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He Served in Place of Abraham Lincoln
01-13-2016, 09:25 AM
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He Served in Place of Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln had a War enlistment substitute to take his place in the Federal army. Little more than a child really when the War began. And the poor fellow was not well served by the Federals, in the endgame. Lincoln assigned a wealthy crony to go find him a young man as a 'representative recruit" who would go into the Federal army and take the place of him. So a very wealthy masonic friend Nobel Danforth Larner did just that. He met the young man on the street in DC, and brought
John Summerfield Staples to see Abraham Lincoln. Summerfield
had already served one tour of duty and had only just left with his life, nearly dying from typhoid fever. John Staples had recovered from much of that, when Nobel Larner accosted him, to join up in place of Lincoln. Mr.N.D.Larner held many well-placed positions in and around DC. Never needing to actually go into the field against the Southern Army. Probably Larner's position as Grand High Priest of the Washington masons was the the most prestigious.

The stories vary on what compensation that Abraham Lincoln's
personal 'substitute' got paid. Anywhere from $300-$500. Lincoln sized him and supposedly pulled $60 out of his pocket, handed it to the young man, and wished him well. This final tour of duty for Summerfield apparently was working as a guard at prison camps. He finished that by mid 1865 and went back home to Monroe PA. The effects of typhoid in the War took its toll on John Staples and near the end of his life he applied for a Pension. Strangely though, all records of his service --the only man ever to serve as a recruit substitute for a president-- were 'lost'. Even a small Pension was denied to him.

In 1887 Noble Danforth Larner, Grand High Priest of the Arch Masons, and who had prospered so well through Lincoln and Grant's terms was interviewed by a DC paper. Noble mused about the man who had been Lincoln's stand-in, that Summerfield "was a 'ne'er do well...probably
died in the Wilderness Campaign".

Still alive though infirm, Summerfield was working over the road to support his children. He returned to his work in Dover, NJ. The man the public has never heard of, the man never taught about in schools, John Summerfield Staples who took the place of Abraham Lincoln and for whom the Federals claimed they "lost his records" and denying him
even a small pension, died in boardinghouse on a cold January in 1888.
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He Served in Place of Abraham Lincoln - maharba - 01-13-2016 09:25 AM

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