mesmerism! presidential assassinations! circuses on fire!
Currently stuck in Bolivia? Sean Penn can help you out with that:
It's a smoke and mirrors saga fit for Hollywood, complete with a major movie star, murky reports of a kidnapping and an American fugitive sneaking across the border of a nation unfriendly to the U.S.
Little is being revealed about Jacob Ostreicher's flight from house arrest in Bolivia and into the care of actor-activist Sean Penn.
The New York businessman arrived in the U.S. on Monday after an ordeal that began more than two years ago when he was jailed as part of a money laundering probe into a rice-growing venture.
No one is saying how the 54-year-old fled, or who helped him.
"You'll never find out," Peter Hakim, president emeritus of the Inter-American Dialogue in Washington, said Tuesday. If the U.S. was involved, "it was done through layers and layers of cover," he said.
Not OT, because Bolivia, obviously.
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free"
Found this in Reinhard Luthin's First Lincoln Campaign; I think the good professor may not have fully recognized the significance of the tale he tells.
You probably know the story of the 1860 Republican convention—the leading candidate, William Seward, was opposed by conservatives because his strong anti-slavery position made success in the western border states doubtful; the anti-immigrant sentiments of the more conservative #2, Edward Bates, made him anathema among German-Americans.
In the days leading up to the balloting Lincoln's supporters had made inroads among the opponents to Seward as a possible compromise candidate without the baggage of Bates. Enough progress had been made by the night of the nomination that the vote on the third ballot was Lincoln 231 1/2, Seward 180, with 233 needed to nominate.
At this point Joseph Medill, a former Ohioan now publisher of the Chicago Press and Tribune, who had been asked by Lincoln's managers to sit with the Ohio delegation to prevent a defection to Seward of Ohio's votes, most of which had been committed to Salmon Chase and favorite son Benjamin Wade, whispered to David Cartter that if the 4 votes from Wade's delegates were switched from Chase to Lincoln, “Ohio would be well cared for.” After a few moments Cartter stood: “I rise, Mr. Chairman, to announce the change of four votes of Ohio from Mr. Chase to Mr. Lincoln.” The nomination was Lincoln's.
That was Medill's story, anyway. Cartter claimed that it wasn't just Ohio, but Cartter himself, that Medill had promised would be “well cared for,” and he came to Washington after the inauguration to lay claim to the governorship of the Nebraska territory that he said Medill had promised him.
This posed a problem. The slavery crisis was then largely focused on the territories, especially Kansas and Nebraska. The governorship of Nebraska was no small matter and it couldn't be handed to any joker claiming he'd been made a patronage promise by a newspaperman not even directly part of Lincoln's staff. On the other hand, Medill had clearly said something to get Cartter to change the votes, and Lincoln couldn't very well have Cartter out there telling stories about how he and his men couldn't be trusted to keep their promises. What to do?
Any reader of mgoblog probably has the solution, but it took a man of real vision to come up with it in 1861, well over a century before the first internet troll....
David Kellogg Cartter was named Minister to Bolivia.
Enjoy your time in La Paz, Mr. Cartter. Points come back when the war is over.
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