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Polly Richardson knew Lincoln in Indiana, where he lived from ages 7 to 21. Her recollection of those years is heart-breaking. It paints Lincoln as the target of unceasing barbs from girls, based on his appearance -- most likely caused by MEN2B.

Yes, I was Abe's first sweetheart. He'd take me to spelling bees and play parties and to meetin' and the like, but still I can't say that I wanted him to go with me though.

Still Abe was always mighty good, and I never found any fault with him excepting he was so tall and awkward.

All the young girls my age made fun of Abe. They'd laugh at him right before his face, but Abe never `peared to care. He was so good and he'd just laugh with them.

Abe tried to go with some of them, but no sir-ee, they'd give him the mitten every time, just because he was so tall and gawky, and it was mighty awkward I can tell you trying to keep company with a fellow as tall as Abe was. But still Abe was always so good and kind I never sacked him, but bein's I didn't have no other company them days when us young folks would all start to meetin' ... I'd let Abe take me.

I'd sometime get right put out the way some of the girls treated him, a laughing and saying things, and so when we'd get off to ourselves I'd give them a piece of my mind about it. And then they'd all say that it is too bad the way we do, because Abe's so good, but they'd appear to forget all about it, for the very next time they'd do the same way. Abe wanted me to marry him, but I refused. I suppose if I had known he was to be President some day, I'd a took him.

Is it any wonder that Lincoln became what would today be fondly called a geek? Here is the recollection of Anna Roby, who was sitting one night, in what sounds like a romantic setting, next to the 17-year old Lincoln:
One Evening Abe & myself were Sitting on the banks of the Ohio [River]. I Said to Abe that the Moon was going down. He said "That's not so -- it don't really go down: it Seems So. The Earth turns from west to East and the revolution of the Earth Carries us under, as it were: we do the sinking as you call it. The moon to us is Comparatively still. The moons sinking is only an appearance".

I said to Abe -- "Abe -- what a fool you are."

(He should have kissed her.)

Full references are in The Physical Lincoln Sourcebook.

Copyright (C) 2007-2015 by Mt. Vernon Book Systems. All Rights Reserved. Nothing herein should be construed as medical advice.