Lincoln Fist Lincoln Sandburg Lincoln Mask


Lincoln Lamon

To Orwell Today,

Hello Jackie Jura,

I love your website.

Regarding your interesting post today on Lincoln's dream of assassination, Lincoln also had an amazing experience witnessing his doppelganger in the mirror. Carl Sandburg documented this in his 1926 biography of Abraham Lincoln contained in the Wikipedia entry LINCOLN'S DOPPELGANGER.

Synchronisticly the first photographs I ever took were at Kennedy’s funeral procession in Washington D.C. forty-four years ago today. Dad lifted me upon his shoulders to see above the crowd and told me to click the little 10 mm camera button. I have those photos around here somewhere and should try to find them again.

Best regards and keep up your great work,
Jim Banholzer, Idaho

Greetings Jim,

Yes, it is in Carl Sandburg's ABRAHAM LINCOLN: THE PRAIRIE YEARS AND WAR YEARS (the 1954 one-volume edition scanned above which he compiled from his original 1926 six-volume edition) that I first read about Lincoln seeing his double-image (doppelganger) in the mirror.

I've also read a version of Lincoln's double-image experience in the 1895 book RECOLLECTIONS OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN written by Ward Hill Lamon (scanned above), his one-time law partner who moved with him to Washington and became his marshal and self-appointed body guard (but was tragically on an out-of-town mission for Lincoln the night Lincoln went to the theater otherwise he'd have been standing guard outside his box). Lamon adds a few other details to the version of Noah Brooks (a newspaper journalist friend of Lincoln) whose 1895 book WASHINGTON IN LINCOLN'S TIME Sandburg used as his source for the doppelganger story in his book.

from the book "Recollections of Abraham Lincoln"

compiled from notes and papers of Ward Hill Lamon
published by his daughter in 1895 and expanded in 1911
Chapter VII, pages 111-114

...From early youth Mr. Lincoln seemed conscious of a high mission. Long before his admission to the bar, or his entrance into politics, he believed that he was destined to rise to a great height; that from a lofty station to which he should be called he would be able to confer lasting benefits on his fellow-men. He believed also that from a lofty station he should fall. It was a vision of grandeur and of gloom which was confirmed in his mind by the dreams of his childhood, of his youthful days, and of his maturer years. The plain people with whom his life was spent, and with whom he was in cordial sympathy, believed also in the marvellous as revealed in presentiments and dreams; and so Mr. Lincoln drifted on through years of toil and exceptional hardship, struggling with a noble spirit for honest promotion, -- meditative, aspiring, certain of his star, but appalled at times by its malignant aspect. Many times prior to his election to the Presidency he was both elated and alarmed by what seemed to him a rent in the veil which hides from mortal view what the future holds. He was, or thought he saw, a vision of glory and of blood, himself the central figure in a scene which his fancy tranformed from giddy enchantment to the most appalling tragedy.

On the day of his renomination at Baltimore, Mr. Lincoln was engaged at the War Department in constant telegraphic communication with General Grant, who was then in front of Richmond. Throughout the day he seemed wholly unconscious that anything was going on at Baltimore in which his interests were in any way concerned. At luncheon time he went to the White House, swallowed a hasty lunch, and without entering his private office hurried back to the War Office. On his arrival at the War Department the first dispatch that was shown him announced the nomination of Andrew Johnson for Vice-President.

"This is strange", said he, reflectively; "I thought it was usual to nominate the candidate for President first."

His informant was astonished. "Mr. President," said he, "have you not heard of your own renomination? It was telegraphed to you at the White House two hours ago."

Mr. Lincoln had not seen the dispatch, had made no inquiry about it, had not even thought about it. On reflection, he attached great importance to this singular occurrence. It reminded him, he said of an ominous incident of mysterious character which occurred just after his election in 1860. It was the double image of himself in a looking-glass, which he saw while lying on a lounge in his own chamber at Springfield. There was Abraham Lincoln's face reflecting the full glow of health and hopeful life; and in the same mirror, at the same moment of time, was the face of Abraham Lincoln showing a ghostly paleness. On trying the experiment at other times, as confirmatory tests, the illusion reappeared, and then vanished as before.

Mr. Lincoln more than once told me that he could not explain this phenomenon; that he had tried to reproduce the double reflection at the Executive Mansion, but without success; that it had worried him not a little; and that the mystery had its meaning, which was clear enough to him. To his mind the illusion was a sign, -- the life-like image betokening a safe passage through his first term as President; the ghostly one, that death would overtake him before the close of the second. Wholly unmindful of the events happening at Baltimore, which would have engrossed the thoughts of any other statesman in his place that day, -- forgetful, in fact, of all earthly things except the tremendous events of the war, -- this circumstance, on reflection, he wove into a volume of prophecy, a sure presage of his re-election. His mind then instantly travelled back to the autumn of 1860; and the vanished wraith -- the ghostly face in the mirror, mocking its healthy and hopeful fellow -- told him plainly that although certain of re-election to the exalted office he then held, he would surely hear the fatal summons from the silent shore during his second term. With that firm conviction, which no philosophy could shake, Mr Lincoln moved on through a maze of mighty events, calmly awaiting the inevitable hour of his fall by a murderous hand.

How, it may be asked, could he make life tolerable, burdened as he was with that portentous horror which though visionary, and of trifling import in our eyes, was by his interpretation a premonition of impending doom? I answer in a word: His sense of duty to his country; his belief that "the inevitable" is right; and his innate and irrepressible humor....[end quoting from Recollections of Lincoln by Lamon]

All the best,
Jackie Jura

PS - I'd be very interested in seeing the photo you took of JFK's funeral procession that day 44 years ago when you were 10 years old on your father's shoulders and perhaps you would allow me to share it with other readers. I wish you God luck in finding it.

PPS - The front and end pages of Sandburg's book (shown above) show the cast of Lincoln's hand which was made in 1860 and also the cast of Lincoln's life-mask done in February 1865, just two months before he was assassinated on Easter Friday, April 14, 1865.

PPPS - As reinforcement to my belief that Lincoln's dream was a harbinger of not only his own assassination but also of Kennedy's 100 years in the future, I've added more passages from Lamon's book at the bottom of my essay LINCOLN DREAMS JFK FUNERAL

....conversation continues at ALL-AMERICAN LINCOLN MEMORIES

John F Kennedy is laid to rest (44 years ago). BBC, November 25, 1963

DEDICATED TO PRESIDENT KENNEDY ("...Our President is lying up there cold beneath his flame. He is calling out for vengeance and to do so in his name")

4.Old World Destruction ("the '60s were period of great purges; leaders were wiped out once & for all")



Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~