Lincoln Tidbits

001I’m often asked what kind of things and activities did Abraham Lincoln enjoy. Everyone knows,  of course that he enjoyed reading.  He loved the works of Shakespeare. In fact, he often carried on his person a Shakespeare volume to read at will.  He also enjoyed Burns. He was well read in the King James Bible.  Other books he read included: The Pilgrims Progress, Aesop’s Fables, and Weems’ History of Washington. Lincoln tried his hand at writing poems. He was also fond of the poem by Knox called ‘Mortality.’ What other things did he enjoy?  I discovered in the book ‘The Lincoln Reader’ by Paul Angle that he had bowled at one time. That must have been a sight. It’s also well known that he liked other sports such as: wrestling, handball, and billiards.  Lincoln a pool shark? Well, who knows! Lincoln probably was not a swimmer. According to several accounts he nearly drowned more than once. I don’t remember ever reading anywhere that he played cards. By the way, he didn’t smoke either. By his own admission, if the story is true, he wasn’t very skilled in dancing. He certainly loved animals, in particular, cats and dogs. He seemed to be very good- natured when it came to them. The story is well known about him shooting a turkey as a young man and vowing not to do that again. It was apparently distasteful to him, although it didn’t prevent him from squirrel hunting- poor squirrels! In another well-known tale Lincoln was said to have scolded rather harshly some boys who had been putting hot coals on the back of a turtle. Additionally, it can’t be overlooked that he loved the theater. Might that be considered the modern day equivalent to going to the movies? Perhaps. How about music? He himself said that his favorite tune was ‘Dixie.’ In the context of his statement I’m not quite sure he meant it.  I don’t recall hearing that he ever learned to play an instrument. He did attend opera at times. He saw Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute,’ for instance. As a young adult he was part of a debating club. He absolutely was fascinated by the use of words and their meanings.  He had read a book by Euclid dealing with the subject of logic. His skills at argument and use of logic would serve him well both as a lawyer and politician. He enjoyed going to school but had only less than a year of formal education.  As an adult he was conferred honorary degrees in law. His love of words was also evident in his habit of telling stories and jokes. Apparently he never forgot a good joke and would laugh to himself after telling one even if he had told it before. He made a comment once to the effect that he had to laugh in order to keep from crying. He was also an inventor. He is the only United States President to this day that holds a patent on an invention. The invention had to do with navigating boats over barriers. He was a skilled water craftsman having made two journeys by flatboat to New Orleans. Lastly, it can’t be forgotten that he was really adept at the use of the maul and ax.  He was the rail-splitter, after all. I don’t know if that particular skill could be said to be something Lincoln enjoyed- sounds more like plain old hard work to me. However, as with many, it may have been work to him but was also enjoyable.  Well, these are just a few ‘Lincoln tidbits’ that come to mind as I sit and drink my morning coffee. Hope you enjoyed them!

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5 Responses to “Lincoln Tidbits”

  1. Nate says:

    Best post to date

  2. B. Nash says:

    Yes, who knew? Hed just never learned to swim!

  3. B. Nash says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed it. He also liked to play chess. I forgot to include that.

  4. Chris Nash says:

    Awesome, I agree this is a very well written post. Also I find it amazing how talented he was! Also I never knew he liked cats haha thats pretty cool 😀

  5. Kelly Nash-Palmer says:

    This is my favorite post thus far. It is clear that Abe was a well-rounded man, talented in many areas. Abe the pool shark. Who knew?

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