Top 10 Facts About Abraham Lincoln

  1. Lincoln Predicted His Assassination

President Abraham Lincoln predicted his own murder. Maybe.
President Abraham Lincoln predicted his own murder. Maybe.

Well…maybe…

 

According to History, Lincoln’s former lawyer, friend and bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon, offered an account of a dream Lincoln had shared with him days before his assassination. In a room where only the President, Lamon, Lincoln’s wife, Mary, and potentially one other person was present.

 

Teaching History notes that after some needling from his wife, Lincoln disclosed details of the dream in which he recalled immediately feeling, “A death-like stillness about me.” In the dream, Lincoln was accosted by “mournful sounds of distress.” The cries led Lincoln to the East Room where he saw a covered corpse flanked by a grief-stricken crowd.

 

“’Who is dead in the White House?’ I demanded of one of the soldiers,” was one quote Lamon alleged was stated by the President. “‘The President,’ was his answer; ‘he was killed by an assassin!’”

 

Did the dream and reverie with Lamon actually occur? Historians Don E. Fehrenbacher and Virginia Fehrenbacher were two professionals who criticized the account, noting that there were major inconsistencies that point to fallacy. As cited by Teaching History:

 

“Lamon stated that the incident had occurred only a few days prior to the assassination, yet within Lincoln’s monologue he related at one point that the dream occurred ‘the other night’ and also ‘about ten days ago.’ The Fehrenbachers pointed out that although Lincoln stated in the account that on the night of the dream he ‘had been up waiting for important dispatches from the front,’ during the period of March 24 to April 9, he in fact had been at the front, rather than in the White House.”

 

It should also be stated that Lamon was the only one to relay the meeting where Lincoln spoke of the dream, which seems odd considering the eery proximity the occurrence had to Lincoln’s assassination. If Lincoln’s wife, Mary, had been present during Lincoln’s account, why wouldn’t a quote or recollection surface from her following the assassination this dream seemed to foreshadow?

 

Still, several “respected authors” have stated the account is valid.

 

  1. Lincoln’s Cat Had a Seat at the Dinner Table

Tabby the cat loves shrimp. What a gentleman
Tabby the cat loves shrimp. What a gentleman

Talk about a fancy feast! Lincoln’s cat, Tabby, got quite the presidential treatment during dinnertime. According to Today I Found Out, Tabby not only got to sit at the table with the President—the feline was even fed with a golden fork!

 

“Mrs. Lincoln got upset and scolded the President. Lincoln replied, ‘If a gold fork was good enough for former President Buchanan, it’s good enough for Tabby.’”

 

Lincoln loved cats, along with other animals. He was such an animal lover, in fact, he refused to hunt or go fishing.

 

Tabby and Dixie were the two cats President Lincoln mainly cared for and adored, although he was known to also take in abandoned strays at point.

 

According to Presidential Pet Museum, during a moment of frustration in his first term, Lincoln stated, “Dixie is smarter than my whole cabinet! And furthermore, she doesn’t talk back!”

 

  1. He Hated Being Called by His First Name

President Abraham Lincoln would rather be called, Prez or just Big Dog Lincoln
President Abraham Lincoln would rather be called, Prez or just Big Dog Lincoln

Although he is popularly referred to as “Honest Abe” Abraham Lincoln actually hated being called by his first name, as noted by an article from the National Constitution Center. He preferred to be called “Lincoln”.

 

Fair enough! Although “Honest Lincoln” doesn’t seem to have the same affect for some reason.

 

According to Great American History, Lincoln received the nickname “Honest Abe” in his younger years while working as a shop clerk in New Salem, III. “According to one story, whenever he realized he had shortchanged a customer by a few pennies, he would close the shop and deliver the correct change-regardless of how far he had to walk.”

 

It is also noted, that despite many rumors that have pervaded the media stating that Lincoln was unfaithful to his wife, Mary, no source or story has even been deemed as credible. In fact, Lincoln was quite shy and “awkward” around women! He reportedly was confident in joking and socializing with men, but would clam up when females were present.

 

This nervousness never depleted any respect or tenacity in his fight for women’s rights, however.

 

“I want in all cases to do right, and most particularly so in all cases with women,” he wrote at the beginning of his political career.