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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 6: Laura Keyes: Telling the Untold

Drinkin’ with Lincoln continues. This episode’s guest is not the 16th president, but someone very close to him. Join host Clint Cargile as he interviews Mary Lincoln presenter Laura Keyes. Laura has portrayed Mary Lincoln for over a decade. She also portrays several other strong historical women: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Irene Adler, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

In part one, we join Mrs. Lincoln at a Civil War reenactment in Hainesville, Illinois. She’ll discuss her role at these events, how other living history presenters have helped her career, and how she has to battle a system that prefers male over female reenactors. We’ll also meet and hear musicians John and Elaine Masciale, who have inspired and encouraged Laura’s career. Elaine also introduces us to a pretty unique instrument.

Then we travel to nearby Gurnee, Illinois, home to Only Child Brewing, where we sit down for drinks and discuss Laura’s career as a history presenter. She shares how she got started, the research and time involved, and why it’s important that we know the real Mary Lincoln.

Next year marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage. Laura Keyes is taking part in several events, including some created by Rockford’s Women’s Suffrage Centennial 2020. Visit their Facebook page for more information on the many events they have planned for 2020: https://www.facebook.com/WSC2020IL

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



Google Play



Show Notes

Lincoln Presenter:

Laura Keyes


Mana Kintorso (performed live on Sessions from Studio A)

John and Elaine Masciale

Locations Visited:

Hainesville Civil War Reenactment, Hainesville, Ill.

Interview Location:

Only Child Brewing, Gurnee, Ill.

Laura’s other characters:

Irene Adler

Mary Harlan Lincoln

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Other Historical Presenters:

Association of Abraham Lincoln Presenters (ALP)

Max & Donna Daniels (Abraham & Mary Lincoln)

Leslie Goddard (Jacqueline Kennedy, et al.)

Kevin Wood (Abraham Lincoln)

Books Mentioned:

Mrs. Lincoln: A Life by Catherine Clinton

Fashionable First Lady by Donna McCreary


Women’s Suffrage Centennial 2020

Mary Lincoln’s White House China

“Mary Lincoln” – a humorous acoustic song by jazz singer/songwriter Spencer Day

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