The crazy thing about history is that us historians keep finding new evidence of historical figures all the time! There’s Queen Elizabeth’s horse manure factory, James Madison’s years as a Mexican Wrestler, and Cleopatra’s invention of the mop. Today though, we will be focusing on Abraham Lincoln’s years as an aspiring detective! I’m so excited!
Abraham Lincoln was always the most detectivey of his family. Whenever someone in his family would, for example, misplace the butter, good ol’ Abe would piece together who did it. He was wrong most of the time, but that didn’t stop him from getting the same warm feeling he got whenever he would light his log cabin on fire.
The same thing would happen in school; Abe would always be the first one to figure out which kid would die first of tuberculosis. Spoiler alert! It was all of them. This seemingly psychic prediction gave way to the rumors plagued him for the rest of his career. Was Lincoln a psychic? That was a question that always seemed to follow him, wherever he went. But that is not the topic of this essay.
Unfortunately for Abe’s ambitions and childhood dreams his father forced him to pursue an honest career. So Abe was forced for the next 12 years to be a practicing horse jockey. Eventually though, Lincoln could not take being the only jockey with a badass beard and decided the natural progression of his career would be to become a lawyer.
Lawyering was a lot of fun for Lincoln, but he was always jealous of the detectives. He was jealous of their stalking, their digging through trash, and the precursor to the modern stake out, waiting in the carcass of a horse for hours on end. Lots of outside observers, as well as members of the Lincoln Fan Club, noted how much Lincoln seemed to love spending time with the detectives. As one such fan wrote:
March 7th, 1857
Good ol’ Lincoln seems to be ever so down today! He seemed so sad as I hid in his trash can. He’d been playing the Stalk the Detective game, where the detectives stalk each other and when the staklee discovers the stalker they stab them right in the leg. Something about it seemed to send him into a bad mood. I can’t quite place my finger on it, possibly because of that awful paper cut that became infected and forced me to cut my arm off.
Ever yearning to be one of the detectives, Lincoln wrote to his best friend, 4-year-old Nicholas Tesla, telling him about how he was to quit his “lame desk job” and finally become a detective. The date he set for this was March 3rd, 1861. Unfortunately, this never happened for him. On that very date Abraham Lincoln accidentally became President of the United States.
Witnesses of his inauguration noted how down he looked, it seemed like there was an actual storm cloud floating above him. This of course could be attributed to the hallucinogens a certain, Dr. Evil released into the water that day, but this biographer believes it was some sort of witches curse.
So for the next couple of years poor Abe was forced to be the President, and even though he is remembered as one of the best Presidents, evidence now shows he made all of his decisions with an Ouija board.
Finally, after purposely trying to tank his Presidency attempt and somehow still getting elected, he decided enough was enough. He began to investigate in his own free time. His first, and tragically only subject, was John Wilkes Booth. At the time Booth was known as a renowned stage actor and wizard, but Abraham was convinced that poor bastard was actually a soviet agent. This stubborn belief, despite the fact that the Soviet Union wouldn’t be formed for nearly another century, adds to the psychic theory.
Regardless, the President began following Booth around. This was especially difficult because of the dozens of guards that were to accompany the President at all times.
Eventually John Wilkes became tired of humoring the President’s Detective desires, and after multiple attempts to reason with the President, Wilkes was forced to do the only thing that would deter the President. Kill him.
So one fateful evening, John Wilkes Booth put on the damn best stand-up routine ever documented, and perpetrated the only known case of death by laughter.
Remember kids, that’s what you get for trying to follow your dreams.