Friday, December 14, 2007

The New Lavenderized $5 Bill

Starting March 13, 2008 the US $5 bill will have a new look. When I saw the new colors, I couldn't help but think of a poem Lincoln wrote.

"I will tell you a Joke about Jewel and Mary
It is neither a Joke nor a Story
For Rubin and Charles has married two girls
But Billy has married a boy
The girlies he had tried on every Side
But none could he get to agree
All was in vain he went home again
And since that is married to Natty
So Billy and Natty agreed very well
And mama's well pleased at the match
The egg it is laid but Natty's afraid
The Shell is So Soft that it never will hatch
But Betsy she said you Cursed bald head
My Suitor you never Can be
Beside your low crotch proclaims you a botch
And that never Can serve for me"

The poem is published in C. A. Tripp's The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln.

The book also includes affectionate correspondence between the former president and merchant Joshua Speed, with whom Lincoln shared a bed for four years from his late 20s to early 30s, and an account written by lieutenant Colonel Thomas Chamberlain, a 19th century historian.

Chamberlain wrote that in Mrs. Lincoln's absence, the president would sleep, share nightshirts, and conduct an "intimacy" with David Derickson, who was captain of Lincoln's bodyguard Company K.

Additionally, the book contains descriptions of Lincoln from his stepmother, who said he "never took much interest in the girls," and poet Carl Sandburg, who wrote that both Speed and Lincoln possessed "a streak of lavender, and spots soft as May violets."