Monday, December 17, 2007
Was Abraham Lincoln a psychic? Yes, claims a recent book titled "The Psychic Life Of Abraham Lincoln", written by Susan Martinez, who is a self-professed "spiritualist." Today's Chicago Sun-Times contains a brief article about this book and the author's claims. It appears that she makes the claim simply because Lincoln attended a handful of seances with his wife Mary after the death of their son, Willie. Most historians claim that he attended them simply to pacify Mary, who was desperately trying to reach her dead son in any way possible.
I'd think a better claim for any latent psychic ability Lincoln may have had would be based on his dreams, which are well-documented in numerous sources. For example, Lincoln had a very vivid dream just a couple of weeks before he died that he found himself amongst mourners in the White House. When he asked "Who died?" in his dream, he was told that the president had been killed by an assassin. He also had the same recurring dream of being on a ship or boat, rapidly nearing a shore, before momentous occasions in his life. He had this dream before major Civil War battles, and had it again shortly before his death.
The book might be a fun read, but it doesn't strike me as being essential for one's Lincoln library. Seems like it's another one of these books which are speculative at best, along those which claim Lincoln was gay, or that he had some terrible disease of some kind or another.