Revealed: The town that loved Abe Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln was the unlikely topic of discussion at a town council meeting – 150 years after the American president’s death.

On Monday, Buckingham town councillors discussed an unusual request from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum.

1865 letter from Buckingham Town Council

1865 letter from Buckingham Town Council

In May 1865, the clerk of Buckingham Town Council wrote a letter of condolence to the United States following the great man’s assassination.

Now, in the year that marks the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s death, the town council has received an invitation from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum to submit another letter, to be exhibited with its counterpart in the museum.

Written in beautiful copperplate, the original letter expressed the town council’s desire “to express its deep feeling of abhorrence at the dreadful crime committed in America by the assassination of the President of the United States, and its sympathy with the people of America in the sad and mournful event, and at the same time to indulge the hope that the establishment of a lasting peace throughout the entire Republic may not be jeopardised or delayed by the awful calamity”.

Buckingham town councillors discussed the request for a new letter at Monday night’s town council meeting and eventually agreed to direct the clerk to send one.

Councillor Paul Hirons argued the case for sending the letter, describing Lincoln as “a towering figure”.

Council officers pointed out that Buckingham’s Brackley Road cemetery also bears witness to Lincoln’s legacy.

In Buckingham in 1867, Baptist minister, Issachar Flecker and his wife Elizabeth had a child they named Abraham Lincoln Flecker.

President Lincoln’s own parents were conservative Baptists.

Sadly, little Abraham Flecker died at the age of just five months.

He was buried on May 20 1867 in Brackley Road Cemetery and his unconsecrated grave is listed in the burial book. The minister was Rev S. Bellamy and the fees paid were 7s 6d.

Issachar Flecker was born in 1827. Possibly from Austria, Issachar came to England in around 1850. He is believed to have left Ukraine.

He married Elizabeth Pardon in Surrey in 1854 and the couple had seven children in total –Abraham, Henrietta, Issadora, Ernest, William, Mary Ann and an infant whose nameis not recorded and who was therefore stillborn or died extremely young.

The family lived in several locations, probably as Issachar – who was a Baptist minister – would have been moved to different parishes.

They were in Roade, Northampton, in 1861, Stratton St Margaret, Wiltshire, in 1871 and Christchurch, Hampshire in 1891.

They obviously lived in Buckingham at some point as Abraham was born there and both he and his sister Mary Ann died in Buckingham.

It appears that Mary Ann was born in London, so the family may well have lived there too.

Mary Ann is also buried in Buckingham.

She died at the age of 10, just before her younger brother, on March 30 1867, and is buried near Abraham.

Rev Bellamy also officiated on this occasion.