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Drinkin' With Lincoln
Drinkin’ with Lincoln is a podcast from WNIJ that looks at Abraham Lincoln's life, land and legacy through the eyes of the people who know him best: Lincoln presenters (commonly known as Lincoln impersonators, a term many Lincoln presenters avoid). Each episode, a Lincoln presenter joins WNIJ history correspondent Clint Cargile as he explores sites significant (and sometimes not-so-significant) to Abraham Lincoln's life in Illinois.Then Clint and his guest Lincoln find the nearest brewpub or brewery to quaff a beer (sometimes two) so we can get to know the man behind the beard: where he comes from, why he does what he does, what makes him Lincoln.If you have a Lincoln-related topic you'd like us to cover, or a Lincoln presenter you'd like us to interview, contact us at lincoln@niu.edu.

Drinkin' With Lincoln Episode 1: Fastest Lincoln In The West

For our premiere episode, we are joined in DeKalb, Illinois, by full-time Lincoln presenter Kevin Wood. Kevin is also a running Lincoln. He runs races. In his Lincoln getup. Hat and all. And he is a multilingual Lincoln. He gives presentations in English and Spanish and translates Lincoln documents into French and German. He can recite the Gettysburg Address in all four languages.

I'm your host, Clint Cargile. In part one, I take Kevin to the site of Coltonville, a town that no longer exists. But according to local legend, Abraham Lincoln once stopped there during the Black Hawk War where the 23-year-old future president had a fateful meeting with his future nemesis, Jefferson Davis. Did this actually happen? We'll find out with the help of our experts, DeKalb County Historian Sue Breese and Dr. Jackie Hogan, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Bradley University, and author of Lincoln, Inc: Selling the Sixteenth President in Contemporary America.

Then Kevin and I visit the Forge Brewhouse in Sycamore where Kevin fills us in on his background, how he got started as Lincoln, and how portraying Lincoln has affected his family life. We also chat about his Lincoln voice, hat, and beard, and learn about the Association of Lincoln Presenters (ALP). You'll find all of that and more in this episode of Drinkin’ with Lincoln.

You can also listen to this episode at these podcast directories:



Google Play



Bonus Clips

Bonus Clip 1 - "Chief Shabbona Story" (February 19, 2019)

This is an anecdote from Lincoln Presenter Kevin Wood, in character as Lincoln, in which Chief Shabbona attends the first Lincoln-Douglas Debate at Ottawa, Illinois.

Bonus Clip 2 - "Lotta name callin'" (February 19, 2019)

Lincoln Presenter Kevin Wood, in character as Lincoln, shares some thoughts on the politics of his day.


Show Notes

Lincoln Presenter:

Kevin Wood


Mana Kintorso (performed live on Sessions from Studio A)

Behind the Beard Location:

The Forge of Sycamore

Other Interviewees:

Sue Breese (DeKalb County Historian)

Jackie Hogan

Places Visited or Discussed:

Coltonville, IL

DeKalb, IL

Joiner History Room (DeKalb County Archives)

Metamora Courthouse

Northern Illinois University

Sycamore, IL

Topics Related to Lincoln Presenters:

The Association of Lincoln Presenters (ALP)

Laura F. Keyes (Mary Todd Lincoln Presenter)

John McMicking (Made Wood’s Lincoln Hat)

Historical Figures:

Barb Wire Barons (Joseph Glidden, Isaac Ellwood, and Jacob Haish)

Jefferson Davis

Zachary Taylor

Black Hawk

Cassius Clay

Lincoln Speeches:

Lincoln’s Lost Speech

The Gettysburg Address

Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address

Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address

Lincoln Sources Mentioned:

Elgin: Days Gone By (Author: E.C. Alft / Lincoln Section is in Chapter 16)

The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln


Barbed Wire

Black Hawk War

The Lincoln Highway Association

The Lincoln Highway – A History

Lincoln’s Festival on Route 66

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