Lincoln- You Scare Me

Lincoln in Richmond

Lincoln in Richmond

Mr. Lincoln, you scare me. You are always talking about your death. I suppose it’s no wonder considering from the very outset of your Presidency you were threatened with your life. Many thought you wouldn’t be sworn in as the new President because there was so much ill feeling at the time. You kept a file of some of the death threats mailed to you. When you left Springfield for Washington DC, you hinted that you might not return alive. You do scare me. Did you know that during your terms of office there was a plot to blow up the White House-with you in it? Did you know there was a plot to expose you to smallpox? Did you know there was another plot to kidnap you and transport you as a prisoner to Richmond?
You talked about your death frequently. You had dreams of your death. You made comments to others that you would not survive the war. You saw your self in the mirror with a double reflection-and guessed that it meant you would not survive your second term. Heck, Mr. Lincoln-you got shot at! A bullet went right through the hat on your head one evening. Others around you advised caution. They were worried for you. Stanton had to insist that you have a military escort. You didn’t like that notion at all.
That’s why you scare me too. Even though you thought, dreamed, and talked about your own death/assassination-you didn’t protect yourself like you could have. You felt that death was an appointment and no one could change that fate.  That’s partly why you took the great risk of going through newly fallen Richmond. It would have been so easy for an assassin to kill you that day. But you felt that nothing could be done if it was willed for you to die that day anyway (which it wasn’t-because it didn’t happen). On the day you were shot-April 14th 1865-you actually asked for Eckert to accompany you to the theater. You had observed his physical prowess in the past. You were impressed! That request was denied.
Upon leaving for the theater that night, you said “goodbye.” You really were saying goodbye! You seemed to have had mixed feelings about it. You had asked for the protection of Eckert. Did you think that fate would be changed then? That’s why you scare me too. I think you might have survived if only you had better protected yourself. Obviously, it was not meant to be.
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