote On New Idaho Statehouse Plaque May Not Have Been Lincoln's

Posted By on Mon, Mar 11, 2013 at 9:15 AM


A mini-brouhaha has surfaced in the shadow of Idaho's March 4 sesquicentennial celebration, which included music, numerous speeches—including an Abraham Lincoln impersonator—and the renaming of the State Capitol's West Wing meeting room as the Abraham Lincoln Auditorium.

A new plaque next the auditorium door includes a quote attributed to Lincoln: "There is both a power and a magic in public opinion. To that let us now appeal."

But this morning's Twin Falls Times-News reports that the quote may not have been Lincoln's. Former Lt. Gov. and Attorney General David Leroy—the state's foremost Lincoln historian—told the Times-News that the words come from a Lincoln speech delivered in 1856 but that no verified transcripts exist.

But the Times-News reports that two other Lincoln historians disagree with the veracity of the quote, saying that the words were paraphrases or "even conjured up out of thin air," said Geoff Elliot, a historian who studied Lincoln for 40 years.

All of the historians agreed, however, that the "sentiment" of the plaque was appropriate.

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