Abraham Lincoln: A Discourse Given Through Mrs. Cora L.V. Richmond, by Cora L.V. Richmond
This book is one of the weirdest books that has ever been written about Abraham Lincoln, from a woman who claimed to be a spiritist who spoke as possessed by a demon impersonating him. Given that this particular booklet is only 8 pages long, it certainly doesn’t present a lot of demands on the reader as a piece of writing. The demands it places are more a discussion of either fraud and chicanery on the part of the writer or the deceptiveness that results from demonic possession, and the way that this book operates demonstrates the dangers of such matters and even perhaps an interest in them. This particular incident occurred at the supposed “Church of the Soul” that met in Chicago, Illinois at a Masonic Temple on a Sunday morning, and the context of this book demonstrates the way that people will try to put words into Lincoln’s mouth, a tendency that is certainly not limited to this book but is quite a serious phenomenon in the studies of Lincolnia as a whole. This book simply provides a short entrance into the unreliability of that which is taken to be discussions of Lincoln.
To the point, this book shows a speaker either making up something or speaking under demonic possession that purports to be Lincoln’s own words, and the statement shows the sort of skewed political perspective that attacks unpopular political causes that one would expect from such a nontraditional setting of people who are hostile to established ways of doing things. This book also demonstrates the way that false speaking tends to flatter the speaker and provide support for their own pet ideas and theories rather than challenging the ideals and behavior of the people who hear the message. It’s hard to find much of worth here, as the message itself is not like Lincoln’s at all, who always managed to avoid direct denunciations and to speak with charity about those he disagreed with as a way of seeking to win them over, something not in evidence here. One wonders if anyone was convinced by this obvious fraud.