Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Abraham Lincoln's Thanksgiving Day Détente
I attended a special screening of the new Steven Spielberg film on President Abraham Lincoln starring Daniel Day Lewis. The movie centers on Lincoln's legislative battle to end slavery. Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner who wrote the screen play attended the screening and we had a dialogue with him about the film. Henry Louis Gates, who hosted the screening, commented on how Kushner's revisionist interpretation had incorporated African-American themes and characters throughout the movie. In my own work I came across a source that describes how a détente occurred during the Civil War (1861-1865) on a day like what later became a federal holiday under FDR. Union and Confederate cooks came together to agree on a “standard” Thanksgiving Day menu. One source described it as a “most imposing stuffed turkey, cranberry sauce, turnips, [and] pumpkin” pie. Since the start of the war, Confederates used black slaves to feed their troops and on the battlefield. About 1863, Lincoln’s army began incorporating African-Americans in the war effort as “laborers, teamsters, [and] cooks” only. Lincoln gave the order for black troops to fight as armed soldiers after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation late in the war and did so in large part as a military measure.
Turkey Stories With Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Turkey
Cranberry Sauce Story with Recipe: http://www.foodasalens.com/2011/11/remembering-thanksgiving-day-at-grandma.html
Pie Stories With Recipes:
Tony Kushner on Lincoln: [Listen Now 28 min 43 sec] http://www.npr.org/2012/11/15/165146361/kushners-lincoln-is-strange-but-also-savvy
Historian Eric Foner on Lincoln: [Listen Now 52 min 27 sec] http://wosu.org/2012/allsides/abraham-lincoln-and-the-american-civil-war-2/