Happy Birthday Abraham Lincoln! America’s Second Gay President?

Posted on February 12, 2010
Filed Under Book Review, Happy Birthday! | 459 Comments

Abraham LincolnToday is the birthday of Abraham Lincoln.  It’s a good time to read (or re-read) C.A. Tripp’s The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln. In it, Mr. Tripp intelligently makes the argument that President Lincoln was gay.

Abraham Lincoln is depicted as a tall, handsome–even sexy–young man who displayed virtually no interest in women.  He had several intense–even romantic–relationships with men.  And he probably had sex with at least a couple of these men.  His marriage to Mary Todd is described as pragmatic. They had four children and they also had separate bedrooms at the White House.  When Mary was away, President Lincoln would sometimes share his bed with David Derrickson–the captain of the White House Guard.  Yes this makes for quite an interesting read.

Unfortunately, Mr. Tripp died before the editing of the manuscript was done.  I suspect that, given just a little more time, Mr. Tripp would have engaged in a bit of “judicious pruning.”  And–perhaps more importantly–at least a few gaps would have been filled in.  As it stands, this is an uneven text; some chapters are better written than others. For me, the best was “Yours Forever”:  Mr. Tripp’s description of the intimate friendship between Abraham Lincoln and a handsome young man named Joshua Fry Speed. The two gentlemen lived together for four years.  They shared the same bed–even though there were other beds in the house.  They shared this bed in the warm as well as the cold months. This is just one piece of circumstantial evidence in what amounts to an inconclusive case.  But when taken together, this queer reader came away with the impression that Mr. Tripp might just be right.

After all, we can’t get just James Buchanan.

C.A. Tripp’s The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln is published by Thunder’s Mouth.

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