Tuesday, May 08, 2007
Quipstory and Quipstorians
I've found a new sound that has replaced celtic music as my least
favorite thing to hear.
It is that oft-told story about McClellan reporting to Lincoln that his
cavalry horses are tired, and Lincoln responding with “ Will you pardon
me for asking what the horses of your army have done since the Battle
of Antietam that fatigues anything?”
Har, har, har! Didja' hear that Ma? That Macllellander sure was an
I hear this one a lot at the park, usually by casual visitors and all
too often by outside "expert" tour guides who bring groups
through..."the carriage trade".
If you've ever been to lovely Mackinac Island in Michigan's upper lakes
region (www.mackinacisland.org) you've probably gone for a carriage
ride. The carriages are driven by college kids who learn early to lay
on the apocryphal island stories thick because tourists who laugh the
most are generally swell tippers.
Let's not confuse entertainment with history, or Mr. Lincoln's sense of
humor with his grasp of matters military.
“He has got the slows, Mr. Blair.”
Quips are no substitute for analysis although it is astonishing how
many peddlers of history will practice otherwise.
People enjoy jokes, but they value knowledge...
and knowledgeable guides.