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"Abe Lincoln spoke out last Sunday"







WALTERVILLE: “In giving freedom to the slaves, we guarantee freedom to the free.” Those words were spoken last Sunday by actor Steve Holgate who was wearing makeup and a period costume to portray Abraham Lincoln. Channeling the 16th U.S. President, he reflected that the Civil War had, “Begun as a conflict of our Union and became a revolution for men’s souls.”

Holgate’s appearance at the Walterville Community Center was a fundraiser for the Leaburg Library. A twelve-score crowd (about 125 people) filled the hall and heard snippets from some famous speeches, insights into different aspects of Lincoln life and an opportunity to pose questions during a mock press conference.

Among the queries from the audience was one that asked how world powers viewed the country after the Civil War had ended. Holgate’s reply noted that both England and France had relied heavily on Southern cotton before the Union blocked Confederate ports. Fears they would join the South in the war didn’t develop, he noted, “In God’s great wisdom there were bumper crops of cotton in Egypt these couple of years and they found they didn’t need Southern cotton.”

Another questioner asked how future historians might look upon Lincoln’s presidency after 150 had passed. “Though we have gone through the fire, this Union will survive and whatever problems people are going through in the future, if they don’t lose their commitment in preserving this nation, in the long run we’ll be alright."

Image: Steve Holgate, as Abraham Lincoln, took his audience on an excursion back to what the mid-1860’s in America were like.


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