Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Lorainite Authors Book on Lincoln – Feb. 1950

Today is President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. Although it’s not a national holiday (since it is lumped in with Presidents’ Day), Lincoln’s birthday is still a legal holiday in a few states.

I’ve done several posts over the years honoring the Great Emancipator.

Back in 2017, there was a post about a Wellington man who in 1952 had an original Lincoln campaign medal. I also wrote about the Lorain woman who saw Lincoln twice, who, along with an Amherst man, was also the subject of a post entitled ‘They Both Saw Lincoln.’

Well today’s post is not about Honest Abe spotting. It’s about Archer H. Shaw, a native of Lorain County who edited and compiled a reference book of Lincoln’s speeches, letters and papers entitled, The Lincoln Encyclopedia.

Here's the article (below) announcing the impending publication of the book. It appeared on the front page of the Lorain Journal on February 6, 1950.

Archer Shaw circa 1956
As the article notes, Shaw was born in North Ridgeville and attended Elyria High School. He began his distinguished newspaper career with the Lorain Herald
At the time of his book’s publication, Shaw was a nationally known editorial writer with the Plain Dealer, having been with the newspaper for more than 40 years.
Mr. Archer’s motive for compiling the book was explained in the Journal article. In Shaw’s own words:  “It grew out of a newspaper editorial writer’s frequent desire, in pursuit of his own work, to consult the opinions of America’s great spokesman for Democracy.” 
Consequently, Shaw felt it was his duty to publish the book as a resource that he wished had been available to him.
Today, anyone can have a book printed (and call themselves an author) if they’re willing to pay the price. In Mr. Shaw’s case, it’s nice to read about someone who did it with a noble intent: to collect all of Lincoln’s words in one place.

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