Reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s Elk-Horn Chair

B. Nash: These remind me of a chair that Lincoln had



It seems I’m always reminded of something Lincoln. I was shown a fine pair of deer antlers by a friend. The first thing that came to my mind was the elk-horn chair that was given to him as a gift. My friend was probably expecting questions like: “Where did you shoot the deer?” and “Did you use a bow or a rifle?” He wasn’t really interested in the Lincoln chair story. I don’t blame him. I’m used to being weird about things I connect to Abraham Lincoln. Anyway, here is a picture of the elk-horn chair:



It doesn’t look comfortable. It was a gift to President Lincoln. Mr. Seth Kinman gave the chair to Lincoln in November of 1864. He was a very interesting fellow: hunter, entertainer, chair builder. I’m amazed that a movie has not been made about  his life. When he brought the chair to Lincoln, artist Alfred Waud drew the president accepting it. Lincoln also examined the man’s rifle-which was named Ol’ Cottonblossum. Kinman then played tunes for Lincoln on a fiddle he fashioned from the skull of a mule. I don’t know what Lincoln thought of the chair, but it had to be the most unusual gift he ever got!

Seth Kinman later claimed he was at Ford’s Opera House on the night of Lincoln’s assassination. He stated he saw the murder. It is known that Kinman accompanied Lincoln’s body during the funeral train ride to Columbus, Ohio. He was dressed in his normal attire-which for him was the garb of a “mountain-man”- complete with buckskins and his hunting rifle. He must have been quite a sight. Ironically, he died from a wound he received in 1888 after accidentally shooting himself. He is buried in California. My only question is: “Where is the chair?”

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