Abraham Lincoln: party to a wife beating…

Lincoln at the Crossroads of Decision Statue, New Salem, Illinois

Lincoln at the Crossroads of Decision Statue, New Salem, Illinois

A “wife beating?,” you say? Well, it was not exactly what you might have been thinking. It wasn’t the wife being “beat”- it was the wife beating her husband. Her husband, you see, was tied to the town square whipping post. It happened in early Springfield. She was using a limb and, apparently, gave her man a thrashing. He was a shoemaker by trade. He was also said to be an alcoholic who physically abused his wife on more than one occasion. He had been warned that if he ever beat her again-he would be whipped himself. So when the news came that he did it again, he was dragged to the courthouse, stripped of his shirt, and tied to the post out in back of the building. That could not have been pretty. There were several men involved in the  “capture” of the abuser. Then his wife was sent for. She was up to the task. As she began her whipping of her husband, the men in the party of the vengeful episode sat down and watched. Finally, when the “leader of the pack” felt that the husband had received enough punishment- he was released. The men helped him put his shirt back on and he walked away from the scene cursing and promising vengence himself. The “leader of the pack” of the “rowdies” that aided the battered wife? You know him. His name was ABRAHAM LINCOLN. As far as is known, the husband stopped his physical abuse of his wife. He also didn’t perform the vengence on the men he swore he’d do.
Lincoln coming to the aid of a rather helpless female fits in with his character-even if you disagree with his method in this particular case. Do you disagree?
When the statue pictured above was dedicated, it was stated in the dedicatory speech that Lincoln was “Majestic in character and intellect, lofty in purpose, sublime in faith and forgiveness..” I think the description is not inaccurate. Does the story above change any of your thoughts about Lincoln? Or does it further enhance what you already thought of him? What are your thoughts?
 Mail this post

Technorati Tags: ,

Tags: ,

3 Responses to “Abraham Lincoln: party to a wife beating…”

  1. Honey Tenniscoe says:

    I heard it on a radio show a few years ago,it was called “and that”s the way it was”it said that when Mary Lincon got mad at her husband she would beat him and he would ran into the forest,then the announcer would not mention any names till the very end and then he would sa”and that;s the way it was”

  2. B. Nash says:

    Actually, I have read that account in several books in the past. I suspect the original source was William Herndon. I saw the story most recently ( and decided to make a posting on it) in the book: “Lincoln Shot: A President’s Life Remembered” by Barry Denenberg and published by Feiwel and Friends. Hope this helps.

  3. Dave Wiegers says:

    bill, what is the source of this story. I had not heard this one before.

Leave a Reply