Homer has surprising connections to President Abraham Lincoln: Hidden History

HOMER, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - The village of Homer has a history that dates back to the 1700s.

What many people might not know is its become known as the "new Lincoln Mecca" playing an integral part in the presidency of Abraham Lincoln.

Martin Sweeney, the Homer historian, and David Quinlan are bringing more awareness to three sons of Homer who had close ties to our nation's 16th president.  

The first, Francis B. Carpenter, a famous portrait painter.

"He went to the White House in 1864 and did the famous painting of Lincoln called 'The First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation before the Cabinet,'" said Sweeney.

It's the only 19th century painting of Lincoln in the Capitol building today.

"Another Homerite, William Osburn Stoddard, who was the personal security to Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln during the Civil War, assisted his friend Carpenter in getting the painting accepted to Congress in 1878," explained Sweeney.

The local ties to Lincoln don't stop there, Detective Eli DeVoe,another more private son of Homer, is said to have risked his life to protect President Lincoln.

"He went on to be a detective to thwart an assassination plot in the works to keep Lincoln from coming by train through Baltimore, a slave city, in Maryland a slave state in 1861," said Sweeney.

Many of those moments are captured in historical landmarks and markers across the village.

But many neighbors are joining a movement to spread the local history and national connection to the world.

They would like to build a monument honoring the three sons of Homer who played an integral role in the life of President Abraham Lincoln.

The monument would be placed near the town hall.

The village needs funding to help complete the monument.

If you would like to help or learn more, click here or call Martin Sweeney at (607) 749-7120 

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