Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 12:06:43 EST From: Bapopik Subject: Rail Splitter; Lobby ADS-L RETURNED MAIL For my last two message ("Blackbirds" and "Glass Curtain"), I also got back two letters with all sort of junk from Morehead State attached. What was that all about? Sorry for re-running the "Raven" stuff again. I had thought that attachment wasn't attached when I read the stored letter. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------- RAIL SPLITTER The Larry Lawrence saga is over, but--on the truthfulness front--I recently found this, one of the first citations for "Rail Splitter." ("Honest Abe.") It's from the New York Morning Express, 13 July 1860, pg. 1, col. 7: THE RAIL SPLITTER'S EARLY RECORD CORRECTED.--The Omaha Nebraskian, June 30, says: "An old citizen who traveled much in Illinois thirty years ago, and was especially acquainted with the district of country where Abe Lincoln resided, says that Abe never split a rail in his life. In those days, he says, the people never thought of such a thing as splitting rails. They went into the swamps and cut hoop poles and saplings for fences, and used them round, as nature made them." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------- LOBBY Tour guides, again! My sister visited Washington, D. C. on business. She was told that Abe Lincoln used to stay at the hotel (I forget which, or maybe it was A hotel that USED to be there), and Lincoln spent much time in the lobby. It was from Lincoln's time spent in the 1860s in that lobby that we have our word "lobby" today. Uh, no. I've found "lobby" especially common in the 1850s. It was somewhat rare in the 1840s, and I haven't found it at all (OED has one citation) in the 1830s. This is from the New York American, 18 February 1843, pg. 2, col. 2: Albany, Wednesday, Feb, 15th. (...) The struggle for the "spoils" is intense beyond all description. Never, within the memory of man, was the Capital so overrun by office-seekers. The _lobby_ daily in attendance upon the Governor and Legislature is several hundred strong.