DL Fowler's Blog

Lincoln Trivia Question #1

As I travel the country in coming months, promoting my new book, Lincoln’s Diary – a novel, I’ll be engaging readers with some tidbits about the real Abraham Lincoln. Focusing on some thngs they never told us in school. There will even be prizes for people who invest in some research to answer the trivia questions on my website.

So here’s some help on your research, one of the questions – and the answer:

What was the name of the boy who saved Lincoln from drowning in Knob Creek when he was just 7 years old?

The boy who pulled young  Abe out of the creek was Austin Gollaher. Lincoln recounted this story on one occassion.

What’s important about this event is that it could have triggered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in Lincoln.  In fact, some of his behaviors after the near drowning experiece point in that direction. When his mother died two years later, Lincoln sat on her grave and sobbed during thunderstrorms, fearing that the water table would rise and wash her body away.

Later in life, Lincoln often blacked out and sat as impervious as a granite statute for hours. No one could rouse him back to reality.  The fact that it took him years to talk about it, and he mentioned it just once that has been reported suggest the possibility that he had suppressed the memory for a long time.

But it wasn’t the only event that could have triggered PTSD in Lincoln. You’ll have to come back and check the category cloud to learn more.

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