Monday, April 13, 2009


". . . a new nation, conceived in Liberty . . . "
~The Gettysburg Address~

As research for the "272 Words" sampler, I looked at Lincoln's transcriptions of the Gettysburg Address, in his own handwriting. He starts with these words: "Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

Lincoln uses "Liberty" in mid-sentence, with a capital "L," referring to the country's birth in 1776. We see many capitalized words in The Declaration of Independence, where "unalienable Rights" are "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." Lincoln, by contrast, uses few caps . . . to me, that makes "Liberty" stand out.

The concept of Liberty is often depicted as a female figure, and very successfully -- in Eugene Delacroix's 1830 painting, Liberty Leading the People. In Frederic Bartholdi's design (France's gift to the U.S. in 1886) of The Statue of Liberty. On U.S. coinage, as Liberty Walking -- the 1916 design by Adolph Weinman. And more recently -- The New York Liberty, the women's basketball team of the WNBA founded in 1997.

It's fantastic to see Liberty associated with female strength, bravery, and resolve. How many of our mothers, sisters, daughters and friends would fit that description? Quite a few -- no doubt about it. Now that I think of it, Liberty with a capital "L" makes perfect sense.

Liberty . . . you go, girl!

7 comments:

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  2. I can't wait to see it all!
    I love your summary on Liberty... there is nothing prettier than Lady Libery on early American coinage! She is so beautiful... I wish they still made coins that way.
    Have a great day!
    KimV

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  3. Lili and Kim, thanks for your encouraging words! Kim, I'm not a coin collector, but there must be a strong market for Walking Liberty Half Dollars -- I've seen them offered on HSN and other websites.

    The Walking Liberty design is described as "a full-length figure of Liberty striding toward the dawn of a new day, clad in the Stars and Stripes and carrying branches of laurel and oak symbolizing civil and military glory."

    It's one of my favorite images on coinage. I love the stars in Liberty's hair!

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  4. Terry a/k/a Theresa RachtApril 14, 2009 at 6:29 PM

    I'd like to comment on the lovely rooster scissors providing scale to your wonderful stitching! Do you think Lincoln had a rooster? Might there have been White House chickens overseen by an Official Rooster? Perhaps your research will provide us with an answer!

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  5. Terry, I'm sure that Lincoln had a favorite rooster (after all, he pardoned the first Thanksgiving turkey). I will research this important question. In the meantime, the rooster scissors (a gift from you!), are the official scissors of this blog. The rooster looks good in the photo -- he's a real cut-up around the house . . .

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  6. Walking Liberty is gorgeous!!! I have some very nice coins of her... but not the rare ones... I saw one in a pic once she had been stored in an album that caused her to turn the most beautiful colors of blue and teal and purple ~ You've never seen anything so lovely, plus the coin was in pristine condition. You should also look up the Liberty Bust on the early .50 and $s... I have a few of her in the 1813, 1833 & 34! I love those old coins! I love the history of them and to think "who used this and what did they buy???" anyways I'll have to see if I can find that picture for you...
    Have a great week!
    KimV

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