Friday, May 16, 2008

Top five myths about Abraham Lincoln

Awesome find from a recent article about Lincoln.

The top 5 myths about Abraham Lincoln, as chosen by Edward Steers Jr., author of "Lincoln Legends: Myths, Hoaxes, and Confabulations Associated with our Greatest President."

1. Edwin Stanton, Lincoln's secretary of war, was behind his murder. "The media loves this. There's at least one television show a year devoted to this subject," Steers said.

2. Dr. Samuel Mudd, the man who set the broken leg of John Wilkes Booth after the assassination and who served prison time for conspiracy, was the victim of a ruthless federal government. Said Steers: "In my opinion, he is the most key conspirator of Booth's and was with him from the very beginning."

3. Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg address on the back of an envelope on the train ride to Pennsylvania. This myth began with a novella, "The Perfect Tribute," which was never meant to be accepted as history.

4. Lincoln was secretly baptized while president-elect, before moving to the White House. Lincoln was not a Christian, Steers said, so this story was invented to reconcile the president's life with America's Christian beliefs.

5. Lincoln was born illegitimately. Steers knows of 16 men who have been identified as Lincoln's father

Speaking of Lincoln being born illegitimately. The Bostic Lincoln Center in North Carolina claims that Lincoln was born in their state and is part of their family. They are attempting to gain support for this claim and for people to back a DNA test to prove their claim. They claim that "Abraham Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks was “bound out” into the care of the Abraham Enlow family, who lived in Rutherford County before moving to Oconaluftee near Cherokee, North Carolina. She was a member of the Concord Baptist Church near Bostic prior to and after the birth of the baby, that she named Abraham. She left the area with “Little Abe” and married Tom Lincoln in Kentucky where Jesse Head, the minister who performed the ceremony, wrote of the young boy’s presence.

A Civil War letter in the book Dear Companion by Jean Tisdale and passages in John Wilkes Booth’s diary and biography (Booth) are further evidence. Other documents and books, historians and story keepers substantiate this story.

The mission of the Bostic Lincoln Center, a non-profit organization, is to collect, document, research and preserve the generational-lore of the area by providing audio/visual histories, exhibits and programs telling this story and other stories of our region.

The Center will conduct tours of cultural and historical sites and promote the distribution of educational materials telling the story of our County."

They are located at:

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