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Details of Abraham Lincoln's Health Troubles, Weight Fluctuations and Eventual Death

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The history of the United States of America will never be complete without the mention of the name Abraham Lincoln. The late politician who happened to have served as the 16th President of the United States is respected for the role he played in keeping America together during the bloody American Civil War and has been hailed as the ‘champion for human liberty’ in many quarters. His name reverberates with excellence and he is considered to be one of the greatest presidents in American history.However, even with all his achievements, Abraham Lincoln was bedeviled by several health issues that threatened to cut him off from the world a long time before he eventually died.Abraham Lincoln’s Battle With Health ProblemsBorn on February 12, 1809, in a one-room log cabin on the Sinking Spring Farm near Hodgenville, Kentucky, Abraham Lincoln grew up battling with different health challenges. He, however, survived them all and managed to grow up into an adult. In 1818, when Lincoln was just 9 years old, he got kicked in the head by a horse during an accident and this sent him into a 24-hour bout of unconsciousness. During this time, there were fears that he might die. However, he survived the incident. Abraham Lincoln is also reported to have battled with malaria on more than one occasion. At about the age of 21 in 1830, he went down with malaria and had to be revived back to health. This first case was not so serious, however, his second experience battling malaria in 1835 was more severe. This time, he had to be moved to a neighbor’s house to be treated. Eventually, he survived. The same year, in 1835, Lincoln also battled Syphilis, a bacterial infection usually spread by sexual contact. The veracity of this particular story is often debated today. However, it is on record that William Herndon, one of Lincoln’s close friends who was also his biographer and law partner, insisted that the former president really had Syphilis. According to Herndon, Lincoln told him about the infection. In 1863, when Lincoln was already the president of the United States, he contracted smallpox, a very infectious disease. The disease had a serious effect on the former president. In fact, it is reported that the disease greatly affected his White House routine and also limited the number of advisors that he could meet with considering the fact smallpox was infectious. Also, it is on record Abraham Lincoln’s valet identified as William H. Johnson contracted the smallpox disease while caring for Lincoln and eventually died from it. However, Lincoln survived it.His mental healthOne of the most discussed aspects of Abraham Lincoln’s health was his mental state of mind. Some have opined that the former president was insane, but does this opinion really hold water?Our investigation shows that Abraham Lincoln never suffered bouts of insanity, however, he suffered bouts of clinical depression throughout his life. He was melancholy and was moody many times. This may have been caused by the many challenges he faced in his life including tragedies like the loss of Ann Rutledge, his first love. He is also reported to have suffered occasional depression whenever he got betrayed by people that he trusted especially because he was too trusting.To treat his depression, som reports have claimed that Abraham Lincoln took some blue mass pills and also tried to delve into works of humor to ease him up.

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The Day Abraham Lincoln DiedOn April 14, 1865, the world came to a standstill; it was Good Friday and the day Abraham Lincoln was brutally murdered. The former president was attending a play at Ford’s Theatre which was located at Washington D.C. when he was assassinated by a man called John Wilkes Booth.John Wilkes Booth was an American actor who comes from the prominent Booth theatrical family that ruled the 19th-century. Booth was angered that President Lincoln was promoting voting rights for blacks and so he decided to kill the president. When he found out that Lincoln was going to attend the play at Ford’s Theatre, he went to the venue of the play to carry out his act.Eventually, by about 10:13, Booth crept up from behind and fired at the back of Abraham Lincoln’s head. Lincoln died some hours later on April 15, 1865, after remaining in a coma for about 9 hours. Booth was eventually caught and killed after refusing to surrender.What Was Abraham Lincoln’s Actual Weight?Though he had some pretty good muscle structure as a young man, Abraham Lincoln had always been thin. There are some questionable claims that the former POTUS weighed over 90 kilograms in 1931, but it clashes with some more reliable statements over time. Apparently, Henry Lee Ross stated that Lincoln never weighed over 79 kilograms in his life.

In addition to that David Turnham recollected that Abraham weighed about 72 kilograms in 1830 and a neighbor of his from New Salem named Camron crudely described him using the words ‘thin as a beanpole and ugly as a scarecrow’.So what did the 16th POTUS say his weight was? According to him, he weighed 81.5 kilograms in 1859 and he is believed to have weighed a lot less during his actual presidency.

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Details of Abraham Lincoln’s Health Troubles, Weight Fluctuations and Eventual Death. (2022, September 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved November 29, 2022, from
“Details of Abraham Lincoln’s Health Troubles, Weight Fluctuations and Eventual Death.” Edubirdie, 15 Sept. 2022,
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