Abraham Lincoln is in the House

Abraham Lincoln was in the house, and in the flesh, at our most recent Lincoln Group of DC event. Fresh off his recreation of the Gettysburg Address last month, George Buss brought Abraham Lincoln to life again for those lucky enough to be in attendance.

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Well known for his portrayal of our 16th President, Buss was in town to give a press conference the next day downtown for Illinois Statehood Day. He also gave a special event for Congressmen in the capitol building. Accompanying him was Bob Lenz, a prominent Illinois attorney, former president of the Abraham Lincoln Association, and playing the role of Lincoln’s chief-of-staff.

The Lincoln Group was honored to have President Lincoln join us for dinner and then entertain questions from our members. Below he catches up on the latest news from the war front from Lincoln members John O’Brien, Wendy Swanson, and John Elliff.

John O'Brien, Abraham Lincoln, Wendy Swanson, John Elliff

As is common with press conferences, President Lincoln gave a stirring opening statement, part of which was captured by fame photographer Mathew Brady (played by yours truly).

The consensus among attendees was that George Buss’s Lincoln was an amazing event. He looks, sounds, and feels like your in President Lincoln’s very presence. From a personal perspective, I first met George last year in Gettysburg and was honored to join him at his dinner table the final night of the Lincoln Forum conference, along with several fans that made the trip from Illinois. I’m looking forward to seeing him again in the future.

David J. Kent has been a scientist for thirty-five years, is an avid science traveler, and an independent Abraham Lincoln historian. He is the author of Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity (now in its 5th printing) and two e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate. His book on Thomas Edison is due in Barnes and Noble stores in spring 2016.

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4 thoughts on “Abraham Lincoln is in the House

  1. Locally, back in the States, McAvoy Layne quite impressively portrays “The Ghost of (Mark) Twain.” He’s done this for something like 30-years now. He’s very impressive to watch, but also extraordinarily knowledgeable in both a factual and informed-intuitive way regarding the man he portrays.

    I think this is a fantastic way to bring history alive. Textbooks, and even films don’t offer such a tangible connection to the human aspect of history. People such as Buss present a way for those who would otherwise be mere indirect spectators of history to interact, more or less, directly through an expert surrogate.

    • Having that knowledge – quoting from speeches, recounting experiences, etc. – really makes the difference. We need more of this.

      I’ll actually be seeing George Buss again today as he’ll be sitting in on our Lincoln book discussion group at Ford’s Theatre. Given the history of that theatre, he’ll be coming as George, not Abe. 🙂

      • Agreed. I think this kind of interactive presentation would be invaluable to much history instruction — along with out-of-character debriefings that can add objectivity to the interpretations. I appreciate the case that Mr. Buss also has much to contribute as himself (especially considering the venue). Aside from his factual expertise, I suspect that the moments of “in character” add much to the value of his intuitions. I know I’ve had some interesting conversations with Mr. Layne regarding his interpretation of Twain. Great stuff!

        • Today during our book discussion, both George and Bob (who had played Lincoln’s non-existent chief-of-staff) related how they each grew up in Illinois (one of the famous “debate” towns even) and how that influenced their interests. It was great to see how much both had become experts on the history, not just actors memorizing lines.

          I would love to hear Mark Twain. Not that was an interesting guy (and a friend of Tesla).

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