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Charlie the patriot
Ronda Rich
It was on the eve of our national election that I ran upstairs to file a couple of things in my office. As I started to leave, a large storage box caught my eye. I had not noticed it before. I opened it and discovered that Charlie Tinker was wanting to talk again. Charlie, you may recall, is the great-great-grandfather of my husband, Tink. I’ve written about him before in stories that captivated readers because of the extent that Charlie documented his life, his close friendship with a young attorney in Illinois named Abraham Lincoln, his years in service at the White House during the Civil War as a telegraph operator (Charlie was one of the first telegraphers in the nation which led to his friendship with Lincoln who was fascinated by the invention) and the years that followed until his unexpected death of pneumonia while visiting his daughter in Canada. Charlie Tinker, one of the greatest patriots built by America, had died on foreign soil.