Over at TOCWOC, Brett Schulte has posted on information relayed to him by Dr. Thomas Lowry regarding the Lincoln Pardon Controversy (for those of you who want to track the pogress of the controversy, you can do so through clicking “Lincoln Pardon Controversy” in “Categories”). Lowry’s provided the texts of two emails sent him on September 14, 2010 by Mitchell Yockelson of the NARA.
It’s interesting to compare this information with the claim Lowry posted last month on his single-post blog, in which he said:
Sometime in 2010 the Archives staff noticed the overwrite. They claim that they tried to reach me and that I was “evasive.” That is simply a falsehood, a fabrication. We have been at the same address for thirteen years, with the same phone number and same e-mail address for those same thirteen years. We rarely travel. We have voice mail. Neither of us would forget a query from the National Archives. The first we knew of this “discovery” was the unannounced knock on our front door.
It’s difficult to reconcile this claim … that Lowry was unaware of the NARA’s concern about the date on a Lincoln pardon … with the evidence he now produces that documents that he was aware that the NARA was curious about the dating of a document. Quoting from the second of the two e-mails Yockelson sent:
For the past few years I have worked for our Inspector General’s office looking for lost, stolen, or as we call it, alienated records. In any case my partner and I, Dave Berry, have been working on a complaint about a court martial that contains [a] Lincoln signature and the contents of the endorsement appears to have been altered.
Needless to say, far from clearing up matters, Lowry’s newest contribution to the discussions renders them murkier. Apparently he’s not quite aware that he had just damaged his own February narrative … that he’d never forget an inquiry from the NARA, and that he’d never known there was a problem … with the production of these two e-mails. One wonders, of course, whether these are the sum total of the e-mails sent, for, if they are, then the NARA’s story also requires modification.
Finally, although I am amazed at the lack of responsiveness by both parties to questions raised here and elsewhere in the blogosphere, I would advise Dr. Lowry to make his case a little more forcibly in a venue where he can gain some satisfaction. That he doesn’t do this puzzles me. Both sides seem to be less than forthcoming, and one wonders why that is so. All this has done is to darken the shadows cast on both parties in the course of this whole affair.
My thanks to Brett.