Here in Illinois there is minor controversy about a 30-second advertisement depicting a “mini Abe” (Abraham Lincoln) sightseeing in today’s Illinois. (Embedded video above, hopefully.) The ad is scheduled to air in local Chicago markets during the Super Bowl. Its aim is to encourage Chicagoans to take mini-vacations down into their state.
There is however some controversy over using the image of Old Abe to promote local tourism. Ersjdamoo though is not particularly bothered by the ad. More offensive is the constant use of Lincoln to promote used car sales here.
Another startling portrayal of Abraham Lincoln was offered in the 2012 film, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, for which the prestigious Ersjdamoo Best Picture award was given. “History prefers legends to men.” So says official trailer #2 for Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. The “rail splitter” takes on a whole new meaning in this powerful film. The axe wielded by Abe Lincoln, coated with silver, is expertly hefted by the lanky Illinoisan as he avenges the death of his mother, Nancy Hanks. (Background: Abe Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, Ersjdamoo’s Blog entry of January 7, 2013.)
In Our Friend, The Ether (Part 46), Ersjdamoo explored how Old Abe had attended a séance and had climbed on top of a floating piano, only to have the piano continue to rise and fall. The account was based on a book first published in 1891: Was Abraham Lincoln a Spiritualist?, by Mrs. Nettie Colburn Maynard. 
Since last December when the above Ersjdamoo’s Blog entry was published and now, I have had the chance to read Mrs. Nettie Colburn Maynard’s book in its entirety.
In the book’s Introduction it is claimed by a third party that an unknown gentleman had corroborated Mrs. Maynard’s claim: this gentleman had “attended a séance where the President with several other persons had sat upon a piano, and that the instrument had been bodily lifted from the floor by means of spirit power, while the President and his friends remained seated upon it! He further stated that he knew from personal knowledge that the President had been instructed and guided by spirits in times of particular stress in affairs of state, and that at a period when the nation’s future was uncertain, and while the States were in the middle of the throes of a great civil war.” 
Who was this Mrs. Nettie Colburn Maynard, who had submitted such a startling book, wondered the publisher. He did some checking on her, and various good character references are included in the book. For example, her physician stated:
[H]e knew Mrs. Maynard and had attended her for about fifteen years; that she is now a hopeless invalid, has been confined to her bed for nearly three years, and cannot possibly recover; that during his experience and contact with her, he has always found her to be an exemplary woman, but possessed of a peculiar organism and sensitiveness of condition, and likewise of some peculiar power of magnetism, which, to say the least, was unexplainable, and that nothing within the science of medicine could clearly explain her ‘psychic’ condition, or briefly, in common-place words: “We confess there is something about Mrs. Maynard that we do not understand; we, however, believe her to be a thorough Christian woman of irreproachable character and antecedents.”
Mrs. Daniel E. Somes, of Washington, wife of the late Hon. Daniel E. Somes, Representative from Maine, in the thirty-sixth Congress…
…informed the writer that she attended séances at the White House during the war when Miss Colburn (Maynard) was the medium there, and upon one occasion met Major-General Daniel Stickles, and that the circumstances recorded as to that séance are fully described in this volume. This statement she fully and completely indorses; and further adds that her husband was closely and intimately connected with President Lincoln, and had repeatedly informed her of interesting and remarkable incidents which occurred at the White House at séances as herein described and mentioned.
Col. Simon P. Kase, of Philadelphia…
…states that he was present at a séance with Mr. Lincoln, and that he, with several other gentlemen, the President included, sat upon the piano, while it was lifted bodily from the floor by spirit power, and that Mr. Lincoln was not only interested in this physical phenomenon, but was also intensely interested in the statements which the medium made to President Lincoln while in a trance condition.
Ms. Maynard had an apparent ability to channel “the beyond.” At the beginning of the Civil War era the spirits had told her that there was a “congress of spirits” in the spirit life, composed of the leading public men who had passed away from earth, who were still interested in and guiding with care the affairs of the nation as perfectly as in their power. It was imperatively necessary that they should communicate with President Lincoln. The “congress of spirits” desired that Ms. Maynard make arrangements to go to Washington and seek an immediate interview with Lincoln. 
Ms. Maynard settled down in Washington, DC and gained introductions. She was presented to Mrs. Mary Lincoln, the wife of President Lincoln, and to Mr. Newton, secretary of the Interior Department, among others.
“It was almost with trembling”, writes Ms. Maynard, “that I entered with my friends the Red Parlour of the [W]hite House, at eight o’clock that evening (December, 1862).” Mr. Lincoln was not then present. Mrs. Belle Miller, daughter of a Mr. Laurie of Georgetown, seated herself, “under control”, at the double grand piano at one side of the room. Suddenly Mrs. Miller’s hands fell upon the keys with a force that betokened a master hand, and the strains of a grand march filled the room. At this very time, Abraham Lincoln had reached the head of the grand staircase to descend to the Red Parlour below. The music of the grand march seemed to compel Old Abe to keep step to the music until he reached the doorway of the room. 
Friends of Lincoln believed his liver produced insufficient bile. This may have caused digestive problems as he aged. At any rate, photos of Lincoln show him noticeably thin. At the time Ms. Maynard was acquainted with the President, a cup of tea and a plate of crackers was all he ate for lunch. 
“It was during [the] memorable winter of ’64 and ’65, when the Rebellion was in its death-throes, that I knew of the visits of Charles Colchester and Charles Foster (two well known mediums of that time) to the White House, and of their sittings with President Lincoln. Through them and through myself, he received warnings of his approaching fate; but his fearless, confident nature disregarded the warnings he received,” recalled Ms. Maynard.  Three days prior to his assassination, Abraham Lincoln related a dream he had to his wife and a few friends. In his dream, Lincoln heard subdued sobs. “I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs. There the silence was broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible. I went from room to room; no living person was in sight, but the same mournful sounds of distress met me as I passed along.” The lights were on, but no people could be seen. Lincoln wandered on, to the East Room. There he saw a catafalque, on which rested a corpse. “Who is dead in the White House?” Lincoln asked in his dream. “The President,” someone answered; “he was killed by an assassin.” 
——- Sources ——-
 Our Friend, The Ether (Part 46), Ersjdamoo’s Blog entry of December 17, 2013. https://ersjdamoo.wordpress.com/2013/12/17/our-friend-the-ether-part-46/
 Was Abraham Lincoln a Spiritualist?, by Mrs. Nettie Colburn Maynard. Philadelphia: Rufus C. Hartranft, Publisher. 1891
 I recall it was Herndon’s biography of Lincoln which mentions Lincoln’s poor liver and insufficient bile which caused trouble with digestion. Poor digestion might also account in part for Lincoln’s well-known fits of melancholy.
 “President Lincoln’s Presentient Dream About the Assassination”, http://rogerjnorton.com/Lincoln46.html