Fact List People

30 Facts About Abraham Lincoln

Here are 30 Abraham Lincoln facts.

1-5 Abraham Lincoln Facts

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1. Abraham Lincoln once gave a speech in Bloomington, Illinois so captivating that it caused every single reporter present to forget to take notes. There is no copy of this speech in existence, and we can only guess at the content. This speech is known as Abraham Lincoln’s “Lost Speech”. – Source

2. Abraham Lincoln was an elite wrestler in his days before politics. He once challenged a crowd, saying, “I’m the big buck of this lick. If any of you want to try it, come on and whet your horns.” The challenge went unanswered. – Source

3. Abraham Lincoln created the secret service just hours before he was assassinated. – Source

4. When negotiating with Americans in the 1850’s, the Japanese leader inflated his title from Shogun (meaning “general of the army”) to Taikun (meaning “great prince/lord”). The title then entered the English language as “Tycoon,” and was adopted as a nickname for Abraham Lincoln by his staff. – Source

5. Abraham Lincoln successfully defended a criminal defendant by using an almanac to challenge a man’s assertion that he saw the murderer “By the light of the moon.” – Source

6-10 Abraham Lincoln Facts

6. Everyone thought Abraham Lincoln was ugly, including himself. Once when he was accused of being “two-faced,” he replied, “If I had two faces, would I be wearing this one?” – Source

7. Whenever Abraham Lincoln felt the urge to tell someone off, he would compose a “hot letter.” He’d pile all of his anger into a note, “put it aside until his emotions cooled down,” Doris Kearns Goodwin once explained on NPR, “and then write: “Never sent. Never signed.” – Source

8. Abraham Lincoln’s son, Robert Lincoln, was present at three out of four U.S. presidential assassinations. When asked to attend a presidential function he declined by stating “there is a certain fatality about presidential functions when I am present.” – Source

9. In 1862, Abraham Lincoln wrote to the cotton workers of Manchester, the UK to thank them for their stance on anti-slavery. – Source

10. Abraham Lincoln suffered from a lifelong “melancholy,” a condition we now call clinical depression. His suffering was so severe, that his community had to put him under a “suicide watch.” – Source

11-15 Abraham Lincoln Facts

11. A few weeks before Abraham Lincoln was elected president, 11-year-old Grace Bedell sent Lincoln a letter encouraging him to grow a beard, writing, “All the ladies like whiskers and they would tease their husbands to vote for you…” By the time of his inauguration, Lincoln had a full beard. – Source

12. By paying a fee of $300 you could officially and legally avoid the civil war draft. You could also find a substitute to fight in your place, a tactic the rich often used to avoid being enlisted. To encourage recruits to join, even Abraham Lincoln paid a man $500 to enlist on his behalf. – Source

13. Abraham Lincoln replied to a critic questioning emancipation by writing: “If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that”. – Source

14. Abraham Lincoln loved cats. He was a renowned Animal lover but cats held a special place. Mary Todd Lincoln was once asked if her husband had any hobbies, she replied “Cats.” – Source

15. Around 169 years, Abraham Lincoln became the first and only president to register a patent; the invention, which was never produced, was an idea for lifting boats over obstructions if they got stuck. – Source

16-20 Abraham Lincoln Facts

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16. In 1840, Abraham Lincoln and four other legislators jumped out of a window in order to prevent a vote that would have eliminated the Illinois state bank. – Source

17. The officer in charge of guarding Abraham Lincoln in Ford’s Theater left his post to go drinking at the same bar where John Wilkes Booth was building up the courage to shoot the President. – Source

18. Since Abraham Lincoln’s burial, his coffin had been moved 17 times and opened 5 times. On the last time, the coffin was opened (1901) his face was still perfectly recognizable. – Source

19. After Abraham Lincoln was called out for refusing to indicate whether or not he wanted to go Heaven or Hell he said “I did not come here with the idea of being singled out, but since you ask, I will reply with equal candor. I intend to go to Congress.” – Source

20. Karl Marx described Abraham Lincoln as being “a man neither to be browbeaten by adversity nor intoxicated by success.” – Source

21-25 Abraham Lincoln Facts

Image credit: en.wikipedia.org

21. Lincoln, NE was named after Abraham Lincoln as a ploy to keep Nebraska’s capital as Omaha. Many people in Nebraska had been sympathetic to the Confederate cause and it was assumed that the legislature would not change the capital if the new capital were named after Abraham Lincoln. – Source

22. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Women are the only things that cannot hurt me that I am afraid of.” – Source

23. Abraham Lincoln arrested pro-confederate members of Maryland’s legislature as they were headed to a vote on whether Maryland would secede from the Union, in order to prevent Maryland from seceding. – Source

24. Abraham Lincoln dressed up as a Scottish immigrant in order to escape an assassination attempt on his way into Washington for his Inauguration. – Source

25. In Abraham Lincoln’s 1846 run for Congress, friends gave him $200 to the campaign. After winning he handed back $199.25 saying, “my only outlay was 75 cents which some farm hands insisted I should treat to.” – Source

26-30 Abraham Lincoln Facts

26. Abraham Lincoln served in the 1832 Black Hawk War and was elected company captain. A story tells of a Potawatomi man who Lincoln’s men assumed was a spy. Lincoln threw himself in front of his men’s muskets, knocking their weapons upward and protecting the Potawotami until his men backed down. – Source

27.  Abraham Lincoln kept his important documents inside his hat. – Source

28. Abraham Lincoln’s grandfather was also named Abraham Lincoln, he served in the American Revolutionary War as a military captain and was killed in 1786 by an Indian, who in return was shot by Abraham’s 14-year-old son, Mordecai Lincoln. – Source

29. Abraham Lincoln established the earliest U.S. “air force” in 1861 when he sanctioned the Union Army Balloon Corps which used gas-filled balloons to perform aerial reconnaissance on the Confederate Army. – Source

30. In the Gettysburg Address president, Lincoln said, “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here,” although today it’s one of his most famous speeches. – Source

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