Many of Abraham Lincoln’s writings, others’ memories of him, and accounts of the stories he told display his humility and identification with the common man. His common humanity with people of all stations in life contributed to a view of the 16th president so widely held that it continues to be reflected in much of the art and writing that is produced about Lincoln even today.
Was Kantor perhaps familiar with this photograph of the crowd watching the parade to the cemetery dedication on Nov. 19, 1863? In the scene, a small dog stands
in the center, behind the crowd. Did he accompany his owner to Gettysburg for the solemn occasion? Or was he a local dog attracted by the activity? We’ll never know, just as he could never know that he was witness to an historic occasion. I would like to think that MacKinlay Kantor, gazing deeply into this picture, discovered the little dog standing there and was inspired by his presence with the people on Baltimore Street that day.