Saturday, January 27, 2018

Five things you may not know about . . .

Five things you may not know about Abraham Lincoln

“I know what I know.” 

One of my Grandma’s favorite sayings . . . “I know what I know.” It’s been quite a few years since she went home to be with Jesus, but I still miss her. It makes me smile to think about her.

So, what does this have to do with history? Well, nothing, actually. But while researching, I discovered or re-discovered some things about the Sixteenth President of United States, Abraham Lincoln. Some of those things I remember from years ago, and some, even during my many years of (healthy) historical obsession, I’d never heard or read.

I know what I know, but maybe I can know more—like:

  1. President Lincoln’s beloved mother died of “milk poisoning”. At only nine years old, little Abe nursed his violently ill mother to the best of his abilities, but tragically she passed away. The cause of the disease was a mystery until years later when it was discovered that folks were dying from milk poisoning after dairy cows ingested the toxic weed, white snake root.
  2. Mere months after Mrs. Lincoln’s death, Abe’s father, Thomas Lincoln, left his son alone on their homestead and took a trip to town. Thomas was
    Sarah Bush Lincoln
    gone so long that Abraham began to worry if he would ever return. When Abe’s father finally did come home, he brought a “new” mother for Abe. Sarah Bush Lincoln loved young Abe as her own and helped to shape him into the man who would become president. 
  3. Abraham Lincoln’s lanky, 6’4” frame made him a formidable wrestling opponent who is enshrined in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Abe loved to wrestle and was known to taunt his opponent by talking a little smack in the ring. Once, after a match, he faced the onlookers and according to Carl Sandburg’s biography of Lincoln, ol’ Honest Abe dared: “I’m the big buck of this lick. If any of
    Image from page 19 of "The heroic
    life of Abraham Lincoln the great emancipator.
    you want to try it, come on and whet your horns.” Apparently, not one person from the audience stepped forward. Lincoln’s nineteenth-century, WWE type achievements earned him an “Outstanding American” honor in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. 
  4. In a strange, almost eerie coincidence, the brother of John Wilkes Booth, Edwin Booth, saved President Lincoln’s oldest son’s (Robert Todd Lincoln) life. While waiting on the train platform in New Jersey, New Jersey, the crowds surged forward and unknowingly pushed Robert off the platform, onto the tracks, and into the path of an oncoming train. At the last possible moment, Edwin Booth grabbed Robert by the coat collar and yanked him back to safety. Being one of the most revered actors of the times, Edwin was immediately recognized and hailed a hero. A few months later his brother, John Wilkes Booth, assassinated President Lincoln at Ford’s Theater.     
    Edwin Booth as Hamlet
  5. President Lincoln loved new inventions of all kinds including the newest types of firearms . . . And he test-fired them on the White House lawn. On what is now the now known as the Ellipse and the National Mall, the president would meet with inventors, gunsmiths, and iron smiths, testing out the newest repeating rifles, pistols, muskets and cannons. Though there was a strict “standing order” against firing weapons in the District of Columbia, Abe, and his love for new gadgets and gizmos, allowed the weapons display in the name of furthering the cause. 

Now, we know what we know—and hopefully, a little bit more.

Be blessed, my friends, and keep learning. Thank you for stopping by Heroes, Heroines and History. 


**Pictures courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and the wrestling photo, Flickr.

Multi-award-winning author, Michele K. Morris’s love for historical fiction began when she first read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House book series. She grew up riding horses and spending her free time in the woods of mid-Michigan while dreaming of days-gone-by and knights-in-shining-armor. Therefore, it only makes sense that she now writes historical romance with a touch of suspense. Michele is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.


  1. Very interesting, Michele. I didn't know about Edwin Booth. What a strange "coincidence."

    1. Thank you, Amber. I was surprised by that one too. :) I appreciate your comment.

  2. Interesting and informative about Abraham Lincoln. I was just reviewing tidbits about Lincoln with family members. Our local hospital is Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center with the history of the Lincoln's and Lincoln Log Cabin Historical Park in our county.

    1. Hi Marilyn! That's so interesting! It must be great to live so near a wealth of historical information. Thank you for commenting!

  3. Thank you for sharing your very interesting post, Michele.

  4. President Lincoln is one of my favorite historical figures. Thank you for discovering more about him.