18 Little Known Facts about America's Presidential Sweetheart, Abraham Lincoln
18 Little Known Facts about America’s Presidential Sweetheart, Abraham Lincoln

18 Little Known Facts about America’s Presidential Sweetheart, Abraham Lincoln

Larry Holzwarth - October 7, 2018

18 Little Known Facts about America’s Presidential Sweetheart, Abraham Lincoln
A circa 1900 slide depicting the Good Friday, April 14 1865 murder of Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln died early the following day. Wikimedia

18. The last day of Abraham Lincoln’s life

April 14, 1865, should have been a day of triumph for Abraham Lincoln. He had recently visited the captured Confederate capital of Richmond, and Lee’s surrender, though not ending the war, promised that it would end soon. His meetings of that day were focused on the reconstruction of the South and the reentry of the southern states into the Union. His health was good, he didn’t need to take the mercury based blue mass pills which he used to control his chronic constipation, as the condition eased as he relaxed. He signed a few papers at his desk, one a pardon for a captured Union army deserter sentenced to death by a court martial, another legislation creating the Secret Service, which would protect currency from counterfeiting as its first role.

It has been written by many biographers and historians that Lincoln had premonitions of his own death. But that day, Good Friday, Lincoln enjoyed an afternoon carriage ride in Washington with his wife, and spoke of his desire to visit the Holy Land after leaving the White House, before returning to Springfield and the practice of law. That night he was shot in the back of his head as he watched a play. It is interesting to speculate what might have happened had the derringer used by his assassin misfired, as that particular model had a habit of doing. How would John Wilkes Booth have dealt with the former wrestler, who had once fought off river pirates with little but his hands and wits, and avoided a duel by intimidating his more diminutive opponent? Unfortunately, there is no answer.


Where do we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

“What Lincoln Had. John Sotos reckons that Lincoln had a rare, cancer-causing genetic disease”. Brendan Maher, Nature International Weekly Journal of Science. November 30, 2007

“Lincoln the Lawyer”. Brian Dirck. 2007

“Congressman Lincoln”. Chris DeRose. 2014

“Lincoln’s Opposition to the Mexican War”. G. S. Boritt, Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, February, 1974

“Lincoln as a Leader of Men”. Elihu Root. Teaching American History. August 28, 1920

“There I Grew Up: Remembering Abraham Lincoln’s Indiana Youth”. William E. Bartelt. 2008

“Riding the Circuit with Lincoln”. Willard King, American Heritage Magazine. February, 1955

“Broadswords and Banks”. Kelsey Johnston, Civil War History, American Battlefield Trust. Online

“Abraham Lincoln: A Biography”. Benjamin P. Thomas. 1952

“Abraham Lincoln’s Religious Uncertainty”. Dan Gilgoff, US News and World Reports. February 12, 2009

“Did life with abusive wife push Lincoln into politics?” Associated Press, Deseret News. September 7, 1994

“Abraham Lincoln and the Doctrine of Necessity”. Allen C. Guelzo, Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Association. Winter, 1997

“Lincoln’s Lieutenants: The High Command of the Army of the Potomac”. Stephen W. Sears. 2017

“Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln”. Doris Kearns Goodwin. 2005

“The Unsuccessful Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln”. Daniel Stashower, Smithsonian Magazine. February, 2013

“The Battle in our Backyard: Remembering Fort Stevens”. Leah Binkovitz, Smithsonian Magazine. July 11, 2012

“The life of Abraham Lincoln: From his Birth to his Inauguration as President”. Ward Hill Lamon. 1872

“The Day Lincoln was Shot”. Jim Bishop. 1955