1Sense of Humor
Lincoln was famous for his self-deprecating sense of humor. When accused of being two-faced, Lincoln replied, “Honestly, if I were two-faced, would I be showing you this one?”
2. Abraham Lincoln once gave a speech so enthralling that reporters in the audience stopped taking notes and now we don't know what he said.
3. Lincoln loved cats so much that he once fed them from the table during a formal White House dinner. When his wife told him that it was “shameful in front of their guests,” he replied, “If the gold fork was good enough for former President James Buchanan, I think it is good enough for Tabby.”
4. President Lincoln’s blockade of Confederate cotton caused famine in English mill towns. Suffering Manchester workers nevertheless sent a letter of support to Lincoln and he responded with thanks and a gift of food. A statue of Lincoln in Manchester displays excerpts from both letters.
5. Lincoln’s bodyguard, Officer John Parker was a drunk who was previously reprimanded for drinking on the job. He was not at his post to protect POTUS the night Lincoln died. Instead, he was at the Star Saloon next door drinking; the same saloon where John Wilkes Booth was seeking the liquid courage to assassinate the President.
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6Lioncoln the Wrestler
Abraham Lincoln was an elite wrestler in his days before politics. He once challenged a crowd, saying, "I’m the big buck of this lick. If any of you want to try it, come on and whet your horns.” The challenge went unanswered. He is even in the wrestling hall of fame, losing only one out of about 300 matches.
7. Abraham Lincoln was challenged to a duel in 1842. As the challenged party, he would have the right to select the weapons used. He accepted the challenge and chose broadswords "of the largest size" in order to take advantage of his superior reach.
8. Abraham Lincoln had a high-pitched voice described as shrill, sharp, and like a whistle. However, while unpleasant, these qualities also helped his voice carry long distances. This proved to be advantageous in the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates when everyone in a crowd could hear him speaking.
9. Abraham Lincoln once named a town after himself (Lincoln, Illinois) and christened it with watermelon juice.
10. Abraham Lincoln repeatedly warned that British recognition of the Confederacy was tantamount to a declaration of war. Knowing a war would cut off vital shipments of American food, wreak havoc on the British merchant fleet, and cause the immediate loss of Canada, Britain was unwilling to risk a conflict.
Abraham Lincoln won the 1860 election while not being on the presidential ballot in 10 Southern states.
12. Abraham Lincoln, prior to becoming President, was an avid boater and traveled on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers where his boat often got stuck on sandbars. In 1849, Lincoln invented a method for Buoying Vessels Over Shoals, making him the first and only U.S. President to receive a patent.
13. Abraham Lincoln wrote poems throughout his life, including this one at the age of seventeen: Abraham Lincoln is my nam[e], And with my pen I wrote the same, I wrote in both hast and speed and left it here for fools to read.
14. A few days before delivering the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln saw John Wilkes Booth perform as a villain in a play at Ford's Theatre. Someone told Lincoln, "He almost seems to be reciting these lines to you." To which Lincoln replied, "He does talk very sharp at me, doesn't he?"
15. Abraham Lincoln had a nightmare in which mourners grieved a corpse in the White House. He asked "Who is dead in the White House?" and a soldier answered "The President. He was killed by an assassin." 10 days later, Lincoln was assassinated.
Abraham Lincoln successfully defended a criminal defendant by using an almanac to challenge a man's assertion that he saw the murderer "By the light of the moon."
17. A few weeks before Abraham Lincoln was elected president, 11-year-old Grace Bedell sent Lincoln a letter encouraging him to grow a beard, writing, "All the ladies like whiskers and they would tease their husbands to vote for you..." By the time of his inauguration, Lincoln had a full beard.
18. In August 1864, a sniper tried to shoot Abraham Lincoln as he left the White House. They had missed by inches and shot through Lincoln’s hat, knocking it off his head. Lincoln had left without guards. He was just riding out to an evening retreat.
19. Early in his life, when Abraham Lincoln used to wrestle, a local gang leader named Jack Armstrong heard of him. He challenged ‘The Honest One’ to a match. It ended with Abe grabbing him by the throat, hoisting him up, giving a little shake, then throwing him to the dirt. It was the first chokeslam used in wrestling.
20. Someone tried and failed to save President Abraham Lincoln. His name was Major Henry Rathbone. After Booth fired the shot, Rathbone tried to tackle him to the ground, but Booth was able to get free by slicing Rathbone in the arm with a dagger. Rathbone was never free of the guilt till his death.
21Abe’s Emancipation View
Abraham Lincoln replied to a critic questioning emancipation by writing: "If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that."
22. A secret message was engraved inside Lincoln's pocket watch by a jeweler, and it was not discovered until 2009.
23. In 1840, Abraham Lincoln and four other legislators jumped out of a window in order to prevent a vote that would have eliminated the Illinois state bank.
24. Abraham Lincoln used to tell a long joke about a man carving a turkey at a fancy party who puts so much force into the effort that he rips a huge fart in front of everyone.
25. Abraham Lincoln gave great prominence to hats as they would protect him from bad weather, help store important documents, and make his height advantage more prominent.