Thursday, April 23, 2015

Lincoln Stories - 2 Favorites

I love Lincoln. The stories of his youth and physical prowess abound, most untrue, but inspiring nonetheless. The first one was in the book "The Case of Abraham Lincoln" by Julie M. Fenster, which I have reviewed here before. The second one is an old story that I read sometime as a kid, somewhere. Hence I have not backed it up with a source. Both stories are emblematic of the man, and the times in which he lived.

‘Tis said that in his younger day, he made a vow that if he should ever find a man uglier than himself, he would shoot him. One day while rambling over the hills with his rifle in his hand, in search of game, he met a man who was exceedingly ugly; immediately he cocked his gun and took aim, but upon being asked by the stranger what he was going to do, if he was going to murder him, Lincoln lowered his gun, told the stranger his vow and that he must prepare to meet his fate.

The stranger, after eyeing Lincoln for a while and scanning him from head to foot, exclaimed,; “Well, if I am uglier than you, I don’t want to live- so shoot me!”

Source: Iota: pen name, Illinois Correspondence, Missouri Republican, June 25th, 1856 page 2.

Abraham Lincoln was riding on a train when the man next to him lit a cigar, fouling the air about him. "Excuse me sir," said Lincoln, "but your cigar smoke is drifting into my area and I am having a frightful time breathing. Might not you extinguish it?" The man replied that he had paid for his seat, and if the smoke from his cigar was drifting into Lincoln's area that was his problem, but he intended to smoke his cigar.

Lincoln produced a small pistol, which he aimed at the man's head, saying as he did, "I, too, have paid for my seat, and I wish to fire my pistol. If the bullet from my gun strays into your area, well that's too bad." The man extinguished his cigar.

Apocryphal- no source.

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