Wow! The three-day book tour Oct. 27-29 by historian and educator Michael Hogan was quite successful in introducing his book “Abraham Lincoln and Mexico” to Chicago. His presentations examined Lincoln’s opposition to the Mexican-American War as a member of Congress, and Lincoln’s role as president in helping Mexico end French occupation of North America.
The presentations also examined the role of Irish-Americans who helped Mexico during both wars, and how US businessmen helped Mexico with financing in the 1860s. Here’s a quick rundown of what happened during the book tour, along with more photos at the end of the blogpost.
At noon on Friday, Oct. 27, Dr. Hogan addressed the historic Union League Club of Chicago to discuss the book and answer questions. The event was hosted by the Civil War Roundtable, and many questions focused on how Lincoln used the Emancipation Proclamation to enable freed slaves to become soldiers in the Union Army and became known as the US Colored Troops. Many of these same troops later went to Mexico to help exiled President Benito Juárez overthrow the French monarchy of Maximilian. It was a fascinating discussion with the audience of civic leaders, business people, Lincoln history aficionados, and educators.
Later in the afternoon of Oct. 27, Daniel Weinberg and Bjorn Skaptason of the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop arranged a live interview with Dr. Hogan on the national Author’s Voice program. The program originated live from the book shop with Weinberg and Dr. Hogan discussing the history of US-Mexican relations before the war of 1846-48, why Lincoln as a freshman congressman opposed the war, and Lincoln’s role as president in helping Mexico although he was preoccupied with the Civil War. You can click here to see the complete archived video.
Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 28-29, Dr. Hogan was one of the featured authors at the Irish Book and Music Celebration hosted by the Irish-American Heritage Center. The IBAM audience was also quite interested in Dr. Hogan’s earlier book “The Irish Soldiers of Mexico” that chronicled the story of Irish-American soldiers leaving the US Army to fight alongside Mexican troops against the invading US troops. Mexico City has a monument honoring the San Patricios, most of whom were captured and hanged as traitors by victorious US troops during the conquest of Mexico.
Many IBAM audience members were also interested to learn more about Lincoln’s support for Juárez in exile, and the role of Irish-American Gen. Philip Sheridan in helping Mexico. Sheridan commanded 50,000 US troops (including 4,000 USCT soldiers) sent to the Texas border to prevent French troops from entering the US and aiding the Confederacy. And he also gave critical military aid to troops loyal to Juárez. Part of that aid included 30,000 new repeating rifles “lost” at the US-Mexican border so Mexican troops could “find” them.
The Chicago events were part of outreach activities by the Lincoln and Mexico Project (LAMP) to inform and educate people about facts overlooked or ignored in other books about US History. Audience members at the Union League Club and the IBAM event bought many copies, and you can click here to order one of the special autographed books directly from the Abraham Lincoln Book Shop.
We really appreciate the help of the many supporters in Chicago who made the October events a great success, especially Chris Lynch, Tom Boyle, and Jimmy Sloan for their hospitality and assistance. Thanks also to Brian Daley of the Union League Club, Cliff Carlson on the Irish American News for their sponsorship, and Luciana Mendez of DePaul University for onsite sales at the IBAM event.
LAMP is an international project, with volunteer representatives in Guadalajara, San Diego, Los Angeles, Austin, and Chicago, and we’re expanding to Washington DC, New York City, and Boston. If you’re interested in helping LAMP in your area, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Come join us!