Monday, February 20, 2012
Are you in there, Honest Abe?
Here's an interesting article that ran on the front page of the February 12, 1935 Lorain Journal. (Click on it for a super-sized version you can read.)
It's the story of a tinsmith named Charles L. Willey, who had the grisly task of cutting open President Lincoln's casket in 1901 to see if he was in there or not. According to his eyewitness account in the 1935 article, Willey was the last man to look upon Lincoln's face.
Believe it or not, Willey had performed this same duty before in 1887, when rumors that Lincoln's body had been stolen necessitated the opening of the coffin
I had heard about this when I was a kid, but never knew the whole story. And here's a link to an even more detailed (and gruesome) account that ran in Yankee magazine. It turns out that Lincoln's body was moved ten different times.
Kind of reminds me of one of my favorite Alfred Hitchcock movies: The Trouble With Harry.
Thankfully, according to the Yankee magazine article, there have been no further concerns necessitating the unearthing of Lincoln's casket. The beloved, martyred president's body has been undisturbed to this day.