Lincoln and Medicine
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: Southern Illinois University Press
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Abraham Lincoln have Marfan syndrome? Was Mary insane? What did Willie die from? Many questions have been asked about the health of Lincoln and his family members. While there have been a number of articles addressing various aspects of the health of the Lincolns, there has...
1. Young Lincoln, 1809–42
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As most people know, Abraham Lincoln was born near Hodgenville, Kentucky, on February 12, 1809, the second child of Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln. Abraham had an older sister, Sarah, and a younger brother, Thomas, who died in infancy. The family moved to a farm on Knob Creek...
2. The Lincoln Family, 1843–60
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When Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd on November 4, 1842, he took on new responsibilities for family members, as do most married men. In Lincoln’s case, his relationship with his wife has been studied extensively, if not excessively, from their first meeting to their last words to each other on...
3. The Lincoln Family in Washington, DC, 1861–65
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On February 11, 1861, a chilly, drizzly morning in Springfield, Illinois, Abraham Lincoln spoke poignant words of farewell to his friends and boarded the train for a lengthy trip to Washington, DC. In order to allow many people across the North to see their new president-elect, Lincoln’s route was not the most direct and included brief stops at many small towns, as well...
4. Lincoln and the Medical Bandwagon
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In the late 1960s, when the author’s younger sister was diagnosed with a congenital heart arrhythmia, one of the first things that the doctor told the family was that Winston Churchill had also suffered from this problem. Evidently, many believe that it comforts a patient to know that others have lived famously productive lives while suffering from the same physical condition. This seems to be especially true when Abraham...
5. Lincoln and Medical Matters during the Civil War
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When Abraham Lincoln assumed the presidency on March 4, 1861, he had little experience with medical issues beyond family illnesses and several legal cases that involved alleged medical malpractice or questions of sanity.1 Once he became president, Lincoln, in his role as commander in chief, had overall responsibility for the military, including its medical arm. Practically, however, the secretary of war and the secretary...
6. The Assassination of Lincoln
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The theater had been a means of relaxation and escape for Abraham Lincoln throughout the Civil War. When he and Mary went to see the silly play Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre one April evening, they did not expect anything different. Tragically, the night of April 14, 1865, was very different...
7. Lincoln’s Family after the War
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As Abraham Lincoln lay dying in the back bedroom of the Peterson house on the night of April 14–15, 1865, Mary frequently came in to see her husband. At one point, as she was sitting on a chair next to the bed, Lincoln’s “breathing became very stertorous and the loud, unnatural noise frightened her...
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The Concise Lincoln Library Series
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Publication Year: 2012