Friday, February 04, 2005

HIV Discrimination in the Workplace

"We are drawing a line in the sand, which has often been the case here in San Francisco. Discrimination against people with HIV or AIDS is a serious concern for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered people and people in general; we won't allow Cirque du Soleil's discrimination against Matthew Cusick to go unnoticed.

We believe that when enough fair-minded people learn about this discrimination,
they will come to see a completely different side of Cirque than what is currently being presented in ads and on magazine covers,and they will DEMAND an end to this hypocrisy."

Aaron E. Baldwin
San Francisco Activist & Campaign Co-Organizer
"Discrimination: The Other Side of Cirque du Soleil"
November 20th, 2003


Human Rights Magazine - Winter 2002

Confronting HIV Discrimination in the Workplace:
A Legal Case Study

By Hayley Gorenberg

Even as the quarter-century mark in the HIV/AIDS epidemic approaches, many HIV-positive employees experience job-threatening discrimination, especially if they do not "drive desks." Lambda Legal, the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights firm for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and HIV-positive people, has recently developed cases for an HIV-positive police officer, a medical technician, an auto glass installer, and, most famously, a talented gymnast whose discrimination claim yielded this year’s record-setting settlement in Cusick v. Cirque du Soleil. (EEOC No. 340-2003-10938.) Matthew Cusick’s job under the big top may have been unusual, but the discrimination he faced in the workplace is all too common. Lambda Legal’s national Help Desk logs thousands of calls each year, and the greatest source of complaints from its HIV-positive callers involves workplace discrimination. This article examines a few of the critical components to success in Cusick’s case.

Cirque du Soleil, the premier acrobatic circus show, hired Matthew Cusick in 2002 and assigned him to the international company’s Las Vegas production, Mystère. In general health discussions with Cirque’s physiotherapy department at the beginning of his training, Cusick voluntarily disclosed his HIV status. At Cirque’s request, he twice visited doctors who assessed his HIV and judged him a healthy athlete. He was cleared for full performance activities with Cirque. Yet in the spring of 2003, fresh from several months of intense training, Cirque fired Cusick based upon fears of HIV transmission, claiming it was acting to protect other employees from "known safety hazards." Shortly thereafter, Cusick came to Lambda Legal.

When Cirque refused to reconsider its decision, Lambda Legal filed a complaint under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with the Los Angeles office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). After the EEOC investigation supported Cusick’s allegations, conciliation talks between the parties eventually resulted in a groundbreaking settlement for HIV-related employment discrimination complaints. It included revision of Cirque’s antidiscrimination policies; ongoing, top-to-bottom antidiscrimination training for Cirque’s employees worldwide; a minimum of two years of compliance monitoring by the EEOC; compensation for Cusick’s lost wages in the amount of $60,000; front pay in the amount of $200,000; and compensatory damages of $300,000, the maximum available under the ADA for a company of Cirque’s size. Lambda Legal also received $40,000 toward payment for its attorney fees.

The Power of Public Disclosure

Public awareness exerted critical pressure throughout Cusick’s case. Lambda’s "Discrimination: The Other Side of Cirque du Soleil" public education campaign encouraged patrons to examine Cirque’s values and standards. Rather than a boycott, Lambda Legal promoted education and individual responses, ultimately sending thousands of petition signatures and messages to Cirque. One evening Cusick himself stood outside a show in California and urged some reluctant patrons to use their tickets and go inside, but to keep him in mind. At another show, local HIV activists donned clown costumes when they distributed educational flyers, attracting local camera crews and colorful coverage.

Lambda Legal’s public education campaign attracted diverse allies. High-recognition performers like Nathan Lane, Bebe Neuwirth, Rosie O’Donnell, and Chita Rivera, as well as the outspoken playwright Tony Kushner, combined with medical experts to focus the spotlight. Many sports groups, including the San Francisco Fog rugby team—which pointed out that it did not exclude people with HIV even while boasting of rugby’s bloodiness—embodied the standards used by groups such as the World Health Organization, the U.S. Olympics Committee, the National Basketball Association, and even the American Academy of Pediatrics’ sports medicine specialists. All agreed that no medical or scientific basis existed to bar HIV-positive athletes from competition, or even to require HIV testing. During the hundreds of thousands of high-contact sports contests played since HIV first emerged, there has never been a single documented case of HIV transmission.

Lambda’s allies helped drive its points home, especially when Cirque du Soleil began suggesting it could justify firing Cusick as protection not only for fellow performers but for members of Cirque’s audience! The presence of allied performers and athletes helped strengthen Lambda’s case by furnishing analogous workplaces that countered efforts to "exceptionalize" Cirque as a one-of-a-kind employer that might deserve some sort of specialized standard. These allies were particularly motivated by Cusick and Lambda Legal’s clear stance that they sought policy change that would help all HIV-positive employees rather than financial compensation alone.

Finally, Lambda Legal and Cusick found allies in local governments with strong antidiscrimination ordinances. San Francisco’s Human Rights Commission, after learning of the EEOC filing, brought its own complaint because the city bans contracts (such as land leases) with discriminatory employers. Had the case continued, Lambda would have investigated the triggers for antidiscrimination ordinances in other cities hosting Cirque. Advocates should more routinely explore these types of provisions in cases opposing employers who hold or seek government contracts.

The power of openness was crucial to success. Cusick’s refusal to file as a "John Doe" and his willingness to face reporters helped obtain critical media coverage for the case. His disclosures were painful, of course. Friends and family who had not known of his HIV status found out via newspapers and the Internet. Ultimately, however, Cusick reaped such emotional support from those who learned of his story that he deemed it well worth the risk. In a similar vein, working toward a public settlement allowed Cusick’s case to have far greater force than a "gagged" settlement would have had. Cusick came to Lambda Legal in part because the organization strives for an impact that extends beyond the individual target of discrimination, even while it advocates vigorously for that person. Because Lambda reached a public settlement with Cirque du Soleil, it set public (if not court-sanctioned) precedent. The dollar figures alone, widely reported in the popular press and verdict reporters, caused employers and defense attorneys to take notice.

The Price of Intolerance

The considerable front pay award in Cusick’s case warrants mention. Late in the case, many months after Cirque fired Cusick, the company announced that it would reinstate him. Ultimately, Cusick did not accept this reinstatement, in part due to continuing hostility from Cirque leadership. Arguably, his decision could have raised a legal issue of whether Cirque’s offer mitigated its damages. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, however, "In cases in which reinstatement is not viable because of continuing hostility between the plaintiff and the employer or its workers, or because of psychological injuries suffered by the plaintiff as a result of discrimination, courts have ordered front pay as a substitute for reinstatement." (Pollard v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours, 121 S. Ct. 1946, 1948 (2001).) Rightly, Cusick’s well-considered and painful decision to reject the late-breaking offer of reinstatement did not affect his case’s success.

As a settlement, the Cirque resolution did not include a punitive damages figure. However, Cirque’s actions, coupled with lack of support for its conclusions regarding the HIV transmission risk, contributed to allegations of heavy liability. Months into the case, a Cirque spokesperson made public statements such as, "We believe that twenty years of experience in this area are enough for us to determine risk."

Not so. The twenty-first century should be an age of enlightenment when it comes to HIV in the workplace. Employers must incorporate medical and scientific information into their operations rather than relying on fears and assumptions. Self-proclaimed expertise should furnish no shield. Matthew Cusick opened his life to the world to drive that point home.

Hayley Gorenberg is the deputy legal director of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. She is a past chair of the Special Committee on AIDS of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.

American Bar Association
Section of Individual Rights & Responsibilities
740 15th Street, NW
Washington, DC, 20005
phone: (202) 662-1030
fax: (202) 662-1032

Please feel free to visit Matthew Cusick's website at:
(View and hear Matthew Cusick speaks out
about his case in the Video Section)

Thank you, and please, please...
Stop The Hate!

President Lincoln Didn't Quit...

...Because He Had Very Little Reason To!

The motivational story of how "Abraham Lincoln Didn't Quit," is the greatest crock of BS and collection of untruths that are circulating around the Internet today; and it serves as a rank bastardization of American history. The fact that this story has continued to be published in countless magazines and newspaper columns for the past four (4) decades; including an appearance in a 1967 issue of the Reader's Digest; stands as a testament to the propaganda machine that is the United States Media, which continues to be anything but FREE and/or UNBIASED.

"Abraham Lincoln Didn't Quit" is today a little favorite feature of almost everyone's inspirational e-mail list, web sites; and likely more than a 1,000 various "self-help" books. It so completely exemplifies what is so wrong about trying to turn yesterday's American history, into tomorrow’s motivational speech. Our past is something that we should all learn from, but we would be wise to remember that our American past is just that... Our Past. It was a much different time, a significantly different culture, with completely different set of beliefs; and the solutions that were found for our past problems may not necessarily apply to the problems of the present day; or even in the future. In today’s Internet age, history is created from scores of global events that have occurred no more than just one minute earlier.

Abraham Lincoln is the mythical embodiment, and the towering figure that best visually represents our American history. Regardless of whatever you may feel about President Lincoln’s accomplishments, he was indeed both a fascinating and exceptionally intelligent man. He is a true testament to the ethos that "Anyone Can Make It in America." A man of modest means, with little formal education; born in a small one-room log cabin in the backwoods of rural Kentucky.

Lincoln is perhaps most remembered as "Honest Abe," a honest and hard-working man who in fact overcame almost every obstacle that life ever threw his way; eventually moving from that one (1) room log cabin to the one hundred and thirty two (132) room White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C., where he served America during the years of her deepest and darkest internal crisis.

There are three men whose words have always reduced to me to very quiet fits of emotion, each one had chosen to dedicate their life to the vision of a greater tomorrow. Two of them were the Americans: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the 16th President of the United States of America - Abraham Lincoln; and the other was the Nobel Prize winning Irish poet and writer George Bernard Shaw.

Men who dared and chose to speak out loudly, about the need for a more peaceful and tolerate world.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.Reverend and Civil Rights Leader

A man who so vividly share his dream of a more peaceful world, in his speech titled "I Have a Dream." Just stop and think about how his dream, and through those words, he continues to impact the basic human rights of all human beings… throughout this entire world.

Mr. George Bernard Shaw - Irish Writer, Poet and Nobel Peace Prize Winner (Literature)

Think about how Shaw’s words, even today continue to inspire the masses, whenever they are heard: "Some men see things as they are and say, Why?' I dream things of that never were and I say, Why not?"

Former United States President Abraham Lincoln - Clerk, Surveyor, Politician, Attorney, Congressman, Senator, Civil Rights Leader, Writer, and the 16th President of United States of America

Abraham Lincoln’s almost spooky ability to see into the future of America, a country that he loved so, has always captivated and fascinated me so.

"Wise statesmen as they were, they knew the tendency of prosperity to breed tyrants, and so they established these great self-evident truths, that when in the distant future some man, some faction, some interest, should set up the doctrine that none but rich men, or none but white men, were entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their posterity might look up again to the Declaration of Independence and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began...." Lincoln stated during his 1858 debate with Stephen A. Douglas.

Although "Abraham Lincoln Didn't Quit" appears to present the former United States President as a man who "never gave up", it gross untruths can lead one to believe that it is in fact meant to subconsciously supplant the message that "Honest Abe" (as he is frequently referred to) was in fact a miserable failure; and whose failures caused him to suffered from great self doubt.

That Lincoln’s fragile mental state drove him into a nervous breakdown; and that United States President Abraham Lincoln was in fact poor, uneducated, incapable of making a decision which he would not second guess later, and that he was very likely extremely mentally unfit. Leading the reader to also believe that the President Abraham Lincoln was for those reasons a very poor choice for the Presidency of the United States of America.

So I now feel compelled to set the story about President Abraham Lincoln straight, who I believe to be America’s greatest President, serving his country in the darkest days of its civil unrest. A man who certainly saw more than his fair share of hardship and setbacks, but who also achieved remarkably successful in many different endeavors; and who is certainly deserving of better than this Internet garbage.

So now let’s take a look at the life of former President Abraham Lincoln, who likely was the very last American politician to have the adjective "Honest" used in the same sentence with his/her own name:

1816: Lincoln’s family was in fact forced out of their home, and Abraham did have to go to work to help support them.

Life on the American frontier during the early 19th century was by far no picnic for anyone; it required hours of back-breaking work every day…from everyone who was physically capable of working. In the context of their time, however, the Lincolns in fact lived under some rather unremarkable circumstances.

To say that the Lincolns were "forced out of their home" in 1816 is rather a bit misleading, because it implies they were suddenly and involuntarily uprooted and thrown out of their own home, with any kind of warning and with no place to go.

In fact Abraham Lincoln's father, Thomas, who had owned farmland in Hardin County, Kentucky, since the early 1800s; left Kentucky and moved his family across the Ohio River to Indiana in 1816 for two primary reasons:

* One - Kentucky was a slave state, and Thomas Lincoln despised slavery -- both because his church was opposed it, and because he did not want to have to compete economically against free slave labor.

* Two - Kentucky had never been properly surveyed, and many settlers in the early 1800s often found it difficult to establish clear title to their land. Thomas Lincoln, and other farmers in the area, eventually got sued by non-Kentucky residents who held prior claim titles to their land.

Therefore with plenty of land available in neighboring Indiana, a territory where slavery had been excluded by the Northwest Ordinance, and where the state’s government guaranteed buyers a clear title to their property, Thomas Lincoln opted to move rather than spending the time and money fighting over the title to his Kentucky farm. So, I guess in a sense it could be said that the Lincolns had been "forced out of their home," but it did not happen quiet so abruptly, and in the end they opted to leave; because there were better opportunities awaited them in Indiana.

The other part of this statement, that a seven-year-old Abraham Lincoln "had to work to support" his family, is even more grossly misleading. As young Abraham did not have to take any outside jobs to fend off his poor family financial ruin. Like nearly all American farm children of his era, Lincoln was expected to perform whatever chores and tasks that he was physically capable of handling around his family’s farm. If Abraham worked harder and/or longer than other children, it was not because the Lincolns' financial circumstances were extraordinarily difficult, but because Lincoln was exceptionally tall and very strong for his young age.

1818: His mother died.

This, at least, is no amazing embellishment. Lincoln's mother Nancy did in fact die of brucellosis (known as the "milk sickness") in 1818, when Abraham was then only nine years old. A mother's death is always a tragedy for any child, and it was an especially difficult hardship for any struggling farm family.

1831: Failed in business.

Stating that Lincoln "failed in business" is yet another misleading claim, because it implies that Abraham was the owner or perhaps the operator of the failed business, or that he was otherwise responsible for the failure of the business. None of this is true.

Lincoln left his father's home in 1831, and along with his cousin John Hanks, they took a flatboat full of provisions down the Mississippi River from Illinois to New Orleans for a "none too scrupulous businessman" by the named of Denton Offutt. Offutt planned to open a general store, and he had promised to make the very intelligent young Lincoln his manager after he returned from New Orleans.

Lincoln operated the store as Offutt's clerk and personal assistant for several months (and by all accounts he did a fine job of it) until Offutt, a struggling businessman, overextended himself financially and ran his business it into the ground. Thus by the spring of 1832 Lincoln had indeed "lost his job, but not because his own failure in business."

1832: Ran for the state legislature and lost.

Lincoln did run for the Illinois state legislature (where he was then living) in 1832, although as Lincoln biographer David Herbert Donald noted, "the post he was seeking was not an elevated one . . . [legislators] then dealt mostly with such issues as; whether cattle had to be fenced in or be allowed to enjoy free range."

Lincoln finished eighth (8th) in a field of thirteen (13) (with the top four vote-getters becoming legislators). However, this same year Lincoln also achieved something of which he was very proud of, when the members of a volunteer militia company that he had joined selected him as their captain.

Lincoln would say many years later, that this was "a success which gave me more pleasure than any I have had since." He would also note later in his career, that his defeat in the 1832 legislative election was the only time that he "was ever beaten on a direct vote of the people."

1832: Also lost his job - wanted to go to law school, but couldn’t get in.

As noted above, Lincoln actually "lost his job" in 1831. The notion that in 1832 Lincoln "wanted to go to law school, but could not get in" (why he couldn't get in still remains unspecified) is just silly. Lincoln did eventually become a lawyer, and he accomplished the feat in the same manner typical of his time and place: not by attending law school, but by reading law books and observing a great number of court sessions.

He was indeed interested in becoming a lawyer as early as 1832, but as Donald wrote, "upon reflection he concluded that he needed a better education to succeed."

1833: Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.

Lincoln and William F. Berry, a corporal from Lincoln's militia company, purchased a general store in New Salem, Illinois in 1833. (Lincoln had no money for his half of the business; however he didn't technically "borrow the money from a friend" but instead signed a note with one of the previous owners for his share.) Lincoln and Berry were competing against a larger, and a better organized store in the same town; their outfit did very little business, and within a short time it had simply "winked out."

The debt on the store became due the following year, and since Lincoln was unable to pay off his note, his possessions were seized by the local sheriff.

Moreover, when Lincoln's former partner died with no assets soon afterwards, Lincoln insisted upon assuming his partner's half of the debt as well, even though he was not at all legally obligated to do so. Exactly how long it took Lincoln to pay off this debt (which he jokingly referred to as his "national debt") in its entirety is somewhat unknown. It did with out a doubt take him several years, but not seventeen; nor, as this statement implies, was he completely financially encumbered until it was paid in full. Within a few months of the store's failure, Lincoln had obtained a position as the New Salem postmaster, and by 1835 he was earning money both as a surveyor and as a state legislator.

1834: Ran for state legislature again - won.

In 1834 Lincoln was again one of thirteen candidates running for a seat in the state legislature, and this time he won, securing the second-highest number of votes among the field.

1835: Was engaged to be married, sweetheart died and his heart was broken.

Little is known about Lincoln's relationship with Ann Rutledge, including whether or not they were in fact actually engaged. (At the time that they met, Ann was already betrothed to another man.) Nonetheless, her death in the summer of 1835 was a terrible blow to Lincoln, sending him into a profound depression.

1836: Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.

Whether Lincoln experienced a "nervous breakdown" in the aftermath of Ann Rutledge's death is certainly debatable, but how he would have found time to stay "in bed for six months" is a complete mystery.

After Ann's funeral he spent a few weeks visiting an old friend, and within a month of her death, records show that Lincoln had resumed his occasional surveying duties. He surveyed the nearby town of Petersburg, Illinois in February 1836, and then undertook a strenuous two-month campaign for his re-election during that summer; serving in the state legislature throughout the end of the year. All of this would have been very difficult for a man who bedridden from depression for "six months in bed."

1838: Sought to become speaker of the state legislature - defeated.

By the time of the 1838-39 legislative session, Lincoln had twice been an unsuccessful Whig candidate for the position of speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives. This was a relatively minor political setback, however, and no mention of the fact that by 1838 he was one of the most experienced members of the entire state legislature, or of any of Lincoln’s other notable successes that he had achieved between 1834 and 1838; namely:

* Lincoln was re-elected to the state legislature in both 1836 and 1838, each time receiving more votes than any other candidate running.

* That the Illinois Supreme Court granted Abraham Lincoln a license to practice law in the year 1837.

* That Lincoln became "one of the most prominent and successful lawyers in Springfield," where he was then living.

1840: Sought to become elector - defeated.

This statement is simply wrong. Lincoln was named as a presidential elector at the State of Illinois Whig Party Convention on 8 October 1839, and he campaigned as a Whig elector during the 1840, 1844, 1852, and 1856 presidential elections (skipping the 1848 campaign, because he was serving in the United States Congress).

1843: Ran for Congress - lost.

One could claim this as a Lincoln failure in that he wanted to be a Congressman, and he did fail to achieve that goal, but it is technically inaccurate to claim that he "ran for Congress" in 1843 and lost: The election was held in 1844, and Lincoln was not a candidate in this election. Lincoln's failure to achieve his party's nomination at the May 1843 Whig District Convention is undoubtedly what is referred to here.

1846: Ran for Congress again - this time he won - went to Washington and did a good job.

Lincoln won a seat as an Illinois Representative to the U.S. Congress in 1846.

1848: Ran for re-election to Congress - lost.

Lincoln did not "lose" the 1848 election. He didn't run for re-election to the U.S. Congress.

This can not be claimed as a failure, simply by assuming that he had declined to run because he felt that he would lose. He didn't run because the Whig policy at that time in America specified that all party members should step aside after serving one term, to allow other members to take their turns at holding office. Lincoln having already been urged to serve two terms, who was a very faithful party member, chose to comply with his party’s rules.

1849: Sought the job of land officer in his home state - rejected.

The position referred to here was that of the commissioner of the General Land Office, which was a federally appointed position and not a state one; and one that came with a fair amount of power and patronage. Since Lincoln's term in the US Congress was about to expire, his friends had urged him to apply for this post, but Lincoln was very reluctant to give up his very successful law career. However, he finally agreed to apply for the job; but only when the choice was then deadlocked between two other Illinois candidates and it looked as if the appointment might be given to someone from outside the State of Illinois.

Whigs from northern Illinois then decided that too many appointments were going to party members from other parts of the state, and hence they put up their own candidates against Lincoln. The choice was then left up to the Secretary of the Interior, who then selected the other candidate…..who was the Secretary’s own cousin.

1854: Ran for Senate of the United States - lost.

It should be noted that in Lincoln's time, candidates for U.S. Senate seats in Illinois were not directly elected by popular vote. Voters cast ballots only for state legislators, and the General Assembly of the state legislature then selected nominees to fill open Senate seats. So, in 1854 (and again in 1856) Abraham Lincoln was not technically running for the United States Senate; he was actually campaigning on behalf of Whig Party candidates for state legislature seats; all throughout Illinois.

Nonetheless, after the 1854 state election, Lincoln made it known that he would like to fill the open U.S. Senate seat for the State of Illinois. The first ballot of a divided General Assembly was taken in February 1855, and Lincoln received the most votes… but he was six votes shy of the required majority. When the process remained deadlocked after another eight ballots, Abraham Lincoln withdrew his name from the race to lend his support to another candidate; ensuring that the US Senate seat would not be filled by a pro-slavery Democrat.

1856: Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention - got less than 100 votes.

This is both misleading and inaccurate. Lincoln did not "seek" the vice-presidential nomination at the 1856 Republican national convention in Philadelphia; his name was put into nomination by the members of the Illinois State Delegation and after most national delegates were already committed to other candidates. Lincoln himself was in fact in Illinois, not at the convention, and did not even know that he had been nominated until friends brought him the news.

Nonetheless, in an informal ballot, Lincoln received just 110 votes out of 363, not at all a bad showing for someone who was little known outside his home state and not even in attendance at the convention.

1858: Ran for U.S. Senate again - again he lost.

Again, Lincoln was not directly campaigning for a Senate seat, although it was a foregone conclusion that he would be the Republicans' choice to take Stephen Douglas' U.S. Senate seat if his party won control of the Illinois state legislature. Lincoln actually bested Douglas in that Republican candidates received slightly over 50% of the popular vote, but the Republicans failed to gain control of the legislature, and so Douglas retained his seat in the Senate.

1860: Elected president of the United States.

1864: Abraham Lincoln was reelected for a second term as president of the United States.

Abraham Lincoln’s administration was hampered by the incompetence, but that incompetence was never his own; rather it was that of Lincoln's many Union generals, the inexperience of their troops, and the harassing political tactics both of the Republican Radicals, who favored a harder policy toward the South… and the Democratic Copperheads, who desired a negotiated peace.

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863, I believe marks the highest point in the record of American political eloquence. Abraham's long search for a winning combination finally brought generals Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman to the top; and their series of battle victories in 1864 dispelled the mutterings from both the Radicals and Peace Democrats, that had at one time seemed to threaten Lincoln's reelection.

He was reelected in 1864, defeating General George B. McClellan, the Democratic candidate. During Lincoln’s inaugural address he urged leniency toward the South:

"With malice toward none, with charity for all . . . let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds . . ."

This policy aroused growing opposition among the part of the Republican Radicals, but before the matter could be put to the test, Lincoln was shot by the actor John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater, Washington, on April 14, 1865. He died that next morning.

In the opening paragraph I stated that I felt that "Abraham Lincoln Didn't Quit," stands as a rank bastardization of our own American history, and that it is an obvious product of our US Media propaganda machine; because as you can clearly see from what you just read above... Abraham Lincoln’s life was certain powerful enough to be extremely motivating to others. So ask yourself now, why all of the blatant lies and untruths?

Why with all the information about Abraham Lincoln's life out there and freely available, are there still so many lies about Lincoln being circulated today??

I believe that these lies continue circulating for the very same reason that James Madison is known today as Father of the United States Constitution, despite the fact that it was Roger Sherman who drafted the Great Comprise that is credited with saving both the Continental Congress and the United States Constitution (a comprise that is today our two house system of government.) It is also the very same reason, that despite the fact that Roger Sherman was only American to place his signature upon all four of the United States founding documents, (the Declaration of 1774; the Declaration of Independence 1776; the Articles of Confederation 1781, and the Federal Constitution of 1788), he still remains virtually unknown to most Americans.

Roger Sherman and President Lincoln only real shortcomings were their lack of wealth and social ranking (breeding); thus they are not afforded their proper place in our American history books or even in today's US media.

"Roger Sherman is a solid, sensible man."

Former President John Adams
The 2nd President of the United States of America

"That is Mr. Sherman of Connecticut, a man who never said a foolish thing in his life."

Former President Thomas Jefferson -
The 3rd President of the United States of America &
Principal Author of the Declaration of Independence


Judge David Davis (1815-1886), who was a noted lawyer and judge, politician, and Supreme Court justice. He had been active in both Illinois state and national Republican politics, Davis was elected in 1844 to the state legislature. In 1848 he was elected judge of the Eighth Judicial Circuit, a position that placed him in regular contact with lawyer Abraham Lincoln. The two developed a close friendship while serving the fourteen-county circuit.

Davis is credited with engineering Lincoln's presidential nomination at the 1860 Republican convention where he worked tirelessly organizing Lincoln supporters and lobbying delegates as his campaign manager. Lincoln later rewarded the very capable attorney in 1862 with a United States Supreme Court appointment, a position that he held until 1877. While on the Court, Davis wrote the majority opinion in Ex parte Milligan, a landmark decision restricting the right of military courts to try civilian individuals. (a law that would later become a thorn in the sides of some of his ancestors.)

When President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated, even though Justice Davis was then sick in bed, he went to Washington, D.C. and took care of all of Lincoln's affairs. Davis rode on the funeral train that carried Lincoln's body back to Springfield, Illinois. Justice Davis later disassociated himself completely from the Republican Party, after the Civil War, in silent protest of the often alleged Republican Radicals who assassinated his best friend.

In 1872, Davis was nominated by the Labor Reform Party as a candidate for the United States presidency. Five years later he was elected to the United States Senate, a position which he held until he retired, in 1883, back to Bloomington, Illinois.

Justice Davis died there three years later.

Source: Judge David Davis Mansion Website

Additional Note:

Justice David Davis was the maternal first cousin of David Davis Walker, Sr., who moved from Pekin to Bloomington, Illinois before he moved to St. Louis, Missouri. David Davis Walker was also the father of George Herbert Walker, the Grandfather of Dorothy Wear Walker, the Great-Grandfather of former United States President George Herbert Walker Bush and the Great-Great Grandfather of the current United States President George Walker Bush. It would be interesting if one could know just what Uncle Justice David Davis would think of his Republican Presidential ancestors and how they have served this great country.