Thursday, February 25, 2010

Robert Todd Lincoln, Abe, and JFK......lots of "coincidences"?

Our friend and commenter at GeeeeeZ, Waylon from Canada, found an amazing bit of information I hadn't heard and I wonder if you had? Robert Todd Lincoln was a witness to the assassinations of THREE presidents. Take a look at THIS ARTICLE for the's really fascinating. (by the way, he sure does look like his mother, doesn't he? So much so, I had to include her picture here)

Also, you've all heard of THESE similarities between Lincoln and JFK (this list is newer and bigger than the information you've probably seen, and it's astonishing)....Then you read, in the linked article above, that Abraham Lincoln had dreams of being assassinated, and the whole thing's kind of bizarre, isn't it?

How could the son of one president be witness to the deaths of THREE?
Memo to self: NEVER invite anybody named Robert Todd Lincoln anywhere you're going to be!

After his seeing three assassinations, you'd have thought the FBI would have taken HIM in for questioning! (heh!)


DaBlade said...

I can't find anywhere on that list where Abe had a brother who liked to tool around Chappaquiddick with a female in his stage coach. I guess the similarities have to end somewhere.

Brooke said...


Coincidence? Better call Mulder and Scully...

Z said...

DaBlade..welcome back and thanks for the laugh.

I'm watching the HealthCare talks and boy, did Lamar Alexander do a good job..and the doctor who spoke at 8:10...not sure what his name is.
He mentioned "Stealth patients" who doctors would KNOW are out there and be a bit more afraid to commit Medicare fraud...Pres obama says that's in his plan.
Unhuh. nope.
This is a big "WE will talk and then you can talk and Obama'll rip you a new one" conference.
But, the Reps are holding their own.
Obama's like a professor up there thinking he knows better but 'we have to let you talk, DAMN'....

ah, well, I posted this LIncoln thing to get our minds OFF politics for a while and look what I DID!

Brooke, I had to look up Mulder and Scully!! But, I think they'd be just right, now that I see who they ARE :-)

Anonymous said...

Abraham Lincoln may have had some sound reasons for his haunting dreams about his impending assassination. After all he was in a position in which this sort of news could be uncovered by his intelligence people. I think he had expected an attempt to be made on his life on a trip he was making to Baltimore sometime before the actual assassination took place.

Others were involved in the plot besides Booth. John Surrett made his way to Montreal after the assassination was hid in parishes around the area until he was able to escape to France. Eventually he was arrested there and brought back to face trial. He was hung as was his mother Mary before him for being part of the plot.


Chuck said...

That was fascinating.

I didn't watch the "debate", I think it is a joke

Anonymous said...


"was hung" scratch that ... Should be "was hanged", to be grammatically correct, I believe.


Z said...

Waylon..."Hanged" it is! Most people don't know that..:-)

Chuck, I was so upset I had to leave because I did want to see the 'theater'...maybe it's still on; just got home and will look. thanks for the reminder!

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that Robert Lincoln eventually had to have his mother, Mary put in a mental hospital a few years after the assassination. She had been into the occult while in the White House. Her grief over the son that had got sick and died during the first year of the administration, Willie (Tad) had her calling on famous psychics of that era to do seyances (sp?) in the White House trying to reach the departed child. This upset Lincoln, but he played along to appease the grieving mother. After his death, she got very depressed and proceeded to get into the same stuff and spent quite a bit of money. Robert had to act on her behalf and she resented it to her dying day. It is interesting and of course this is my recollection of what I read some time ago.


Z said...

HAM, that's how I remember it...Mary was a very unhappy and depressed woman, sadly. And, yes, she was in a mental hospital..... and had spent lots of money on clothes..
The whole Lincoln story is fascinating, isn't it.

Anonymous said...

Lincoln looks more and more like an animal and less like a man every time I see one of his pictures.

I don't blame his wife for being unhappy. She had a wretched life.

Robert did not "protect" her; he IMPRISONED her for entirely selfish reasons.

Did anyone ever see The last of Mrs. Lincoln -- a one-woman play with Julie Harris as MTL?

Horrible to have been married to a ruthless mass murderer like that. Lincoln was power-mad -- completely overtaken by ambition.

"Whenever a man has cast a longing eye upon them [public offices] a rottenness begins in his conduct."

~ Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

FT, I totally disagree with you on LIncoln...and Mary Todd Lincoln was known to have practically spent Lincoln out of existance....she was mentally ill

Anonymous said...

I take the unpopular view most of the time, Z, but never just to be contrary. You know that. The realities of what Lincoln did, which were entirely unconstitutional -- there was NO justification for it under the Law -- are too glaring for a probing sort of fellow like me to ignore, and NOT to condemn.

We are unused to hearing or seeing rhetoric critical of a figure who has long been treated as though he were unquestionably one of our greatest heroes whose place in history is literally carved in stone.

I'm sorry, but I cannot see it that way at all. I have read a good deal about the appalling suffering bought about by the Civil War. I would much rather have seen us divided into two nations who politely agreed to disagree and went their separate ways than to have gone though anything as dreadful as that.

It's a very big subject if one really gets into it. I haven't time, and this isn't the place to write a book, but the accepted view is not always the most accurate one.

Given the awful circumstances with which she was forced to live, and the certain knowledge that she attached herself to the wrong man -- the Lincoln's marriage should never have taken place -- then two of her three children died tragically -- the public treated her with the contempt the public always treats any vulnerable sensitive person in a prominent position -- she was often held up to ridicule in the press -- and later some time after her husband was horribly murdered right next to her the surviving child betrayed her cruelly largely for his own convenience. After enduring all that it would have been a miracle if the poor woman had NOT become mentally unstable.

MTL has been treated as unfairly by the media as GWB has been -- probably worse.

Think about 635,000 men brutally slaughtered, then think of the survivors -- maimed, blinded, chronically ill, insane -- the countless widows, orphans, the desperately impoverished and homeless people Lincoln's rash policies created, and then tell me what a wonderful person he was.

I love the Lincoln Memorial -- beautiful place -- but it should be dedicated to his millions of ViCTIMS rather than to him.

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

Well, I'm sorry that you think I'm just going along with the crowd and admiring a shlub who doesn't deserve it, FT, and I respect your viewpoints.

But, I have read enough about LIncoln from the other side to know that he wasn't any happier about that many people dying in the war than you and I are.

Z said...

Here's the kind of incredible stuff Mr. Lincoln gets said about him!: "And slaves he freed saw another hundred years of oppression, violence, and disenfranchisement before achieving anything like equality in this country."
See, everything that happened the last hundred years was his fault.

I'll wager that things didn't go perfectly during his presidency but I'm betting he did the best most men could do under the circumstances of his day.

Z said... know, I do respect your knowledge and your feelings about Lincoln and I don't want to argue about it....
You showed me some things I hadn't known, here and on the other post you commented on re; lincoln...and I appreciate that.


beamish said...

I'm on the "Lincoln was a bastard" page with FT. He did have New York City shelled with cannons to break up draft riots of people resisting his call to an unpopular war.

Lincoln didn't start the Civil War, but he sure as hell intended to. I just think he gave his generals a bit too much free rein in the tactics employed in attacking Southern civilian population centers and administering them as occupiers.

He's not our most Constitutionally abusive president, but he does make the list.

Z said...

thanks, Beamish

Anonymous said...

I think arguing--or at least having a disussion--about Linoln would be very interesting. On a lot of issues, the bulk of the commenters preditably agree with one another while Ducky and psi bond predictably take the other side. In a discussion on Lincoln, it would be much harder to predict everyone's view. In fact, I'd even have a hard time predicting what my own conclusion would be.

Right now, I agree with some of what FT said. From what I've read, Lincoln was very much about centralizing power in the national government at the expense of states' rights. Going to war for that hardly merits admiration. Ending slavery--that certainly deserves admiration. But was freeing slaves just a means to making a stronger central government? Or was having a stronger central government a means to ending slavery? Or did the two views influence each other? I think you have to consider that he said if it would preserve the Union, he'd be willing to free all, none, or some of the slaves.

I agree with FT about the Lincoln Memorial. Had the aura of greatness and importance, also some cool quotes from Gettysburg Address and Second Innaugural. But then you wonder how much of it is an image v. reality.

Thomas Woods and Thomas DiLorenzo are a couple authors whose works have caused me to rethink Lincoln. I think DiLorenzo is guilty of some of the "Lincoln didn't end poverty after ending slavery so he must be bad" mentality, but as a whole, you get an idea of why John Wilkes Boothe said "thus always to tyrants" when he shot Lincoln.

Anyway, a very interesting topic on which I'm not completely decided.

Regarding the Lincoln/Kennedy coincidences, the page says "Kennedy was one of Ameria's greatest presidents." I think that's a bit of a stretch.


Z said...

Well, I guess context is important, too.....and perhaps Lincoln was given too much high praise....
So sad for our kids that these people we grew up respecting and admiring are also brought down by the 'experts'.....along with so many of the presidents who the left says had a slave, so they can't be worth anything, after all.
They were tough times...

I just watched the WWII film Mrs. Miniver for the 34978243th time...and I still cry when I hear the pastor at the end talk about OUR WAR and standing up for their country and then singing ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS.
Imagine if America (or England) still had that greatness and pride.
Imagine if the Brits hadn't fought back....
They've lost that greatness with political correctness and muslims are now fighting a more subtle and even more damaging war...makes me tear up again.

I'm gone for most of the day; I wish you all a good one and see you later.

beamish said...

I think Abraham Lincoln's "greatness" was perhaps amplified post-mortem by his assassination, both by being the victor in a war his side was losing badly before the Union Army all but abandoned the traditional laws of land warfare, and by virtue of the fact that he was the first President in US history to have been assassinated.

Southern armies were marching in Pennsylvania with local support and without contest up until Gettysburg! Marching from Alabama to Pennsylvania on foot mostly barefoot and eating rations of boiled peanuts to an unsuccessful charge on Little Round Top at Gettysburg. It's hard to imagine, but that's precisely what my great-great grandfather did. He went into that battle as a Confederate soldier with seven fingers, three of them lost in a rifle misfire.

It really brings home just how close the South was to winning the war then. Had Gettysburg gone the other way, General Lee would have had an unopposed march straight into Washington DC.

Taking the war across the Mason-Dixon line into the South met something the South never met up North... resistance from the civilian population. Quite technically, the South outnumbered the Union Army, because nearly every man, woman, and child in the South was prepared to go guerilla warfare on the Northern invaders, and did.

And so, Lincoln almost had to resort to the tactics he allowed Gen. Sherman and others to conduct, if he was going to win a war he as much as started (he sent Marines to take forts in Florida before Fort Sumter was attacked, they would have arrived sooner had their ships not been delayed by a storm).

I can somewhat "forgive" Lincoln for his war crimes given the predicament he put his army in, but I still want to piss on Sherman's grave.

Z said...

I get it, Beamish.


Anonymous said...

How dare you defame an American patriot!

(am i supposed to enter a cute emoticon to let you know above comment is in jest?)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the good information, understanding and frank opinion.

I find these words -- the last few phrases of the Gettysburg Address -- extremely ironic:

" ... we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

If Lincoln had meant what he said, he wouldn't have gone against the will of the vast majority in his time and perpetrated what is surely the single most tyrannical act in our history. NOTHING of what Lincoln did was in any way "of by and for the people."

And he wasn't fond or particularly respectful of Negroes. His reason for freeing the slaves was entirely political -- another maneuver in his determination to defeat the South at all costs.

When you think about it, doesn't Lincoln's headstrong determination to have HIS way remind you of what Barrack Obama is doing with the "healthcare" issue?

Unless I'm very sadly mistaken, secession was PERMITTED under the Constitution.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

I agree that this topic is an interesting discussion and honestly expressed opinions although opposed make it more interesting.

I take the view that history is a record of events and a record of some of those who participated in them. I also take the view that events are driven by ideas. Since it was the anniversary of the birthday of Victor Hugo yesterday and to paraphrase him — nothing can withstand the power of an idea whose time has come.

Lincoln was a man in the eye of a storm, the President of the country at a time when it went through an event that no country should have to go through, a Civil War with brother killing brother and untold suffering brought upon the citizens. But amazingly the country did survive and recover and even thrive.

But there were bigger ideas driving the events that history recorded. I'll suggest that it was a thin line of independent thinkers who stood up to the power of the church and aristocracy and the state that led to the recognition and the definition of the individual and the rights of the individual The Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution enshrined those ideas.

Is it possible that those who see people as a collective or part of a tribe or belief system of enslavement would consider those founding ideas of America principles which must be eliminated and return to the medieval enslaving ideas of a feudal primitive past — even while pretending their atavism is "progress"? Could the Civil War been a part of this larger flow of history and is still a part of what drives the issues of the day?

Lincoln, himself may have been part of that, if the logic of some here is accurate. But he did have some foresight of his ultimate fate, and he even named the institution he considered to be behind it — the same one that harbored one of the men involved in the plot to assassinate him. How much of that makes it into history books?


Anonymous said...


What would you have thought of G.W. Bush if he had said at the beginning of the Iraq campaign,

"We are going into Iraq to kill Saddam Hussein and take possession of Iraq in order to secure permanent American dominance over the region. Iraq will become an American Protectorate.

We will use the highest degree of brute force we can muster in order to achieve this objective, and we don't care how many civilians have to die in order to accomplish our goal.

A small–but–significant part of our reasons for pursuing this policy is to ensure the survival of Israel, which as a Christian nation we regard as our sacred duty.

The Middle East and by extension the entire world will be much better off under the reign of Pax Americana.

In order to ensure our succcess in implementing this policy we afre reinstituting the draft tomorrow. Every young American between the ages of 18 and 35 may expect to be called into service at any time to help fulfill our nation's Manifest Destiny in foreign affairs.

Dissenters will be summarily jailed without trial. Notable extremists in this area will be subject to execution by firing squad.

Habeas Corpus is hereby suspended till further notice. Good day."

That is essentially what Lincoln did with regard to the South. Do you find it laudable? -- justifiable? -- necessary? -- heroic?

If Lincoln's achievements as president are revered today, is it possible that G.w. Bush is regarded with contempt because his approach conflict was too MODERATE?

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

This little video captures how GWB will be remembered, I think.


beamish said...


I don't hate Lincoin, I just don't mythologize him into more than he actually was.

There are Presidents that have done far worse damage to America than Lincoln. Comrade Franklin Roosevelt comes to mind, as does Der Fuhrer Wilson and His Majesty Lyndon Johnson.


Secession of states is not permitted under the Constitution. The listings of things "no state shall" in Article 1 Section 10 of the US Constitution read as a list of crimes against the Constitution the Southern states were engaging in prior to South Carolina's seccession and the firing on Fort Sumter five days later. It took South Carolina a lot longer than 5 days to raise troops for itself. They already had them when they fired on Ft. Sumter.

The southern states were in insurrection against the federal government. Actually, that insurrection spread. The majority of states that formed the illegal "Confederate States of America" didn't secede from the Union until four months after the Battle of Fort Sumter.

That's right. Lincoln spread the rebellion to the rest of the South by sending troops to occupy forts in states that hadn't seceded. They probably would have rebelled eventually anyway, but Lincoln pretty much ensured that they would a lot sooner.

If states ever had a legitimate "power" to secede from the union at will (and I don't believe they ever did) that "power" is further diminished by the fact that state governments are no longer represented at the federal level AT ALL thanks to the 17th Amendment.

beamish said...

One could argue that the right to secession is covered by the 10th Amendment, but it's a weak argument.

Z said...

Beamish, trust me, I don't hate him at all, either...
I was just tired and jokingly 'gave in'....
I'm not tired today :-)

Anonymous said...

Looks like FT is right on Constitution proscribing any state from forming a confederacy. What recurse, then, did the states have? If they felt the federal government wasn't abiding by the agreement, they figured that voided the contract...maybe? There'd been threats of secession long before that. I think SC almost seceded earlier as did one of the New England states.

Consitution says habeus corpos shall not be suspended except during times of Lincoln may have been covered there, constitutionally, anyway.


beamish said...


The President's power to call out the militia to put down rebellions pretty much crushes the argument that states have a right to secede.

It is true that Massachussetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and a few counties in Vermont and New Hampshire considered secession to side with the British during the War of 1812.

Anonymous said...


Do States Have a Right of Secession?

by Walter Williams  (April 19, 2002)

Do states have a right of secession? That question was settled through the costly War of 1861. In his recently published book, "The Real Lincoln," Thomas DiLorenzo marshals abundant unambiguous evidence that virtually every political leader of the time and earlier believed that states had a right of secession.

Let's look at a few quotations. Thomas Jefferson in his First Inaugural Address said, "If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union, or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left to combat it."

Fifteen years later, after the New England Federalists attempted to secede, Jefferson said, "If any state in the Union will declare that it prefers separation ... to a continuance in the union .... I have no hesitation in saying, 'Let us separate.'"

At Virginia's ratification convention, the delegates said, "The powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression."

In Federalist Paper 39, James Madison, the father of the Constitution, cleared up what "the people" meant, saying the proposed Constitution would be subject to ratification by the people, "not as individuals composing one entire nation, but as composing the distinct and independent States to which they respectively belong."

In a word, states were sovereign; the federal government was a creation, an agent, a servant of the states.

On the eve of the War of 1861, even unionist politicians saw secession as a right of states. Maryland Rep. Jacob M. Kunkel said, "Any attempt to preserve the Union between the States of this Confederacy by force would be impractical, and destructive of republican liberty."

The northern Democratic and Republican parties favored allowing the South to secede in peace . . .

NOTE: entire article may be found at

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

I wonder what it would be like now in our country had the South seceded.....
You think Jefferson was the first real libertarian?

Anonymous said...

ALL the Founders were libertarians, Z -- except maybe Alexander Hamilton -- and I don't think HE ever held elective office. This country was supposed to BE a libertarian society.

Libertarianism, however, does not mean that citizens have the right to be IRRESPONSIBLE, CRIMINAL or ANTI-SOCIAL.

But, the Founders were elitists of a sort in that they believed property owners and people of proven competence should make policy. They NEVER intended the "vulgar populace" (i.e. illiterate, unskilled peasants) to have equal power with men of their leading class status.

HOWEVER, they ALSO respected anyone who pulled himself up by dint of hard work. They didn't want to keep the poor down, IF poor men could prove they had the stuff to become educated in practical knowledge, successful, independent and ultimately prosperous. THAT was the difference between "us" and the Old World which maintained a pretty rigid caste system until after the first world war.

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

I think Jefferson was far more libertarian than Adams was, don't you? Jefferson was far less for a national government, too, but I could see why Adams was much more for it since the country was so new!

I kind of agree with the Fathers.....I know this'll sound awful, but people vote who don't have a CLUE. I'm of a mind that perhaps nobody who doesn't pay taxes should vote! Of course, retirees who HAVE paid taxes and aren't now should be able to vote if they can show they showed a certain amount of money having been paid in taxes??

Did I shock? I'd love to start a conversation about that..perhaps I should do a complete blog post on that and ask for input? Maybe I will...

Anonymous said...

That's an interesting question that raises several more interesting ones.

What if the 13 states had reamined, more or less, 13 separate nations? Would there be fewer wars? Fighting to make Hawaii part of the US, you can picture, but trying to make Hawaii part of Vermont wouldn't make any sense.

I think it would make it harder to declare war in general. Would New York declare war on Germany if their vote didn't affect whether Vermont would also declare war? Kind of handcuffs the federal governement--which has its pros and cons.

Would the states have eventually merged anyway? Wasn't that kind of the trend in Europe? Independent German states forming a united Germany. Similar situation in Italy. So does someone from Prussia consider himself primarily a Prussian or a German?

And the identity issue is interesting. People from different Philipine islands all consider themselves Filipino, but people from the same island differentiate themselves between Hatian and Dominican Republican.

And is the trend generally to identify oneself with a bigger and bigger group. Such as I was a Prussian, then a German, then a European, etc? Does the grouping get bigger based on threats? Such as "I'm Prussian, you're Saxon. We'll overlook our differences because France is a bigger threat."
And then once threat is gone new divisions form? Either along new lines or resume the previous divisions?

Please answer these questions in 50 words or fewer.


Z said...

tio, seems to me 'the more places/neighbors, the more wars'....but your "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" also makes sense...

I guess I saw it less 13 different 'countries' than SOUTH and NORTH...the Mason/Dixon Line being the diving line? I don't know.

Imagine if we WERE on this land as two countries?
By the way, Mr. Z was from a town very north in Germany, he id'd as German because it made more sense, obviously..BUT, every chance he could, he id'd as "Prussian!"

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

••• Americans celebrate Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, but H.L. Mencken correctly evaluated the speech, "It is poetry not logic; beauty, not sense." Lincoln said that the soldiers sacrificed their lives "to the cause of self-determination -- government of the people, by the people, for the people should not perish from the earth." Mencken says: "It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in the battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of people to govern themselves." •••

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

FT. I think it's pretty clear by now you don't like Lincoln.
Thanks for more information.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing personal in the feelings I've stated, Z. It's all based on what-I-see-as a violation of first principles.

It's not that I don't "like" Lincoln, the man. I just don't like what Lincoln DID and liked even less the WAY he did it. I believe the image most of us have been taught to accept of Lincoln is politically motivated MYTHOLOGY.

Most of what I posted is from the writings of Walter Williams, Thomas Di Laurenzo and H.L. Mencken.

~ FreeThinke