Lincoln Discussion Symposium

Full Version: Did Lincoln own any weapons?
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I don't remember seeing any weapons-guns, rifles, blades- in any museum that belonged to him. I also don't recall in any written work that he did. We know as a young lad he did some hunting-small game and what not. Lincoln lived at a time when folks carried guns; apparently he didn't?
He was presented with a Henry rifle that's in a museum somewhere, Bill, but that's all I've heard of.
You're right-me too. We know he was very interested in weaponry-as far as using for the Union Army-that's the case with the Henry.
Catherine Clinton, in her bio of Mary Lincoln, states quite clearly that Lincoln was carrying a pistol at Ford's. On p. 314 Clinton writes, "Possession of a handgun during this period was far more common, raising fewer eyebrows than it would today. Abraham Lincoln himself was carrying a pistol on the night he died." In a footnote Louise Taper is given as the source.

Obviously, if true, being armed still would not have helped Lincoln given the circumstances of the assassination.
Roger. This is fascinating! If President Lincoln was "packin'" at Ford's-where is the weapon? I don't recall it being listed among his personal items found on his person post assassination.
Here goes with some real wild speculation on my part; some of it is known information, but most is just unsubstantiated guesswork:

1. Mary and Abraham gave Tad a revolver in 1863.

2. Abraham was carrying it on his person on April 14, 1865.

3. As he was being carried across the street to the Petersen House, it dropped out along with some papers.

4. The papers and revolver were picked up in the street by Captain Edwin E. Bedee.

5. Bedee took the stuff to Stanton; Stanton told Bedee to tell no one about Lincoln's gun.

6. Stanton quietly returned the gun to Mary Lincoln in the White House.

7. Mary packed it away in her trunks.

8. The gun resurfaces in the mid-1870's when Mary is said to be carrying a pistol in her pocket.

From there I do not know....
Roger: still, it is a very interesting story. There seem to be so many little stories like this that float around kind of underneath the surfaces of the "facts." No wonder we love this stuff.
Or what if the pistol found in the Presidential box was actually Lincoln's? And Booth's was one of the pistols supposedly found back stage or outside?

There is no way to authenicate the pistol recovered in the box as Booth's.
I would assume the gun found in box was discovered to have been discharged?
(07-29-2012 02:18 PM)LincolnMan Wrote: [ -> ]I would assume the gun found in box was discovered to have been discharged?

I don't know of any specific reference to the condition of the pistol. There's no reason to doubt it was Booth's and that it had been fired but there's no way to prove it was Booth's.
Yes, you're right. There is no way to prove it was his. Never thought of that before!
According to the Lincoln Log, Christopher Spencer-inventor of the Spencer rifle-presented President Lincoln with one of his rifles on the day in 1863. I wonder where the rifle is today?
Lincoln did have the Henry. It is a very ornately engraved model and is in the Smithsonian. It was on display for the Lincoln 200th.

I love the idea that AL may have been packin' heat! I wonder if he carried the bullet in his pocket like Barney Fife. I believe the only account of AL actually handling a firearm is the testing of the Spencer. Great conjectures!
Lets hope he was more competent than good ole' Barney!
(07-28-2012 07:11 PM)J. Beckert Wrote: [ -> ]He was presented with a Henry rifle that's in a museum somewhere, Bill, but that's all I've heard of.

I just saw a commercial on TV for Henry Rifles. I didn't know they're still being made!
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