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Absalom Who?

By Wendy Swanson

Washington, D.C.

Monday, May 8, 2023

Reminder: Zoom into our May 16th meeting for the answer.

The name Absolam Markland is not a household word by any means. Yet, his movements were closely followed throughout the Civil War even though he neither led nor served in an army or navy. He took action that sparked the passage of a landmark civil rights bill. His achievements were definitely worthy of note. When he died in 1888, newspapers throughout the country covered his passing. Yet, today his name is virtually unknown.

So what was Absalom’s claim to fame? A Grant aide, he was a special agent of the United States Post Office. In this capacity, he was responsible for ensuring the swift delivery of letters between the home front and the soldiers on the front line. Think of him as a morale officer. As such, he traveled with Grant's army.

Join us on Zoom May 16th to learn the history of this forgotten hero. Our speaker will be Candice Shy Hooper, a Lincoln Group favorite. (Her photo is shown above.) She last spoke to us on her award-winning book Lincoln’s Generals’ Wives: Four Women Who Influenced the Civil War - for Better and for Worse. Members will remember her expertise at relating the stories of even little-known historic figures. Now she has turned her attention to a man of whom most, if not all, know little. Absalom Markland is the subject of her latest publication, Delivered Under Fire: Abasalom Markland and Freedom’s Mail. Join us to learn how the mail got through – not only despite rain, storms, gloom and dark of night but also despite enemy fire.

Candice Shy Hooper herself has an epic story. Her father was a U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman and, as such, her early life involved considerable travel – from her birthplace of Guam to eventually Norfolk, Va. New locations and schools filled her life but library stops were her constant. Later on she earned degrees in journalism (University of Illinois) and law (Georgetown). Career-wise she has been a congressional aide – to the late Charlie Wilson of “Charlie Wilson’s War” fame – and as a lobbyist with her husband.

However, neither venture represented her true passion. She instead returned to school (George Washington University) to earn a master’s degree in history, concentrating on military history. Now she writes and gives talks on the historic figures and topics she loves. She also served on the Board of Directors of President Lincoln’s Cottage. Multi-talented, Hooper is also an award-winning poet, whose work was selected for inclusion in District Lines, an anthology published by no less than the independent bookstore Politics & Prose.

Join us in May for a talk on an historic figure and name to be remembered - Absalom Markland!

RSVP now on the Events page of this site.

(Photo credit: Candice Shy Hooper)


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