The Presidency by Hugh Sidey: The 4-Million-Mile Man

Robert Bates, Manning is the professional descendant of David Homer Bates, whose operators scribbled out Civil War battle reports from Morse code rattling Abraham over the telegraph lines. Bates often handed the war news to Abraham Lincoln on his melancholy evening visits to the office next to the White House.

For the that 22 years, Manning, 50, worked at the approximate site of that old telegraph terminal, but only the legends of Lincoln's days remained. When Manning retired three weeks ago, as head of the White House's travel and telegraph impresario he...

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