Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States and he steered the country through a period of immense change, including the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery. According to many historians, Abraham Lincoln was one of the best American presidents, so what 10 interesting facts about Abraham Lincoln are there?
1. Although Lincoln married Marry Todd in 1842 and subsequently had four children with her, his first love was Ann Rutledge. She sadly died in 1835 and he became deeply depressed as a result. At the time he was diagnosed with “melancholia”, which today would be called clinical depression. This was an affliction he was to suffer from again at many different stages in his life, particularly when he and Mary endured the loss of their children.
2. The Lincoln’s had four sons—Robert, Edward, William and Thomas (also known as Tad), but only Robert survived to adulthood. Edward died of tuberculosis when he was 4 years old and Thomas died from heart failure aged 18. William passed away from bilious fever in 1862 and is the only child to have died in the White House.
3. During the American Civil War, Lincoln’s wife, Mary, tended wounded soldiers in the many hospitals nearby, but it was not until later that many soldiers realised that the First Lady had cared them for.
4. Lincoln was the first president to be photographed during his inauguration. His future assassin can clearly be seen standing nearby in the photograph.
5. Lincoln was the first president to have a beard while serving in office.
6. John Wilkes Booth assassinated Abraham Lincoln during his second term in office, an event that still remains clouded in mystery and the subject of numerous conspiracy theories. Some conspiracy theorists believe the murder was a result of a Confederate plot whereas others claim the Catholic Church was responsible. But ultimately, we will probably never know what really happened, and why.
7. It is said that Lincoln had a premonition he was going to be assassinated: a short time before the assassination he had a dream in which he heard weeping in the White House and upon investigation was told the president had died. When he looked inside the coffin, he saw himself lying there, dead.
8. Interestingly, shortly before the assassination of Lincoln, an actor called Edwin Booth—the brother of John Wilkes Booth—pulled his son, Robert Lincoln, to safety from beneath the wheels of a moving train.
9. Every single president of the United States who was elected during a year ending in zero has been assassinated or died whilst serving in office, including Lincoln. This is known as the Tecumseh’s Curse. There are also a number of very spooky coincidences between the assassinations of Lincoln and John F. Kennedy.
10. The most influential moment of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency was the famous Gettysburg Address. His speech only lasted three minutes, but had a deeply profound effect on the future of democracy.