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Civil War Letters

Private Voices, also known as the Corpus of American Civil War Letters, is an online archive of thousands of letters written by soldiers during the U.S. Civil War. Because the soldiers lacked formal education and wrote “by ear,” the...

Bumpkin Talk

Our American Cousin, the farce being performed when President Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theatre, had some choice lines of bumpkin talk. One of them, “You sockdologizing old man-trap!,” was the play’s biggest laugh line...

Sockdologizing

They were the last words Abraham Lincoln heard before John Wilkes Booth assassinated him: “Well, I guess I know enough to turn you inside-out, old gal—you sockdologizing old man-trap!” Booth knew that this line from the play Our American...