Today marks the birth of Abraham Lincoln 203 years ago. As a nation, we have been fascinated by early stories of the 16th president of the United States studying law books by candlelight, his pivotal position as leader of a divided country during the Civil War, and his murder at age 54.
Recently we enjoyed watching Sam Waterston's portrayal of Lincoln as a real human being who faced severe challenges on personal and national levels.
Lincoln's stern-looking profile is as iconic on the copper penny as is his face on the $5 bill. Generations of Americans recognize his tall figure in black top hat, black vest and tie, and long coat. And that black coat so identified with Lincoln was made of alpaca!
"Lincoln became one of the first Republicans. The oratory of this strange, serious man seemed to inspire the hopes of the people. They looked upon him in bewilderment as they saw this giant of the woods, in a black alpaca coat, with his sleeves rolled up, hammering away at the institution [i.e., slavery] which he believed to be unjust. His appeal was always one of peace..."
(quoted from the "Portrait Life of Lincoln: Life of Abraham Lincoln, the Greatest American" by Francis Trevelyan Miller, 1910)
With this bit of history in mind, we proudly named one of our black male alpacas 'Mr. Lincoln'. And whenever we 'dress' the boys with bandanas for visitors or excursions, he always wears a red, white and blue scarf.