Abraham Lincoln is widely regarded both by scholars and the public as one of America’s greatest heroes as a result of his incredible impact on his nation and his unique appeal. Uncle Abe is considered by many as the Greatest American President ever. Born on February 12, 1809, Lincoln became 16th president of the United States in the year 1861 and served until April 1865, when he was assassinated. The story of “Father Abraham” is a remarkable story of a man that rose from humble beginnings to achieve the highest office in his country. Wikipedia compilation of “Historical rankings of Presidents of the United States” consistently ranked Lincoln at the top of the lists. He was a foremost transformer having led his country through its greatest constitutional, military, and moral crisis—the American Civil War— he preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the national government and modernised the economy.
Abraham Lincoln had many nicknames when he was alive—names like The Great Emancipator, The Rail Splitter, The Liberator, Father Abraham, Uncle Abe—but none of those names is more widely recognised and referenced today than the nickname, “Honest Abe.” Lincoln has been described as a man of great integrity and unswerving honesty, this attribute has become even more pronounced in his law practice. In his book, An Honest Calling: The Law Practice of Abraham Lincoln, Mark Steiner stated “People learned to love him ardently, devotedly, and juries listened intently, earnestly, receptively to the sad-faced, earnest man…” Perhaps this is Lincoln’s greatest attribute which made him a hero to a lot of people around the world, from carrying out his work as a clerk to discharge of his duties as a president, Lincoln’s honesty was unwavering, he followed his personal resolve to be “honest at all events” an essential lesson for all.
Today, most people have heard of his great speeches and works; however, there are still events in Abraham Lincoln’s life that are unheard of. There is so much we can learn from the life of this great man. Here are such 10 fascinating facts from the life of the 16th President of the United States – Abraham Lincoln.
10 Interesting Facts About Abraham Lincoln
Fact 1: Three Attempts on Marriage
From the subheading above, you’d probably think that the late 16th President is a ladies’ man. Contrary to this notion, Abraham Lincoln was actually a considerate fiancé. His first romantic interest with Ann Rutledge did not work out since she died of typhoid fever at the age of 22. Lincoln’s second love was a woman named Mary Owen whom he met during the early 1830. The courtship lasted for a while until it ended because Mary Owen did not heed Lincoln’s request of returning to New Salem. Since both Lincoln and Owen had thoughts about the relationship; both lovers called it quits. The third and final love of his life was his wife Mary Todd whom he was engaged to in the year 1840. Lincoln and Mary Todd’s wedding in January 1, 1841 was called off due to some reasons. This sent Lincoln into depression which compelled his friends to take away all razors in his house. However, with a bit of courtship, the two got engaged and finally got married on November 4, 1842.
[Image source: Mary_Todd_Lincoln2]
Fact 2: Suffered Three Untimely Death of His Sons
The spouses Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln were known all throughout history as dotting and loving parents; that’s why it’s hard to believe that 3 of their sons had suffered untimely death while they were young. The only surviving child they had was their first child, Robert Todd Lincoln. Their second child allegedly succumbed to tuberculosis at the young age of 4 years. Their third child died when he was about 12 years of age; and their fourth son died from heart failure at the young age of 18. It was only their eldest son that lived to be an adult and gave Abraham and Mary grandchildren.
Fact 3: Loved to Use Large Black Top Hats
We all have seen Lincoln in paintings and drawings with his classic black top hat; but did you know that he use to store little things inside his black top hat? No wonder he was fond of wearing one. It was claimed that he put important letters and little parchments of paper inside his black top hat. This was indeed a convenient way of bringing things with him wherever he went.
Fact 4: Hates Dentists to Death
Perhaps what put off Lincoln in going to the dentist clinic was his unfortunate incident with one dentist where that dentist accidentally broke off a part of his jaw because he could not get a tooth out. Because using anesthesia was not even existent back then, the pain that he suffered was so excruciating that he forever put off going to the dentist for good.
Fact 5: Premonitions About His Own Death
There are accounts and claims that Lincoln had some kind of premonitions about his death. Before the end of his second term as President, it was alleged that Lincoln had a dream where he walked into the White House after hearing someone crying. In the dream, Lincoln asked the person his reason for crying, to which he responded that someone had died. When Lincoln asked who was it who had died, the response was it was the President; and when he gazed upon the coffin, it was his image that he saw lying there. It’s definitely not hard to believe this because even now, there are numerous accounts of people having foreboding omens about their pending demise or accidents.
Fact 6: A Champion Humanitarian.
People know Lincoln as a champion humanitarian. However, there are debates about this because over the history of Lincoln as a lawmaker, he made some bold moves that can be classified as anti-humanitarian. Historical records will show that Lincoln suspended one of the basic human rights, the right of habeas corpus. With this fact, people now ask, is he really a champion humanitarian?
Fact 7: He Did Not Fight Civil War to End Slavery.
Another popular notion about Lincoln is that he fought civil war to end slavery. The end of slavery is only one of the minor effects of Lincoln ‘s cause during the civil war. The purpose of Lincoln in ending slavery was to bring South back into the union. Lincoln used slavery into their advantage to further the cause of what they were fighting for during the civil war. Regardless, it was still beneficial move for slaves during that time.
Fact 8: He Was Challenged Into A Duel.
Lincoln was proficient and intellectually stimulating writer. So when he apparently wrote some alleged libelous comments about then State Auditor James Shield, the latter challenged him to a duel. But common friends of these politicians intervened and prevented the duel from happening on the grounds that Lincoln had not written the letters.
Fact 9: Author of the Thanksgiving Holiday.
Thanksgiving is a popular US holiday and the late President Lincoln was its proponent. There are even historical accounts that Abraham Lincoln was the first President who had given a Presidential Turkey Pardon at the urging of his eldest son to issue a formal reprieve for the turkey meant for his then family dinner.
Fact 10: A Certified Patent Holder.
With an intellectual and inventive mind like Abraham Lincoln, there can be no doubt that he could be a patent holder if he was living at the present. So indeed, Abraham Lincoln is the only President of the United States to hold a patent for his invention on system for lifting boats on sandbars. In 1849, Abraham Lincoln was issued a patent for “buoying boats over shoals” (No. 6,469). His idea utilized inflated cylinders to float grounded vessels through shallow water. Prior to that, Lincoln had worked as a deck-hand on a Mississippi flat-boat.
It’s always interesting to know little facts about heroes and icons. It gives you an introspection about how they lived and how they thought. These facts about them inspire you and at the same time makes them relatable as a normal human being. We hope you find Facts About Abraham Lincoln interesting