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Video: Robot Abe Speaks

1880 Cowboy Town

Buffalo Ridge, South Dakota

Of the many charms of 1880 Cowboy Town, Abraham Lincoln's Dakota Territories speech impressed us the most. We found him standing at a podium in a horse stable, behind heavy mesh fencing. His stovepipe hat was pulled down to cover everything above his mouth and beard. Push the button and hear Abe speak (we recognized as the voice of Dean Songstadt, 1880 Cowboy Town creator and owner).

We had to shoot Lincoln's pre-recorded speech three times, because the first two times we fell on our asses laughing. No disrespect for the President, but it was that hat. The unique positioning supposedly spared us from the deadly effect of Abe's wonky animated eyes. [2:19]

Update: We've heard from a few visitors that, sadly, Abe Lincoln's eyes have been repaired. No worries! There's sure to be something else going wonky at 1880 Cowboy Town.

Video Transcript

Robot Abe Lincoln Speaks (2008)

[somber music of yesteryear]

Welcome to the Dakota Territories. In 1855, General Parding was sent to Fort Sears on the left bank of the Missouri River. His military units wanted to protect people traveling to the gold fields in the west.

One soldier in the unit was Captain John Todd, a cousin of my wife, Mary Todd Lincoln. He resigned from the U.S. Army, and then established several trading posts along the Missouri River.

One post was Nathan's.Captain Todd went to Washington DC to represent Nathan and to work towards the organization of the territory. The measure which created the Dakota Territory was rushed through Congress, and on March 2, 1861, President James Buchanan signed the bill into law.

The Dakota territory was created several days before my inauguration to become the 16th President of the United States. This new territory, encompassing all of the future states of North and South Dakota, and Montana, in addition to parts of Wyoming and Idaho. Some 350 thousand square miles.

As President, I appointed my family physician, Dr William Jayne, from Springfield Illinois to be the first the Dakota Territorial governor. Dr Jayne chose Nathan to be the temporary governor.

When the Dakota Territory was created, the Civil War between the North and the South was emerging. The Civil War took my time and my energy. I was unable to travel to this vast new territory.

I hope and I pray that you will enjoy this beautiful region of the United States of America.

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