Monday, February 20, 2006

Presidents (And Their Relatives) Day

This visit with Mr. Lincoln, a distant relative of (and dead ringer for) the former President, is some serious journalism candy to someone like me who is obsessed with history and genealogy. I've been working on my family history for so long that I can verbally crawl up, across, and back down my family tree just as Mr. Lincoln does.

In my case, however, I can't claim a relationship to anyone as important as a President, or a King either for that matter. The closest I come to that kind of fame is a Congressman from Ohio -- my fourth cousin three times removed, to be exact. He was not elected, but rather appointed to fill the term of a deceased representative. He lost the special election and thus served for a grand total of three months.

He later served a much longer term of a different sort. After several years as a federal tax collector, my very distant cousin entered the private sector and became a bank president. He mismanaged the bank's funds, causing a lot of problems for a lot of people, and ran off to Canada, where US agents caught up with him in Vancouver. He came back to Ohio and served about eight years in the state pen, where he was regarded as a model prisoner.

Tax collector...fiscally irresponsible with other people's money... Why yes, he was a Democrat. How could you tell?

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