Lincoln’s Premonition

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Abraham Lincoln, prior to his assassination, told his wife Mary and some of his close friends about a strange dream. One of Lincoln’s friend and self-appointed bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon, related in Recollections of Abraham Lincoln 1847-1865 (1895) what Lincoln had said of his dream:

About ten days ago, I retired very late. I had been up waiting for important dispatches from the front. I could not have been long in bed when I fell into a slumber, for I was weary. I soon began to dream. There seemed to be a deathlike stillness about me. Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs. There the silence was broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible. I went from room to room; no living person was in sight, but the same mournful sounds of distress met me as I passed along. I saw light in all the rooms; every object was familiar to me; but where were all the people who were grieving as if their hearts would break? I was puzzled and alarmed. What could be the meaning of all this? Determined to find the cause of a state of things so mysterious and so shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the East Room, which I entered. There I met with a sickening surprise. Before me was a catafalque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng of people, gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully. “Who is dead in the White House?” I demanded of one of the soldiers, “The President,” was his answer; “he was killed by an assassin.” Then came a loud burst of grief from the crowd, which woke me from my dream. I slept no more that night; and although it was only a dream, I have been strangely annoyed by it ever since.

Lincoln was assassinated on April 15, 1865, three days after he mentioned about the dream.

About Edmark M. Law

My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. I blog at learnfunfacts.com. You can find me on Twitter @EdmarkMLaw and Facebook. My email is learnfunfacts@gmail.com
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12 Responses to Lincoln’s Premonition

  1. Garfield Hug says:

    Wow!! Thanks for the share! If only he interpreted it with reference to self and took extra precaution he might have avoided this perhaps!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Who knows. There are many ways to die after all.

      Btw., while Lincoln said that he wasn’t concerned that much about the dream, his dream has a deeper effect to him than he may realized. From the same book:

      … Mr. Lincoln was profoundly disturbed by it. During its recital he was grave, gloomy, and at times visibly pale, but perfectly calm. He spoke slowly, with measured accents and deep feeling. In conversations with me he
      referred to it afterward, closing one with this quotation from ” Hamlet ” : ” To sleep; perchance to dream! ay, there’s the rub/” with a strong accent on the last three
      words.

      Like

  2. Ben Aqiba says:

    Interesting post. Dreams are strange, and dreams are real.Everything is connected somehow in nature.Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, my grandmother would always have bizarre dream which would turn out to be real. One time, she woke up crying since she dreamed that her mother was berating her. Her mother told her that she keeps ignoring her and she’s now soaked from the rain.

      My grandmother was so confused about it. She then told us to visit the cemetery.

      A few days later, my father and I went to the cemetery and we found that the tombstone of my grandmother’s mother was broken. They said that it was due to the continuous rain…

      So that dream actually made sense in a way.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Very understandable! I often have dreams of things happening before they occur.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is also the case for me. So, I treat my dreams as a warning of what may happen. I have cancelled a flight in the past since a week before the flight, I dreamed that the plane would crash. Then the dream repeated for the next 3 days. I would’ve just ignored it but 5 days before the flight, my grandmother called and told me of a dream which was almost identical to mine. And I didn’t even told anyone about my dreams.

      Fortunately, the plane that day didn’t crash but it still made me wonder what would have happened if I didn’t cancel the flight…

      Like

  4. George says:

    Being a fan of Lincoln, I’ve read about this before. Premonition dreams are an interesting phenomenon. Even when I dream and they make no sense, I wonder if there is some meaning to them.

    Like

  5. Thanks for the post.

    Me thinks Kennedy knew too. Conclusion…We must all know

    Either passively or actively. Like a role in our own movie opting to not walk off till ourself as director says.

    Cut. That’s a wrap.

    Like

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