Tea series starts with retired teacher portraying Lincoln

President Abraham Lincoln will be portrayed by retired Mineral County, W.Va., educator Dennis Morris on Feb. 28. This photo of the late president shows his first full beard after being encouraged to grow it in a letter from New York schoolgirl Grace Bedell. This is how Lincoln appeared on his inaugural journey from Illinois to Washington, D.C., when he famously stopped in Westfield, N.Y., to meet the child and thank her for her suggestion.

CUMBERLAND — The Allegany County Historical Society Spring 2020 Tea Series will begin with a presentation from Abraham Lincoln reenactor Dennis Morris Feb. 28 at 11 a.m. at the Gordon-Roberts House, 218 Washington St. Morris is a retired West Virginia schoolteacher who began portraying the late president nearly 30 years ago as a way to bring American history to life for his fourth-grade students who were studying Carl Sandburg’s “Lincoln” writings at the time.  

Word quickly spread, and soon Morris was bringing Lincoln into other classrooms throughout Mineral County, as well as to festivals, dinners and other occasions.  Morris has fully embraced his role as Lincoln, sporting his signature beard and using his speaking tone.

Throughout his career, Morris has amassed a collection of Lincoln memorabilia and an extensive knowledge of the man and his legacy.

Morris said he relates to Lincoln thanks to their shared morals and ideals and an appreciation for Lincoln’s character and faith. “He lived a life worth emulating,” said Morris.

The self-described “ghost speaker” Morris resides in Romney, West Virginia, with his wife, a fellow retired teacher. Reservations for the tea are required and can be made by calling 301-777-8678 or by emailing info@gordon-robertshouse.com.

Ticket prices are discounted for historical society members, and memberships can be purchased at the door.  

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