Abe Lincoln Facts
Some interesting Abe Lincoln facts. Abe (Abraham) Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States of America, the leader who successfully prosecuted the Civil War to preserve the nation.
Prior to his election as president in 1860, he had successful careers as a lawyer and a politician in Illinois, serving several terms in the state legislature and one in the U.S. House of Representatives.
He played a key role in the composition and passage of the 13th Amendment, which eventually ended slavery in America. Sadly as the war was ending, Lincoln became the first U.S. president to be assassinated.
A few less known facts about Abe Lincoln
Lincoln has been the tallest US president to date, standing at 6ft 4″. Among his presidential rivals in height have been LB Johnson (6ft 3″) , Thomas Jefferson (6ft 2½”), Barack Obama 6ft 1″. Donald Trump is actually 6ft 2″ tall.
He was the only president to have registered a patent (1849). The patent was for a device for lifting riverboats off sandbars and freeing ships that had run aground in shallow water.
His assassin wasn’t unknown to him. Lincoln watched John Wilkes Booth perform in The Marble Heart at Ford’s Theatre in November 1863.
Lincoln’s coffin has been moved 17 times and opened five times. And in 1876, grave robbers tried to steal his remains unsuccessfully.
More about Lincoln
We like to call Lincoln “Abe,” in keeping with the familiarity we feel for our beloved 16th president. But we probably wouldn’t have called him that to his face!
He had escaped poverty to achieve respectability, and had a formidable sense of his own dignity. So he didn’t like the diminutive Abe. At his law office he called his younger partner William Herndon “Billy”, but Herndon called him “Mr. Lincoln.” His wife, too, called him “Mr. Lincoln, and before they had children and he began calling her “Mother.”
For all of Lincoln’s tender-heartedness and his homespun charm, he could be quite remote. Lost in thought, he would sometimes pass people he knew on the street without acknowledging them. His friend David Davis called him “the most reticent—secretive man I ever knew..” According to Herndon, Lincoln’s mentor John Stuart said “he has been at L’s house a hundred times, and never was asked to dinner.” His secretaries in the White House, John Nicolay and John Milton Hay, said that when it came to familiarity with Lincoln “there was a line beyond which no one ever thought of passing.”
One target of Lincoln’s ridicule, a Democrat named James Shields, once challenged him to a duel. As the challenged party, Lincoln had the choice of weapons and picked “Cavalry broad swords of the largest size, precisely equal in all respects.” Shields was five-eight or nine, and Lincoln was about half a foot taller, with extraordinarily long arms. Asked afterward why he choose these weapons, he said, “I didn’t want the damned fellow to kill me, which I rather think he would have done if we had selected pistols.” Once the parties arrived at the designated dueling ground, the dispute was “adjusted” and the swordplay avoided. Embarrassed by the episode, Lincoln never liked to talk about it afterward.
According to his law partner Herndon, Lincoln spent a month preparing his famous ‘House Divided’ speech in 1858. He wrote notes on “slips, put these slips in his hat, numbering them, and when he was done with the ideas, he gathered up the scraps, put them in the right order, and wrote out his speech.
A fascinating man, some abe lincoln facts to digest, a man to be a little wary of, but aren’t all great men..?