Newspaper from Feb. 12, 1942

Rose Whipp Northrup Reminiscence

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    Rose Whipp Northrup Reminiscence

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    SUPERNATURAL VISIT WITH FRIEND?
    Mrs. Northrup Recalls Vision of Lincoln at His Old Desk
    Trip to Office in Springfield Inspires ‘Sight’
    “Mother! Look at that desk. Do you see the long legs resting on the desk, and the tall, dark man lean-ing back in his chair?”
    “Why, daughter-I see the desk. That was Abraham Lincoln’s desk. But there are no long legs now resting on the desk, nor any tall man leaning back in the chair.”
    Supernatural? A spirit pheno-menon?
    “It was so vivid, so startling, that it seemed supernatural to me,” said Mrs. Rose Northrup, aged 91 as she recalled in Mennonite hos-pital Monday this “vision” of Abraham Lincoln, whom she had known as a kind friend many years before.
    Revisited Room
    The “vision” had been an actuality in the childhood of Rose Whipp, later Mrs. Northrup, for when she was 7 years old she had often seen Lincoln’s long legs on his desk, had seen the tall, dark man leaning back in his chair.
    When Rose years later, with her mother, revisited the little room where the famous desk still stood, instantly the specter figure of Lin-coln appeared, so real that she now says it was “supernatural,” and she had difficulty in trying to make her mother “see” what she as a child had so often actually seen.
    Mrs. Northrup, who has been a patient, at Mennonite hospital since last September, forgot her in-firmity for the moment-forgot the years which have burdened her frail body, as she talked in animat-ed vigor of the memories which grew from her girlhood friendship with the Lincoln family and chiefly with the great man and afterward martyred President.
    Lived in Same Block.
    Rose Whipp is a daughter of John W. Whipp of Bloomington, who got a job as assistant state treasurer in the 50’s and had moved his family to Springfield. There the Whipps and the Lin-colns lived in houses in the same block. Mr. Whipp worked in the state house, where Lincoln spent much time. Rose ran in and out of his office as if she were his own child. Lincoln often took Rose on his lap, stroked her blond locks and called her “silverhair.”
    But not all memories of Mrs. Northrup connected with Lincoln are pleasant ones. Some were ex-tremely sad-some tragic.
    For instance, when the Whipp family had moved back to Bloom-ington and the “tall, dark man” had become President.
    Rose returned to her home one morning and found her mother in anguished tears.
    Swear Vengeance.
    “What’s the matter, mother?” she asked.
    “Oh, they have assassinated our dear President,” the mother an-swered.
    Then mother and daughter start-ed down the street toward the courthouse. Hundreds of others were streaming in the same direction. At the public square a great crowd had gathered and men were making speeches,
    “And many men were cursing and swearing vengeance on the perpetrators of the awful murder of Lincoln,” said Mrs. Northrup. Mother and daughter stood around downtown until the indignation meeting had ended. A picture of that gathering is one of the historic scene of local history.
    Clear memory of Past.
    Then there was the time, Mrs. Northrup recalls, when she went with her father and uncle to at-tend funeral services for Lincoln at Springfield.
    The town was one of vast mourning assemblage. Bands played dirges and familiar hymns. Flags and mourning emblems hung from all the buildings. “Come Ye Discon-solate,” and “Peace, Troubled Soul,” were two of the tunes oftenmost played, Mrs. Northrup recalls.
    Mrs. Northrup has a remarkably clear memory of the past; not alone for those memorable days when she played in the office of Lincoln, but for many other years in which Springfield and Bloomington history have enriched her life.
    She celebrated her 91st birthday in the hospital last September, when nurses and visiting friends gave her a real party, which she speaks of as one of the happy events of her recent life.

    Transcription by Alicia B, Ford's Theatre Society.

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    The Pantagraph. "Rose Whipp Northrup Reminiscence ". The Pantagraph. Remembering Lincoln. Web. Accessed May 28, 2020. https://rememberinglincoln.fords.org/node/720