Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community
We Can't Do It Without You!  
     
Home | About Us | Donate | Signup | Archives | Search
   
 
   Headlines  
 

Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article
 
 
A Republican Hero, But was Abe Lincoln Gay?
Published on Sunday, December 19, 2004 by the Guardian/UK
A Republican Hero, But was Abe Lincoln Gay?
by Paul Harris
 
It is news guaranteed to make many Republicans squirm. Was Abraham Lincoln, founder of the party now seeking a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in America, actually gay himself?

A new book, published next month, certainly thinks so. The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln by C.A. Tripp produces evidence that one of America's greatest Presidents had a long-term relationship with a youthful friend, Joshua Speed, and shared his bed with David Derickson, captain of his bodyguards.

Tripp, a former researcher for sex scientist Alfred Kinsey and an influential gay writer, includes asides by many of Lincoln's close friends. 'He was not very fond of girls, as he seemed to me,' his stepmother, Sarah Bush Lincoln, once told a friend.

It also includes a diary excerpt by one upper-class Washington woman who wrote of Derickson: 'There is a Bucktail soldier here devoted to the President, drives with him, and when Mrs L is not home, sleeps with him. What stuff!'

Scholars have long debated Lincoln's sexuality, and as early as the 1920s were making veiled references to his relationship with Speed. However, critics say that in the pioneer days men sleeping together in rough circumstances was not uncommon.

Now Tripp has discovered letters between Lincoln and Speed which supposedly betray a deep intimacy.

But Tripp's book really breaks new ground in its exhaustive portrayal of many of Lincoln's possible gay lovers, including one man who said Lincoln's thighs 'were as perfect as a human being could be'.

'Make no mistake - Abe Lincoln was gay,' said Professor Scott Thompson, from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts.

But David Donald, a Harvard professor and respected Lincoln biographer, has disputed Tripp's findings in his own book, We Are Lincoln Men, published last year, and says there is no definitive proof of Lincoln having affairs with any men.

© 2004 Guardian Newspapers Ltd.

###

Printer Friendly Version E-Mail This Article

 
     
 
 

CommonDreams.org is an Internet-based progressive news and grassroots activism organization, founded in 1997.
We are a nonprofit, progressive, independent and nonpartisan organization.

Home | About Us | Donate | Signup | Archives | Search

To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Copyrighted 1997-2011