Lincoln Discussion Symposium

Full Version: Did Lincoln own any weapons?
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2 3 4
(05-16-2013 07:42 PM)LincolnMan Wrote: [ -> ]If Lincoln was carrying a pistol at Ford's Theater, why do you suppose it is not known? Why isn't it among the things we know he had with him that night?

Bill, the person doing the research is Dr. Tom Schwartz, former Illinois State Historian and now the director of the The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum. Tom was a student in my classroom in 1969. This is an example of a student becoming the teacher's mentor. I have learned a ton from Tom. He is convinced Lincoln was armed, and I have bugged him numerous times about publishing his research, but he just isn't ready to go public with it. He is such a serious, dedicated historian that he is hesitant to publish when there are a few pieces of the puzzle that are missing. My contacts with Tom has been less since he left Illinois and went to Iowa, but the last I knew, he still planned on pursuing the gaps in the research and writing it up.

Tom is not the only one who has discovered evidence of this. So has Louise Taper. On p. 314 of Catherine Clinton's Mrs. Lincoln: A Life the author writes, "Abraham Lincoln himself was carrying a pistol on the night he died." Clinton credits Louise Taper as the source for this.

I am hoping Tom will reach a higher confidence level and publish his research in the upcoming years.
Roger, that is an exciting prospect. Obviously, you taught him well!
Thanks, Bill. Any teacher is always pleased when an ex-student achieves the kind of success in life as Tom has.
What years were you a teacher?
(05-17-2013 08:10 PM)LincolnMan Wrote: [ -> ]What years were you a teacher?

1965-1994 (1994 is when the state of Illinois offered early retirement to all teachers over 50, and Vicki and I moved to Florida to be with my folks).

Bill, besides Tom Schwartz, another student I remember well was Denise Richards. She was a student in my class in 1984. I recall the first day of class I noticed her right away, but I cannot remember why I noticed her.
Wasn't she in the movie Starship Troopers?
(05-18-2013 04:57 AM)RJNorton Wrote: [ -> ]Bill, besides Tom Schwartz, another student I remember well was Denise Richards. She was a student in my class in 1984. I recall the first day of class I noticed her right away, but I cannot remember why I noticed her.

Big Grin
Roger, you cannot remember why you noticed her?
Bill, all I remember is assigning her a seat in the front row, but I don't remember why I did that.
Were you teaching things about the Civil War and Lincoln then?
When I began teaching the 8th grade social studies curriculum covered the period up to 1850. Later it was changed and covered 1850-present (although I rarely got much past WWII). I was also required to teach other topics such as the Illinois Constitution. In c.1988 a unit on the Holocaust was added to the curriculum for my class. Additionally, we has a unit on careers in which students picked a career and researched it for class.
Acually Lincoln did have a "weapon" on his person when he was shot at Ford's- his folding pocket knife.

Do you know of any updates on Mr. Schwartz's research and intent to publish on the subject of Lincoln being armed on assassination night? I see that this thread had not been active for a while (2013 - before my time here) until today's post.

As others have stated, I would be very interested to read his point of view. I do seem to remember we touched on this topic in another thread as well (but I don't remember which). I would say, as of right now, I don't think Lincoln was packing heat (carrying a gun) that night. But, I suppose I could have my mind changed with appropriate evidence.

Bill made an interesting comment in the last post. He is right - he did have a weapon, the knife, so I would say he was armed. Illustrates that when asking a historical question, clarity is important. A distinction needs to be made between how he was "armed" - knife, gun, or otherwise.
Scott, I have not had much contact with Tom since he became director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum. I really don't know what his current plans are regarding this; the next time I have contact with him I will certainly ask.
I came across this recent article about a rifle supposedly owned by Abraham Lincoln:

The inscription on its stock, “Abe Lincoln, 1864”, makes me think it wasn't written by Lincoln. The description of the rifle's history given in the article makes me think it was presented as a gift to a supporter of Lincoln's 1864 reelection campaign, instead of actually being owned by him. Does anybody have any more information or different opinions on the history of this rifle?
Pages: 1 2 3 4
Reference URL's