“I laugh because I must not cry. That is all. That is all.” …. Abe Lincoln
I was up late flipping through the channels on TV and came across a program on Channel H2. I never even heard of that channel before. H2 stands for More to History. As I have gotten older I have really come to appreciate more things from the past. This program was titled 10 Things You Don’t Know About. That totally piqued my interest. This specific one was Secrets about Abraham Lincoln. Did anyone else see it?? It was really good and I am going to share with you the 10 things that you probably have never heard about Lincoln too.
- Lincoln was into technology, apparently – He loved to test out new guns and watch as cannons were tested. He also invented this thing for boats to keep it from getting stuck on sand bars and stuff. He even received a patent for it on May 22, 1849. I didn’t even know they had patents back then. He was the only president who held a patent for anything.
- Lincoln had similar views as racists – Lincoln told an audience of black people in 1862, “You and we are different races. Even when you cease to be slaves you are yet far removed from an equality with the white race. It is therefore better for both of us to be separated.” He even had a plan that after the war, he wanted to deport freed slaves to Isthmus of Panama. Wow. But they say that he did change his views on this by the end of his life. He even pushed for blacks to have the right to vote.
- Lincoln had trouble with women – Now wait? Don’t all men? Erin Mast, the Director of Lincoln’s Cottage said he was awkward with the ladies. Young women had complained about this. He did finally marry at age 34 to Mary Todd, which is very late back in that day. Their courtship was on again and off again for a number of years. Its been recorded that they had physical domestic disputes on several occasions.
- Lincoln Slept with Men – It is documented that he had slept with three men. The first was Billy Green and he met him when he was 22 yrs old. Green told of their sleeping situation. Then the second man was 23 yr old Joshua Speed in Springfield, IL in 1837. The two slept together for four years. When Joshua left him then Abe fell into a terrible depression. In the summer of 1862 @ the Presidential Retreat he met an Army Officer called David Derrickson. They became a real public item by going to the theater together, church services together and shared a bed together at the Presidential Retreat. The daughter of a Supreme Court Justice named Virginia Woodbury Fox wrote in her diary on November 16, 1862, “There is a bucktail soldier devoted to the President…drives with him…and when Mrs L is not home, sleeps with him…WHAT STUFF.” People gossiped even back then and what the hell is a bucktail anyway?
- Lincoln’s best friend owned slaves – Well this doesn’t seem odd to me. This was in the 1800’s. He was 32 yrs old when he began to realize how wrong slavery was and began to spend time with slaves. So in 1862, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
- Someone shot at Lincoln but missed – He was on his way home to his summer cottage alone from the White House riding a horse. It was a 3 mile ride. He was shot at but it missed him and got his hat instead. That was the last time he rode without an escort. And it was for that reason that he started the Secret Service on April 14th, 1865. Ironically this was the day before he was assassinated.
- Lincoln was photographed with John Wilkes Booth – Doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. March 4, 1865 a photograph was taken of Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural Address. According to Rob Gibson, a civil war photography expert said this was huge that his killer was in the background of that photo.
The only strange thing about this TV show was that it only talked about 7 things. Seven. Not 10. But the title of the show was 10 Things You Don’t Know About. That was the most shocking thing of the program. Hmmmm. Did I miss them? Regardless I will add a couple more to make it ten.
- Lincoln could handle himself in a fist fight
- Never joined a church
- He had four children but only one of them survived to adulthood
So there you have it. Hopefully you learned something that you never knew.