Sunday, August 4, 2013


    We are heading out this morning to visit the Reagan Presidential Library with the special exhibit about Lincoln.   It got me to thinking about how our ancestors lives might have intertwined with those of presidents.
     Elisha Gates was born just after George Washington was inaugurated and died during Abraham Lincoln's first term.  His life spanned the terms of sixteen presidents.  He might have seen President William Henry Harrison since they both fought in the Battle of the Thames.  It is unlikely though that a general would have had much to do with a lowly private.  
    My Baylor ancestor's may have heard President Lincoln when he gave a speech in Bloomington, Illinois on May 29, 1856.
     My mother used to tell me a story of her ancestor who served with George Washington at Valley Forge and participated in the Crossing of the Delaware.  Unfortunately, I haven't proved if this is true or who it might be.  She also told me that my ancestor was in the front of the boat in the picture.  Based on when and where the painting was made, I question the veracity of that fact.   
     I do know that my Grandfather served with Dwight D. Eisenhower when they were both stationed in Panama after World War I.  Grandpa and Grandma Armstrong lived next door to the Eisenhowers and enjoyed playing cards together.  My dad was about ten years old at the time and remembered the Eisenhowers.   Grandma Armstrong used to shop with Mamie Eisenhower and they both bought the same china set in Panama.  You can see that china on the Thanksgiving dinner table in the adjacent picture.
     My granddaughters are related to Lincoln through his mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln.  Which brings us to the main reason we are visiting the Reagan Presidential Library - the Lincoln Exhibit. 

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