Down on his luck and born to a family that barely earned a dime, Lincoln was destined for greatness and didn’t let any criticism stop him. Preserving the Union, strengthening the economy, Lincoln gave it all he had when the United States of America didn’t seem united at all. Apart from being the tallest American President and winning the Civil War, here are 18 rare facts about Abraham Lincoln:
18. Abraham Lincoln Never Slept in Lincoln Bedroom
During his reign of Presidency, the 16th President of the United States, Lincoln might owned a lot of rooms in the White House but it is interesting to know that he never slept in the finest room of all: The Lincoln Bedroom.
Situated in the south-east corner of the second floor as a part of the Lincoln Sitting Room, Lincoln solely used the room as his personal office where he held meetings with Cabinet members, wrote speeches – including Emancipation Proclamation – and signed official documents.
17. Abraham Lincoln was Almost Shot During Civil War
As the Civil War reached a volatile state, causalities were inevitable. During his two days visit at Fort Stevens in Washington, DC, Lincoln almost lost his life when the Confederate troops invaded the city.
When the troops came near the fort, they opened fire at the President. Fortunately, Colonel Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr, yelled, “Get down, you fool!” Lincoln knelt at the last second and managed to leave the battleground without any injuries.
16. Abraham Lincoln’s Love Life
A lot is known about the President’s political career but the same cannot be said about his personal life, particularly his romantic aspects. His first love was a woman named Ann Rutledge, who allegedly died due to typhoid fever.
Lincoln became engaged to a woman named Mary Owens but it was soon broken off. He tied the knot with Marry Todd and the couple had four sons.
15. Abraham Lincoln Took 17 Years to Pay Back a $1000 Loan
Lincoln was nicknamed “Honest Abe” for a reason and left many incidents to display his acts of honesty throughout his life. One of them involves him taking 17 long years to pay back every single penny of a $1000 loan he used to run a store.
He failed miserably as a store clerk and had to return the loan as he decided to call it a day and it took the future President 17 years to do so.
14. Abraham Lincoln’s Ghost Sightings
Among the claims by political figures witnessing ghastly creatures similar to deceased presidents, perhaps the most common and most widespread is of Abraham Lincoln’s ghost.
Believed to haunt the White House, the most famous incident of the sightings happened in 1942 when Wilhelmina of the Netherlands answered a knock on her White House bedroom only to see Lincoln’s ghost wearing his trademark frock coat and top hap. She fainted instantly. Many have heard footsteps late at night in the hall next to the Lincoln Bedroom.
13. Abraham Lincoln is the Only President to Obtain a Patent
Lincoln’s diversity knows no bounds as apart from politics, he had a thing for engineering and machinery as well. While travelling on a steamboat that had to unload a cargo, he conceptualized a way to maintain their flow by attaching vacant metallic air chambers on their sides.
Though the method seemed nearly impractical, he obtained Patent No. 6469 in 1849; an achievement that distinguishes Lincoln from other US Presidents.
12. Abraham Lincoln Dreamt His Funeral
Prior to his death, Lincoln dreamt at least twice about his own death. He once narrated such dreams to his friend and biographer Ward Hill Lamon – one of them involving himself coming downstairs to East Room of the White House and witnessing a group of soldiers mourning around a corpse.
When demanded to know the identity of the dead one, one of the soldiers replied, “The President. He was killed by an assassin.”
11. Abraham Lincoln Used His Top Hat to Store Documents
The stovepipe top hat not only served as the 16th President’s most recognizable clothing peace but also served as a secondary pocket. Despite being a responsible lawyer, Lincoln found it troublesome to keep his notes safe so he utilized his top hat to store his letters, bills, notes, speeches and many other political documents.
Due to the excessive use, the top hat is now an epitome of Lincoln’s image.
10. Abraham Lincoln Formed the Secret Service Moments Prior to Assassination
April 14, 1865 – the death of Abraham Lincoln and the birth of United States Secret Service. Before the night of his assassination, the President signed legislation documents in order to form the Secret Service in the evening.
However, it was in 1901 when the Secret Service expanded their duties concerning with counterfeiting currency to protecting American political icons.
9. Abraham Lincoln’s Corpse was Almost Stolen
11 years after the assassination, a Chicago based counterfeiters attempted to steal the President’s corpse from his tomb which was sealed by just one padlock. They planned to hold the body for a ransom of $200,000 and demanded the release of their gang’s finest counterfeiter from prison.
Fortunately, the United States Secret Service foiled the gang’s plans; allowing Lincoln to finally rest in peace. To prevent similar incidents in the future, Lincoln’s corpse was later covered in a steel cage guarded by concrete 10 feet underground.