In remembrance of the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s death in April 1865, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum asked Premier Christy Clark to prepare a letter reflecting on the meaning of Abraham Lincoln and his legacy to British Columbians. To ensure the letter was truly reflective of British Columbia’s unique perspective, Vancouver-False Creek MLA Sam Sullivan engaged with British Columbians in February 2015, to collaborate and share their personal stories about the legacy Lincoln created.
During the online consultation, which coincided with Black History Month and Heritage Week, historians, educators, musicians, community organizations, political leaders, heritage bloggers and citizens with family connections to Lincoln shared their stories through blog posts, email, mail, social media and by phone.
Timeframe: February 1 to February 28, 2015
- 1,881 website visits
- 9 online comments
- 7 email submissions
- MLA Sam Sullivan conducted 3 interviews to citizens with a connection to this time in history.
Input into Action:
- The comments and personal reflections received touched on the legacy of Abraham Lincoln, the civil war era and B.C.’s connection to this important time in history.
- Government heard from historians, educators, musicians, community organizations, political leaders, heritage bloggers and citizens with family connections to Lincoln. We heard from people in Prince George, Saanich, Victoria, Kelowna and Vancouver.
- One B.C. Resident was born in Lincoln’s home town and the site of the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Library and Museum — Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois. She told us that her most significant family connection to Lincoln was a letter written by Laura Ann Geddes, the daughter of her great, great grandfather, Thomas Geddes. She was a student at the teachers’ college in Normal, Illinois when Lincoln’s funeral train passed though during the early morning hours of May 5, 1865. This train bore the body of the assassinated President to its burial in Lincoln’s hometown of Springfield Illinois. Two days later, she penned an eloquent letter to her mother in Fountain Green home about the college’s preparations and tributes for the train’s passage and the associated emotions. Laura’s letter is included in the submission to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
- All citizen contributions were reviewed and the final letter prepared. It is now paired with previous letters of condolences in the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum; the 2015 letter with attachments are included in an exhibit available to the world, in a published volume of selected letters, and a permanent part of the collections. They are posted at:
Read the letter sent from Premier Clark to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
Read the 1865 letter sent from A.E. Kennedy
Read the 1865 Resolution of the Legislative Assembly of Vancouver Island
Read the BC Government News Release January 31, 2015
Read the BC Government News Release April 3, 2015