Chapter 2

  1. Kunhardt, Jr., et al., Lincoln, An Illustrated Biography, 35.

"He was mighty good comp'ny…interested in everything. An' he always did have fits of cutting' up. I've seen him when he was a little feller, settin' on a stool, starin' at a visitor. All of a sudden he'd bu'st out laughin' fit to kill. If he told us what he was laughin' at, half the time we couldn't see no joke."

A slightly more complete quote reads: "Babies wasn't as common as blackberries in the woods o' Kaintucky. Mother come over an' washed his an' …that's all the nuss'n either of em' got…Well, now, he looked just like any other baby, at fust - like red cherry pulp squeezed dry. An' he didn't improve none as he growed older. Abe never was much fur looks. I recollect how Tom joked about Abe's long legs when when he was toddlin' round the cabin. He growed' out o' his clothesfaster n' Nancy could make 'em. He was mighty good compan'y…interested in everything. An' he always did have fits of cuttin' up. I've seen him when he was a little feller, settin' on a stool, starin' at a visitor. All of a sudden he'd bu'st out laughin' fit to kill. If he told us what he was laughin' at, half the time we couln't see no joke."

  1. Lincoln, Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 4, 62.

(Lincoln) "…has never since pulled the trigger on any larger game."

Lincoln wrote (in the third person) about his family's move to Indiana: "This removal was partly on account of slavery; but chiefly on account of the difficulty in land titles in Ky. [Lincoln's father] settled in an unbroken forest; and the clearing away of surplus wood was the great task a head. A. though very young, was large of his age, and had an axe put into his hands at once; and from that till within his twenty-third year, he was almost constantly handling that most useful instrument-less, of course, in plowing and harvesting seasons. At this place A. took an early start as a hunter, which was never much improved afterwards. (A few days before the completion of his eighth [sic] year, in the absence of his father, a flock of wild turkeys approached the new log-cabin, and A. with a rifle gun, standing inside, shot through a crack, and killed one of them. He has never since pulled a trigger on any larger game.)"

  1. Herndon and Weik, Herndon's Life of Lincoln, 275-76.

From Tripp: "In one lawsuit he destroyed a crooked lawyer for stealing from a helpless widow. He not only won the case and had the stolen money returned, he also put up surety for her court costs, charged her no fee, paid her Springfield hotel bill, and then bought her ticket home."

From Herndon and Weik: "Davis said this of Lincoln: 'When in a lawsuit he believed his client was oppressed,-as in the Wright case,-he was hurtful in denunciation. When he attacked meanness, fraud, or vice, he was powerful, merciless in his castigation.' The Wright case referred to was a suit brought by Lincoln and myself to compel a pension agent to refund a portion of a fee which he had withheld from the widow of a revolutionary soldier. The entire pension was $400, of which sum the agent had retained one-half. The pensioner, an old woman crippled and bent with age, came hobbling into the office and told her story. It stirred Lincoln up, and he walked over to the agent's office and made a demand for a return of the money, but without success. Then suit was brought. The day before the trial I hunted up for Lincoln, at his request, a history of the Revolutionary War, of which he read a good portion. He told me to remain during the trial until I had heard his address to the jury. 'For,' said he, 'I am going to skin Wright, and get that money back.'"

  1. Herndon and Weik, Herndon's Life of Lincoln, 27.

"To all three she said, 'be good to one another,' and died."

A more complete passage from Herndon and Weik reads: "Abe's mother had also fallen a victim to the insidious disease. Her sufferings, however, were destined to be of brief duration. Within a week she too rested from her labors. 'She struggled on, day by day,' says one of the household, 'a good Christian woman, and died on the seventh day after she was taken sick. Abe and his sister Sarah waited on their mother, and did the little jobs and errands required of them. There was no physician nearer than thirty-five miles. The mother knew she was going to die, and called the children to her bedside. She was very weak, and the children leaned over while she gave her last message. Placing her feeble hand on little Abe's head she told him to be kind and good to his father and sister; to both she said, 'Be good to one another,' expressing a hope that they might live, as they had been taught by her, to love their kindred and worship God. Amid the miserable surroundings of a home in the wilderness Nancy Hanks passed across the dark river. Though of lowly birth, the victim of poverty and hard usage, she takes a place in history as the mother of a son who liberated a race of men."

  1. Herndon and Weik, Herndon's Life of Lincoln, 28.

From the text: "There would now be eight persons to share the rough-hewn, one-room, dirt-floored Lincoln cabin."

Adirect quote from Herndon and Weik reads: "Lincoln's brother-in-law, Ralph Krume, and his four horses and spacious wagons were again brought into requisition. With commendable generosity he transported the newly married pair and their household effects to their home in Indiana. The new Mrs. Lincoln was accompanied by her three children, John, Sarah, and Matilda. Her social status is fixed by the comparison of a neighbor, who observed that 'life among the Hankses, the Lincolns, and the Enlows was a long ways below life among the Bushes.'"

  1. Herndon and Weik, Herndon's Life of Lincoln, 28-29.

"With true womanly courage and zeal she set resolutely to work to make right that which seemed wrong…The work of renovation in and around the cabin continued until even Thomas Lincoln himself, under the general stimulus of the new wife's presence, caught the inspiration, and developed signs of intense activity. The advent of Sarah Bush was certainly a red-letter day for the Lincolns. She was not only industrious and thrifty, but gentle and affectionate; and her newly adopted children, for the first time, perhaps, realized the benign influence of a mother's love. Of young Abe she was especially fond, and we have her testimony that her kindness and care for him were warmly and bountifully returned."

A slightly more complete quote from Herndon and Weik reads: "In the eyes of her spouse [Sarah Bush] could not be regarded as a poor widow. She was the owner of a goodly stock of furniture and household goods; bringing with her among other things a walnut bureau valued at fifty dollars. What effect the new family, their collection of furniture, cooking utensils, and comfortable bedding must have had on the astonished and motherless pair who from the door of Thomas Lincoln's forlorn cabin watched the well-filled wagon as it came creaking through the woods can better be imagined than described. Surely Sarah and Abe, as the stores of supplies were rolled in through the doorless doorways, must have believed that a golden future awaited them. The presence and smile of a motherly face in the cheerless cabin radiated sunshine into every neglected corner. If the Lincoln mansion did not in every respect correspond to the representations made by its owner to the new Mrs. Lincoln before marriage, the latter gave no expression of disappointment or even surprise. With true womanly courage and zeal she set resolutely to work to make right that which seemed wrong. Her husband was made to put a floor in the cabin, as well as to supply doors and windows. The cracks between the logs were plastered up. A clothes-press filled the space between the chimney jamb and the wall, and the mat of corn husks and leaves on which the children had slept in the corner gave way to the comfortable luxuriance of a feather bed. She washed the two orphans, and fitted them out in clothes taken from the stores of her own. The work of renovation in and around the cabin continued until even Thomas Lincoln himself, under the general stimulus of the new wife's presence, caught the inspiration, and developed signs of intense activity. The advent of Sarah Bush was certainly a red-letter day for the Lincolns. She was not only industrious and thrifty, but gentle and affectionate; and her newly adopted children for the first time, perhaps, realized the benign influence of a mother's love. Of young Abe she was especially fond, and we have her testimony that her kindness and care for him were warmly and bountifully returned."

  1. Herndon and Weik, Herndon's Life of Lincoln, 29. (See footnote 6)

"The mat of corn husks and leaves on which the children had slept in the corner gave way to the comfortable luxuriance of a feather bed. She washed the two orphans, and fitted them out in clothes taken from the stores of her own."

A slightly more complete quote from Herndon and Weik reads: "The cracks between the logs were plastered up. A clothes-press filled the space between the chimney jamb and the wall, and the mat of corn husks and leaves on which the children had slept in the corner gave way to the comfortable luxuriance of a feather bed. She washed the two orphans, and fitted them out in clothes taken from the stores of her own. The work of renovation in and around the cabin continued until even Thomas Lincoln himself, under the general stimulus of the new wife's presence, caught the inspiration, and developed signs of intense activity."

  1. Hertz, The Hidden Lincoln, 353, plus Herndon notes on his interview with Mrs. Thomas Lincoln, Sept. 8, 1865, Herndon-Weik collection, p. 6 of transcript, Library of Congress.

"She seemed so old and feeble; she asked me my name two or three times and where I lived as often, and would say: 'Where Mr. Lincoln lived once his friend too.' She breathed badly at first but she seemed to be struggling at last to arouse herlself, or to fix her mind on the subject. She breathed badly at first but she seemed to be struggling at last to arouse herlself, or to fix her mind on the subject. Gradually by introducing simple questions to her, about her age, marriage, Kentucky, Thomas Lincoln, her former husband, her children, grandchildren, Johnston, she awoke as it were a new being. Her eyes were clear and calm; her flesh is white and pure…She even stood tall [again]."

The full passage from Hertz's book reads, "When I first reached the home of Mrs. Lincoln and was introduced to her by Colonel A. H. Chapman, her grandson by marriage, I did not expect to get much out of her. She seemed so old and feeble; she asked me my name two or three times and where I lived as often, and would say: 'Where Mr. Lincoln lived once, his friend too.' She breathed badly at first but she seemed to be struggling at last to arouse herself, or to fix her mind on the subject. Gradually by introducing simple questions to her, about her age, marriage, Kentucky, Thomas Lincoln, her former husband, her children, grandchildren, Johnston, she awoke as it were a new being, her eyes were clear and calm; her flesh is white and pure, not coarse or material; is tall, has bluish large gray eyes; ate dinner with her, sat on my west side, left arm, ate a good hearty dinner, she did.
When I was about to leave, she arose, took me by the hand, wept, and bade me good-by, saying: 'I shall never see you again, and if you see Mrs. Abraham Lincoln and family, tell them I send my best and tenderest love. Good-by, my good son's friend, farewell.'"

  1. Hertz, The Hidden Lincoln, 350-53; with editing corrections from Herndon notes, Sept 8, 1865, Herndon-Weik collection, p. 6 of transcript, Library of Congress.

  2. Kinsey, et al., Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, 457.

"The highest frequencies of the homosexual which we have ever secured anywhere have been in particular rural communities in some of the more remote sections of the country. The boy on the isolated farm has few companions except his brothers, the boys on an adjacent farm or two, visiting male cousins, and the somewhat older farm hand. His mother may see to it that he does not spend much time with his sisters, and the moral codes of the rural community may impose considerable limitations upon the association of boys and girls under other circumstances. Moreover, farm activities call for masculine capacities, and associations with girls are rated sissy by most of the boys in such a community. All of these things are conducive to a considerable amount of homosexuality among the teen-age males in the most isolated of the rural areas. There is much less of it in the smaller farm country of the Eastern United States."

Kinsey goes on to note that, "Beyond this, there is a fair amount of sexual contact among the older males in Western rural areas. It is a type of homosexuality which was probably common among pioneers and outdoor men in general. Today it is found among ranchmen, cattle men, prospectors, lumbermen, and farming groups in general-among groups that are virile, physically active. These are men who have faced the rigors of nature in the wild. They live on realities and on a minimum of theory. Such a background breeds the attitude that sex is sex, irrespective of the nature of the partner with whom the relation is had. Sexual relations are had with women when they are available, or with other males when outdoor routines bring men together into exclusively male groups. Such a pattern is not at all uncommon among pre-adolescent and early adolescent males in such rural areas, and it continues in a number of histories into the adult years and through marriage."

  1. Kinsey, et al., Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, 168.

From the text: "In fact, when the Kinsey group began to take histories of ever younger boys in order to balance their samples, the homosexual rate quickly rose from about half (48 percent) who had early homosexual experience on up to 60 percent and even 70 percent and beyond, not because of any true increase, but because these younger males were questioned nearer the time of such events and did not have to 'remember back' as far."

Kinsey found that: "On the whole, the homosexual child play is found in more histories, occurs more frequently, and becomes more specific than the pre-adolescent heterosexual play. This depends, as so much of the adult homosexuality depends, on the greater accessibility of the boy's own sex (Table 26). In the younger boy, it is also fostered by his socially encouraged distain for girls' ways, by his admiration for masculine prowess, and by his desire to emulate older boys. The anatomy and functional capacities of male genitalia interest the younger boy to a degree that is not appreciated by older males who have become heterosexually conditioned and who are continuously on the defensive against reactions which might be interpreted as homosexual.
About half of the older males (48%), and nearly two-thirds (60%) of the boys we were pre-adolescent at the time they contributed their stories, recall homosexual activity in their pre-adolescent years. The mean age of the first homosexual contact is about nine years, two and a half months (9.21 years)(Table 28, Figures 25, 26)."

  1. Wilson and Davis, Herndon's Informants, 120. Herndon interview of David Turnham, Sept. 15, 1865. Wilson and Davis' transcription of the original reads as follows: "long tall dangling ackward drowl looking boy."

From Tripp: "David's very first description of Abe as 'a long, tall, dangling, awkward, droll-looking boy' marks Abe's growth spurt as obvious enough by then to have been well under way for several months…"

Herndon's interview of David Turnham, Sept. 15, 1865. Wilson and Davis's transcription of the original reads as follows: "I came to Ind in the year 1819. Mch - settled in Spencer Co - settled about 3 M south of this and about 1 M North East of Thomas Lincolns - am now 62 years. I Knew Abm Lincoln well - Knew his father - didn't Know his Mother - immediately on landing in Ind I became acquainted with Mr Lincon [sic]. My father and his were acquainted in Ky - Abe was then about ten years of age. - I being 16 ys of age - Abe was a long tall dangling award drowl looking boy - went hunting and fishing together -Abe was a boy of Extraordinary mind I think - went to School to-gether."

  1. Kinsey, et al., Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, 325. It was no surprise to find that the vigor of sexual substrate that drives towards an early puberty should also carry easy and abundant sexual response, but that the pattern should last a lifetime with was a great surprise.

From Tripp: "As Kinsey put the latter, such factors continue to operate for "at least 35 or 40 [subsequent] years."

A more complete passage from Kinsey reads: "The males who are first adolescent begin their sexual activity almost immediately and maintain higher frequencies in sexual activity for a matter of at least 35 or 40 years.

The factors which contribute to this early adolescence apparently continue to operate for at least these 35 or 40 years.

Exercise of the sexual capacities does not seem to impair those capacities, at least as they are exercised by most of the persons who belong in the highest-rating segment of the population. While it is theoretically conceivable that very high rates of activity might contribute to physical impairment, or indirectly to diseased conditions, or to other difficulties in certain cases, the actual record includes exceedingly few high-rating males whose activities have had such an outcome.
Those individuals who become adolescents late, however, more often delay the start of their sexual activities and have the minimum frequencies of activity, both in their early years and throughout the remainder of their lives. If any of these individuals have deliberately chosen low frequencies in order to conserve their energies for later use, they appear never to have found the sufficient justification for such a use at any later time. It is probable that most of these low rating individuals never were capable of higher rates and never could have increased their rather to match those of the more active segments of the population.

In general, the boys who were first mature are the ones who most often turn to masturbation and, interestingly enough, to pre-marital socio-sexual contacts as well. They engage in both heterosexual and homosexual relations more frequently than the boys who are last in maturing."

  1. Kinsey, et al., Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, 187.

From Tripp: "Although education has no direct link to biology, its economic implications easily carry over to diet and to a delay in puberty that Kinsey detected as 'the outcome of nutritional inequalities.'"

A more complete quote from Kinsey reads: "The mean age of first orgasm resulting in ejaculation is 13 years old, 10 ½ months (13.88 years). On this point, the male data are in striking contrast with preliminary calculations on the female. By 15 years of age, 92 percent of the males have had orgasm, but at that same age less thank a quarter of the females have had such experience; and the female population is 29 years old before it includes as high a percentage of experienced individuals as is to be found in the male curve at 15. Precise data on the females must await the publication of a later volume.

In the male the age of first ejaculation varies by nearly a year between different educational (social) levels: the mean is 14.58 for boys who never go beyond eighth grade in school, 13.97 for boys who go into high school but not beyond, and 13.71 for boys who will go to college…. The differences are probably the outcome of nutritional inequalities at different social levels, and they are in line with similar differences in mean ages of females at menarche, where nutrition is usually considered a prime factor effecting variation."

  1. Herndon and Weik, Herndon's Life of Lincoln, 25.

"In his eleventh year [age ten] he began that marvelous and rapid growth in stature for which he was so widely noted in the Pigeon Creek settlement. 'As he shot up,' says Turnham, 'he seemed to change in appearance and action. Although quick-witted and ready with an answer, he began to exhibit deep thoughtfulness, and was so often lost in studied reflections we could not help noticing the strange sensitiveness, especially in the presence of men and women, and although cheerful enough in the presence of the boys, he did not appear to seek our company as earnestly as before.' It was only the development we find in the history of every boy. Nature was a little abrupt in the case of Abraham Lincoln; she tossed him from the nimbleness of boyhood to the gravity of manhood in a single night."

  1. Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years, vol. 1, 43.

"When he was eleven years old, Abe Lincoln's young body began to change. The juices and glands began to make a long, tall boy out of him. As the months and years went by, he noticed his lean wrists getting longer, his legs too…he was now looking over the heads of other boys. Men said, 'Land o' Goshen, that boy air a-growin'!"

A more complete passage from Sandburg reads: "When he was eleven years old, Abe Lincoln's young body began to change. The juices and glands began to make a long, tall boy out of him. As the months and years went by, he noticed his lean wrists getting longer, his legs too, and he was now looking over the heads of other boys. Men said, 'Land o' Goshen, that boy air a-growin'!'
As he took on more length, they said he was shooting up into the air like green corn in the summer of a good corn-year. So he grew. When he reached seventeen years of age, and they measured him, he was six feet, nearly four inches, high, from the bottoms of his moccasins to the top of his skull."

  1. Kinsey, et al., Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, 182.

"[T]he newly adolescent boy's capacity to ejaculate [and] his newly acquired physical characters of other sorts, do something to him which brings child play to an end and leaves him awkward about making further socio-sexual contacts."

The slightly more complete passage reads, "In a portion of the cases the pre-adolescent sexual activities have provided the introduction to adult activities: simple heterosexual play turns into more sophisticated petting; pre-adolescent attempts at intercourse lead to adult coitus; some of the pre-adolescent homosexual play leads into similar adult contacts. This is true in about 50 per cent of all male histories which include any pre-adolescent play…. In an equal number of the cases the pre-adolescent play ends well before or with the onset of adolescence, and adolescent and more adult sexual activities must start from new points, newly won social acquirements, newly learned techniques of physical contact. In many cases the newly adolescent boy's capacity to ejaculate, his newly acquired physical characters of other sorts, do something to him which brings child play to an end and leaves him awkward about making further socio-sexual contacts. The psychological and social factors involved in this break between pre-adolescent sexuality and adult sexual activity are questions that will deserve considerable study by some qualified student. Those boys in whom child play does merge directly into adult activity are more often from less inhibited, lower social levels (Table 29)."

  1. Kinsey, et al., Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, 309-13.

From Tripp: "The early bloomers tend to be precocious in matters far beyond their increased sex rate."

Kinsey observes, "Terman (1925), in his study of geniuses, found that the individuals with the highest IQ's were more often those who became adolescent first. It can, therefore, be suggested that the frequency of sexual activity may, to some degree, be dependent upon a general metabolic level which the individual maintains through much of his life. One who functions at a higher level at one period in his life is likely to function at a higher level through most of his life, barring illness and physical accidents that produce permanent incapacities. Casual observation would suggest that such an individual is not worn down by his quicker and more frequent responses to everyday situations, and there would seem to be no more reason for his being exhausted by his frequent sexual responses."

  1. Kinsey, et al., Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, 311, 507. Prepubertal masturbation does, indeed, imply the presence of a highly and easily aroused sexual substrate, but it is not just pleasure in stimulation. Such masturbatory events amount to full though "dry" orgasms.

From Tripp: "For instance, early maturers not only begin masturbating as soon as thy can make it work, but typically begin it a full year or more ahead of being able to ejaculate."

Kinsey notes: "Males with the highest frequencies of masturbation are most often those who become adolescent first. These are the males who have the maximum total outlet throughout their lives (Chapter 9). During the early adolescent years these younger-maturing males masturbate about twice as frequently as the boys who became adolescent last, and between sixteen and twenty-five years of age they still masturbate with rates that are 50 to 60 per cent higher than those of the late-adolescent males (Table 73). The highest incidence (99%) of masturbation in any segment of the population is among these younger-adolescent boys. It is only 93 per cent of the late-adolescent boys who ever masturbate."

  1. Kinsey, et al., Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, 309.

"The boy who becomes adolescent at 10 or 11 has not had as many years to build up inhibitions against sexual activity as the boy who does not mature until 15 or later; the younger boy plunges into sexual activity with less restraint and with more enthusiasm than the boy who starts at a later date."

A more complete quote from Kinsey reads: "While the data … indicate a definite correlation between the ages of adolescence and the frequency of sexual activity, it must not be concluded that a simple causal relationship exists. Such misinterpretations of correlations are too commonly made, both in popular thinking and in technical scientific experiment. In many cases, more basic factors are involved, and two sets of correlated phenomena may be simply end products of the same forces. In the present instance, several basic factors may be operating. It is possible that the fact that an early-adolescent individual becomes sexually mature and erotically responsive at an earlier age, is the significant item. This gives him more years to become conditioned toward sexual experience before he reaches the teen-ages where social restraints become more significant. To put the matter in another way, the boy who becomes adolescent at 10 or 11 has not had as many years to build up inhibitions against sexual activity as the boy who does not mature until 15 or later; and it is quite possible (but not specifically demonstrable from the available data) that the younger boy plunges into sexual activity with less restraint and with more enthusiasm than the boy who starts at a later date. Moreover, it is possible that the patterns which are established by the earliest sexual activity, meaning patterns of higher frequency for younger-maturing boys, and patterns of lower frequency for older-maturing boys"

  1. Kinsey, et al., Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, 325.

"There is some reason for thinking that these early-adolescent males are more often the more alert, energetic, vivacious, spontaneous, physically active, socially extrovert, and/or aggressive individuals in the population."

A more complete quote from Kinsey reads: "There is some reason for thinking that these early-adolescent males are more often the more alert, energetic, vivacious, spontaneous, physically active, socially extrovert, and/or aggressive individuals in the population. Actually, 53 per cent of the early-adolescent boys are so described on their histories, while only 33 per cent of the late-adolescent boys received such personality ratings. Conversely, 54 per cent of the males who were last-adolescent were described as slow, quiet, mild in manner, without force, reserved, timid, taciturn, introvert, and/or socially inept, while only 31 per cent of the early-adolescent boys fell under such headings."

  1. Wilson and Davis, Herndon's Informants, 443.

"Lincoln had two characteristics: one of purity, and the other, as it were, an insane love [of] telling dirty and smutty stories."

From H. E. Dummer (WHH Interview): 1865-66: "In 1859 I was in the Supm Court room in the State house: Lincoln was or had been telling his yarns. A man-a Kind of lick spittle-a farmer Said-'Lincoln why do you not write out your stories and put them in a book' Lincoln, drew himself up-fixed his face, as if a thousand dead carcusses-and a million of privies were Shooting all their Stench into his nostrils, and Said 'Such a book would stink like a thousand privies'.
Lincoln had 2 characters-one of purity-and the other, as it were, an insane love of telling dirty and smutty stories-A good story of that kind has a point with a sting to it."

  1. Herndon, Life of Lincoln, 343.

"…at the very first opportunity he would have the men separated from their ladies and crowded close around him…listening to one of his characteristic stories."

A more complete quote from Herndon reads: "For fashionable society [Lincoln] had a marked dislike, although he appreciated its value in promoting the welfare of a man ambitious to succeed in politics. If he was invited out to dine or to mingle in some social gathering, and came in contact with the ladies, he treated them with becoming politeness; but the consciousness of his short-comings as a society man rendered him unusually diffident, and at the very first opportunity he would have the men in one corner of the parlor, listening to one of his characteristic stories."

  1. Wilson and Davis, Herndon's Informants, 174.

"…is Nothing that Will Make an Englishman Shit So quick as the Sight of Genl Washington."

The portion of the letter dated January 1866 from Abner Y. Ellis to Herndon, reads, "It appears that Shortly after we had pease with England Mr Allen had occasion to visit England, and while their the English took Great pleasure in teasing him, and trying to Make fun of the Americans and General Washington in particular and one day they got a picture of General Washington, and hung it up the Back House whare Mr Allen Could see it and they finally asked Mr A if he saw that picture of his freind in the Back House.
"Mr Allen said no. but said he thought that it was a very appropriate for an Englishman to Keep it Why they asked, for said Mr Allen there is Nothing that Will Make an Englishman Shit So quick as the Sight of Genl Washington And after that they let Mr Allens Washington alone."

  1. Hertz, The Hidden Lincoln, 400.

"He said he was riding bass-ackwards on a jass-ack, through a potton-catch, on a pair of baddle-sags, stuffed full of binger-gred when the animal steered at a scump and the lirrup-steather broke, and throwed him in the forner of the kence and broke his pishing-fole. He said he would not have minded it, much, but he fell right in a great tow-curd; in fact he said it gave him a right smart sick of fitness-he had the molera-corbus pretty bad-he said, about bray dake he come to himself, ran home, seized up a stick of wood, and split the axe to make a light, rushed into the house, and found the door sick abed and his wife standing open. But, thank goodness, she is getting right hat and farty again."

While there is nothing further to quote, a notation by Jesse Weik indicates that the piece was "copied by me from the original manuscript now owned by C. F. Gunther of Chicago."

  1. Herndon, Life of Lincoln, 94. Ward Hill Lamon quote is from his biography, Life of Abraham Lincoln, page 478.

"His laugh was striking [and his] awkward gestures belonged to no other man. They attracted universal attention, from the old sedate down to the school-boy. Then in a few moments he was calm and thoughtful as a judge on the bench, and as ready to give advice on the most important matters; fun and gravity grew on him alike."

A slightly more complete quote reads: "It has been denied as often as charged that Lincoln narrated vulgar stories; but the truth is he loved a story however extravagant or vulgar, if it had a good point. If it was merely a ribald recital and had no sting in the end, that is, if it exposed no weakness or pointed no moral, he had no use for it either in conversation or public speech; but if it had the necessary ingredients of mirth and moral no one could use it with more telling effect. As a mimic he was unequalled, and with his characteristic gestures, he built up a reputation for storytelling-although fully as many of his narratives were borrowed as original-which followed him through life. One who listened to his early stories in New Salem says: 'His laugh was striking. Such ackward jestures belonged to no other man. They attracted universal attention, from the old sedate down to the schoolboy. Then in a few moments he was as calm and thoughtful as a judge on the bench, and as ready to give advice on the most important matters; fun and gravity grew on him alike.'"

  1. Whitney, Life on the Circuit with Lincoln, 66.

"[T]he pity is that his funniest stories don't circulate in polite society or get embalmed in type."

  1. Herndon, Life of Lincoln, 42.

"If we expect to know Lincoln thoroughly we must be prepared to take him as he really was."

A slightly more complete quote from Herndon reads: "The introduction here of the literary features as affording us a glimpse of Lincoln's boyhood days may to a certain extent grate harshly on over-refined ears; but still no apology is necessary, for, as intimated at the outset, I intend to keep close to Lincoln all the way through. Some writers would probably omit these songs and backwoods recitals of savoring too strongly of the Bacchanalian nature, but that would be a narrow view to take of history. If we expect to know Lincoln thoroughly we must be prepared to take him as he really was."

  1. Wilson and Davis, Herndon's Informants, 442.

"Lincoln drew himself up-fixed his face, as if a thousand dead carcasses [sic] were shooting all their stench into his nostrils, and said 'Such a book would stink like a thousand privies.'"

See footnote 22.

From H. E. Dummer (WHH Interview): 1865-66: " In 1859 I was in the Supreme Court room in the State House: Lincoln was or had been telling his yarns. A man-a kind of lick spittle-a farmer said-'Lincoln why do you not write out your stories and put them in a book?' Lincoln, drew himself up, fixed his face, as if a thousand dead carcusses-and a million of privies were shooting all their stench into his nostrils, and said, 'Such a book would stink like a thousand privies.'"

  1. Herndon, Life of Lincoln, 473.

"…a sad looking man; his melancholy dripped from him as he walked. His apparent gloom impressed his friends, and created sympathy for him-one means of his great success."

A slightly more complete quote from Herndon reads: "Thus stood, walked, acted, and looked Abraham Lincoln. He was not a pretty man by any means, nor was he an ugly one: he was a homely man, careless of his looks, plain-looking and plain-acting. He had no pomp, display, or dignity, so-called. He appeared simple in his carriage and bearing. He was a sad-looking man; his melancholy dripped from him as he walked. His apparent gloom impressed his friends, and created sympathy for him-one means of his great success. He was gloomy, abstracted, and joyous-rather humorous-by turns; but I do not think he knew what real joy was for many years."

  1. Ferenbacher and Ferenbacher, Recollected Works, 438.

"'I laugh because I must not weep-that's all, that's all' and 'I tell you the truth when I say that a funny story, if it has the elements of genuine wit, has the same effect on me that I suppose a good square drink of whiskey has on an old toper; it puts new life into me.'"

A slightly more complete quote from Ferenbacher reads: "Farnsworth, some of my friends are much shocked at what I suppose they consider my low tastes in indulging in stories some of which, I suppose, are not just as nice as they might be, but I tell you the truth when I say that a real smutty story, if it has the element of genuine wit in its composition, as most of such stories have, ahs the same effect on me that I think a good square drink of whiskey has to an old toper. It puts new life into me. The fact is, I have always believed that a good laugh was good for both the mental and physical digestion."

  1. Herndon, Life of Lincoln, 45.

"The transposition of beds produced a comedy of errors which gave Lincoln as much satisfaction and joy as the Grigsby household embarrassment and chagrin."

A slightly more complete quote from Herndon reads: "Lincoln had shrewdly persuaded some one who was on the inside at the infare to slip upstairs while the feasting was at its height and change the beds, which Mamma Grigsby had carefully arranged in advance. The transposition of beds produced a comedy of errors which gave Lincoln as much satisfaction and joy as the Grigsby household embarrassment and chagrin."

  1. Beveridge, Abraham Lincoln 1809-1858, vol. 1, 92.

"This he dropped at a place on the road 'carelessly, lost it as it were' and it was found by one of the Grigsby family. It was anonymous, of course, but everyone knew who wrote it-nobody in the neighborhood but Lincoln could have written it."

A slightly more complete quote from Beveridge reads: "With this incident for a text, he wrote a scurrilous description of it, entitling the screed 'The Chronicles of Ruben'. this he dropped at a place on the road 'carelessly , lost it as it were' and it was ground by one of the Grigsby family. It was anonymous, of course, but everybody knew who wrote it-nobody in the neighborhood but Lincoln could have written it. It was done in imitation of Old Testament narrative, and described the wedding and infare of the Grigsby boys, ending with a bold picture of the mix-up at the close of the merriment."

  1. Wilson and Davis, Herndon's Informants, 152.

"I will tell you a joke about joule and mary
it is neither a joke nor a [s]tory
for rubin and Charles has married two girles
but biley has married a boy
the girls he had tried on every Side
but none could he get to agree
all was in vain he went home again
and sens that he is married to natty

so biley anmd naty agreed very well

and mamma well please at the matc[h]
the egg it is laid but Natys afraid
the Shell is So Soft that it never will hatc[h]
but betsy She said you cursed ball [bald] head
my Suitor you never can be
besids your low cro[t]ch proclaimes you a botch
and that never Can answer for me"

  1. Kinsey, et al., Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, 213n; also, Harvey R. Greenberg, H. Robert Blank, and Daniel P. Greenson. "The Jelly Baby: Conception, Immaculate and Non Immaculate," Psychiatric Quarterly 42 no. 1 (1968).

From Tripp: "Originally from Negro vernacular, the phrase soon cam e to be used by whites as well: slang denoting what uneducated folk imagined (and sometimes still imagine) as a 'pregnancy' from homosexual intercourse."

From Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, 213n: "Dreams of pregnancies resulting from homosexual contacts are also noted in Hirschfeld 1920:74. This is what the Negro vernacular identifies as a jelly baby."

  1. Hertz, The Hidden Lincoln, 362.

"This poem is remembered here in Indiana in scraps better than the Bible, better than Wakes' hymns. this was in 1829, and the first production that I know of that made us feel that Abe was truly and really game."

A slightly more complete quote from Hertz reads: "Lincoln was by nature witty, and here was his chance. So he got up a witty poem, called the Book of Chronicles, in which the unfair, the mistake in partners, Crawford and his blue nose, came in each for its share, and this poem is remembered here in Indiana in scraps better than the Bible, better than Wakes' hymns. this was in 1829, and the first production that I know of that made us feel that Abe was truly and really game. This called the attention of the people to Abe intellectually."

  1. Hertz, The Hidden Lincoln, 366.

"Abe was a moral and model boy…He was the noblest specimen of man I ever saw,"

A slightly more complete quote from Elizabeth Crawford's Statement in Hertz reads: "I never was a politician in all my life, but when such men as Abe Lincoln, as in 1860 [ran for office], I, as it were, took the stump; he was the noblest specimen of man I ever saw."

  1. Wilson and Davis, Herndon's Informants, 169.

From Tripp: "In a letter of October 25, 1865, Nat Grigsby, who thirty years before had been complaining 'victim' of the poem, assured Herndon that his copy of the poem was indeed 'correctly written.'"

From Wilson and Davis (Nathaniel Grigsby quote): "The cronicals of Reuben was in the same yeare only a few months after I suppose you have got them I think they are correctly writen."

  1. Donald, Lincoln's Herndon, 340.

"Nearly every reviewer pointed to the 'Chronicles' as uncouth, coarse, and vulgar."

A slightly more complete quote from Donald reads: "Another portion of the Lincoln biography which delicate readers found frightfully offensive was the so-called "Chronicles of Reuben." This rough narrative, supposed to have been written by Lincoln in his youth, and intended to be in Biblical style, related the frontier practical joke of a double wedding at which (reputedly at Lincoln's instance) the brides were surreptitiously placed in the wrong beds. Nearly every reviewer pointed to the "Chronicles" as uncouth, coarse, and vulgar. Like Herndon, the present-day reader finds it hard to understand why this not very amusing tale was considered so unspeakably revolting."

  1. Hertz, The Hidden Lincoln, 243.

"I admire the good tastes of life as much as any man or woman and cannot be made to defend the nasty, obscene, or vulgar under any circumstances, but I do fail to see why the episode causes a blush on any man 's or woman's cheek."

A slightly more complete quote from hertz reads: "The episode is part of his history, explains the germs of his wit and humor. I admire the good tastes of life as well as any man or woman and cannot be made to defend the nasty, obscene, or vulgar under any circumstances, but I do fail to see why the episode caused a blush on any man's or woman's cheek. Some people are too nice for this material sphere, this muddy globe of ours."

  1. Angle, Herndon's Life of Lincoln, xxxiv-xxxv.

"It is one of the most infamous books ever written…it vilely distorts the image of an ideal statesman, patriot and martyr…The obscenity of the work is surprising and shocking. Anthony Comstock should give it his attention. It is not fit for family reading. Its salacious narrative and implications…are simply outrageous…in all its parts and aspects-if we are a judge, and I think we are, of the properties of literature and human life-we declare that this book is so bad it could hardly have been worse."

A slightly more complete quote reads: "'It is one of the most infamous books ever written and printed in the garb of a historical work to a great and illustrious man,' the reviewer thundered. 'It vilely distorts the image of an ideal statesman, patriot and martyr. It clothes him in vulgarity and grossness. Its indecencies are spread like a curtain to hide the colossal proportions and the splendid purity of his character. It makes him the buffoon and jester which his enemies describe, that is, it makes his buffoonery the principal trait of his mind and the most conspicuous of his habits. It brings out all that should have been hidden-it reproduces shameless gossip and hearsay not authenticated by proof-it magnifies the idle and thoughtless antics of youth as main features of the man in his life and accomplishments-it degrades and belittles him. Where it aspires to be pathetic and eulogistic it is a failure. The pathos is maudlin, and the eulogy is tawdry...

'The obscenity of the work is surprising and shocking. Anthony Comstock should give it his attention. It is not fit for family reading. Its salacious narrative and implications, and its elaborate columnies not only of Lincoln himself but of his mother, and in regard to morals generally of his mother's side of the family, are simply outrageous...

'That portion of the narrative which relates to Lincoln's courtship of Ann Rutledge and his subsequent attentions to Mary S. Owens, with his final marriage to Mary Todd, is indelicate, in every way in bad taste, is insulting to the memory of the dead, and calculated to mortify and lacerate the hearts of the living. Equally shameful is the discussion of Lincoln's unripened religious, or rather irreligious, beliefs, which he abandoned when he came to feel and know that an overwhelming Providence was his guide. In all its parts and aspects-if we are a judge, and we think we are, of the properties of literature and of human life-we declare that this book is so bad it could hardly have been worse.'"

  1. Hertz, The Hidden Lincoln, 19.

"…in its mutilated form, poorly printed, on poor paper, in three ridiculous little volumes."

A slightly more complete quote reads: "Even so, as finally published by Belford, Clarke, & Company, in its mutilated form, poorly printed, on poor paper, in three ridiculous little volumes, Herndon's Life still raised a storm of criticism for some of the things it contained; for this censored book has been the chief source of practically all we know of Lincoln up to the day he left Springfield."

 


All rights reserved. Copyright Estate of C.A. Tripp 2005