Education Opinion

America Revised... Beyond Recognition

By Billy D. Lawrence — March 14, 1984 6 min read

The following is an excerpt from a “history” of the United State pieced together from several years of test papers, book reviews, and research reports produced by the 8th-grade students of a Pine Bluff, Ark. history teacher named Billy D. Lawrence. First published in 1969 under the title, Then Some Other Stuff Happened, Mr. Lawrence’s book of essays has been out of print for several years. It is being re-released this month by Atheneum Publishers.

Sturing Up Truble

Abe Lincoln had a wife named Bathsheba. But she died and he got married to Mary Tood who was crazy. Carol Sandburg was the girl he really wanted.

Deadicating the Dead

At Gettsbug Lmcoln made his most famious speech, the Gettsburg Address. It was only a paragraph long, but it was the best said and wrote in all history It was really two mixtures of two speeches by two men. Lincoln was not the principle speecher, a man named Edward Everett was. They were trying to see which was best.

Lincoln didn’t speak but a few minutes and Everett talked a long time. They were deadicating a dormitory for the wounded soldiers that died at Gettsburg.

Lincoln’s speech started out: “Four scores and seven years ago our fathers came into this land conceived in liberty and justice for all. . . . " People liked Lincoln’s speech so much they wanted him for president. Later Everett wrote Lincoln and said: “I wish I could have got down to central like you did. I wish I could have fought the people in two hours like you did in two minutes.”

Lincoln was suffering a mild case of chicken pops at the time he gave his address, but he didn’t know it till later. They say he wrote the famous speech on the back of old cigarette packages, but this is not true.


On the night of April 14, 1865, Lincoln went to the theater and got shot in his seat. The believed assinator was John Wilkins Booth, a supposingly insane actor. This ruined Booth’s career though.

Lincoln was supposed to be assinated before he was. Booth had planned to kill him three times, but Lincoln didn’t show up for any of these assinations . Before that even Booth and his gang had tried to kidnapt Lincoln, but the Pinkleton Boys mussed up all these plots. Booth was a franatic and wanted to exchange Lincoln for the slaves.

The assination all started off when Booth bored a peep hole (for peeping through) in the door of the Ford Theater. He told the policeman that was suppose to guard Lincoln’s body that he was wanted on the telephone. The guard was a pretty dumb fuzz and didn’t know that the telephone had not been invented yet.

Booth then went into the show in a box so no one would see him or what he was going to do. Since he was an actor he knew the part in the movie when the laughter would be the loudest. Booth then leaped out of his box and shot Lincoln in the head at one of the funnyest parts.

At first the president’s wife didn’t take notice to him slumped over in her lap. She thought he had just snoozed off as usual. But when she saw the blood rushing out of his head she screamed. Then she carried him off to a house across the street and put him to bed. Before he died Lincoln never even woke up.

Back to Booth. He ran and jumped from the president’s cockpit to the bottom of the stage. On the way down he got his spur caught in the flag pole and broke his ankle. Booth was quote during his flight to the stage. He jumped up with his 38 cal. darringer in one hand and his dagger in the other and his broke leg and shouted, “sic simple tenepic!” which means latin for “goodbye to old tyrants!” Booth then hoppled out the back door to his getaway materials. He jumped on his horse and headed for Virginia, his home town. Sec. of Wars Stanton took up a dictator for a small while and ordered all the road exits out of Washington closed, but Booth excaped on Hampton Road or something like that.

Booth stopped on the way to get his ankle fixed. Dr. Mudd put it in a sling. Later on Dr. Mudd was sent to prison for that, but got turned loose before long because he stopped a out brake of yellow fever that was going around in there. He discovered the serium for it. An infantry of calvary tracked Booth to a burned down barn in Vaginia. Some one shot him, but we don’t know who that some one was. John Wilkins Booth was only 26 years old and died young. But didn’t he deserve it!

This wasn’t just Lincoln’s murder. It was a lot of things together.

V. P. Johnson should have been shot too. The man that was supposed to kill him went from bar to bar trying to find his courage, but he lost It. He got drunk and was hanged for it.

A big dumboaf named Paine was supposed to assinate Sec. of State William H. Sewer. Paine was so stupid he was not very bright and when Booth told him to “split his throat,” meaning Sewer’s, he tried to stabb him in the neck even though Sewer had had a carriage accident and was wearing a iron brake around his neck. So Paine didn’t cut Sewer’s throat, but he did slay his body pretty bad.

The whole plot took place in Mary Suratt’s boarding house, but we don’t know whether she was in it or not. Anyway when the cops found out Booth had been staying there Mary S. was hunged by the neck till she was dead. She was the first woman to be percequded by the federal government of the United States. The other people that was involved in the Lincoln assination later exequded or killed themselfs. Mary Tood Lincoln locked herself up in a closet and went crazy. She was declared mentally insane and put in a insane silome.

One day a long time later a man walked into Lincoln’s office and found his son, Robert Tood, burning some of his daddy’s old pappers. The man asked him why he was burning the pappers and Robert Tood said, “Maybe they will criminate one of the members of the government,” which his daddy was in.

That criminal may have been Edwin Stanton, the Sec. of Wars. There are four reasons why this may be:

(1) He closed all the exits from Washington except the one Booth took.

(2) He tore some of the pages out of Booth’s diary that was found on him in the barn.

(3) He didn’t say nothing about Booth being seen in the theater

(4) I don’t remember another one. Maybe they is only three reasons.

No Law and Odor

After the war was over Jefferson David was kept in prison for two years without no trial or nothing. Finally Horace Greedy, the editor of the New York Tribute, bailed him out of jail and told him to go west, young man. But Jeff David didn’t want to go west.

(Greedy had been a calvary leader in the war and was known as Light Horace Harry.)

When he got out of prison Jeff David’s luck changed . He became president after Lincoln was shot.

Reconstruction was the Golden Age of the South. The Republicans are responsible for Reconstruction and they have voted Republican ever since. You might call them the Yankee Party There headquarters is at the Taj Mahal.

Some Republicans went into Southern cities and tried to sell stuff they carried around in little baggs they made of carpet. So they called them Carpetbaggers. They gained large sums of money by sneeky working. They put in gambling joints and stuff like that and gypt the people and cheaped them out of their money. They stured up a lot of truble like that.

The 13th Admenment freed the slaves from slavery and the 14th Admenment gave the ex-Negroes citizenship .

The Clue Clux Clan would torcher, torment and lynch the ex-Negroes and other innesent victoms. It claimed it repersented law and odor.

Andrew Johnson came in after Lincoln and was a well-meaning man. He wanted to follow Lincoln’s plan of a gentile Reconstruction but was tried for impeachment instead. He was really blackmailed by a bunch of Raticals.

Fatish Stevens, one of the Ratical leaders, pointed at Johnson during the trial and said, “Unfortunate, unhappy man--behold your dome!” But Johnson was found not accused by one vote.

(Andrew Johnson couldn’t read or write till he married a schoolteacher. She learned him how.)

A version of this article appeared in the March 14, 1984 edition of Education Week