No President Could Beat Your Ass Like Abraham Lincoln

The man would have made quick, honest work of you
No President Could Beat Your Ass Like Abraham Lincoln

The length of Abraham Lincoln is in no question. He measured in at 6-foot-4, a height that would place him among the ranks of modern NBA point guards. Its even more impressive when you consider the fact that the average height in Lincolns lifetime was a few inches shorter than it is today — for example, the average height of a soldier in the Civil War, an event Lincoln famously existed in conjunction with, was a mere 5-foot-7, or nine inches shorter than the 16th president from Springfield, Illinois. 

What goes underappreciated, though, is just how yoked Honest Abe was. Movies and media portray him as properly vertical, but also a clacking bag of bones. He skulks across the screen like a Civil War slenderman, suit swishing around his wrists and ankles. 

Im not sure what first inspired everyone to give him the heft of a cartoon skeleton, but according to historical accounts, were doing the man a great disservice. Not that he wasnt skinny — he was. His law partner described him as “thin through the breast to the back, and narrow across the shoulders” and does note his usual weight as “about 160 pounds.”

Public Domain

Lincoln thinking about what shape hes about to turn you into.

This is apparently where anyone getting ready to portray him stopped reading — that is, before that same law partner goes on to recount that “physically, he was a very powerful man, lifting with ease 400 or 600 pounds.” Which means the wispy guy that we imagine hunched over a writing desk like the Cryptkeeper was deadlifting two to three times his body weight. And so, we should be thinking a little less forest cryptid and a little more Kevin Garnett.

More impressive still, Lincoln was an extremely talented wrestler. So good, in fact, that he's actually in the Wrestling Hall of Fame. This isnt some honorary degree sort of deal, either. According to the Hall of Fame, he had only one recorded defeat, ever.

Public Domain

Someone’s great-grandpappy got their shit rinsed by one of the countrys greatest presidents.

Lincoln’s grappling prowess wasnt only put to use in controlled competition, either. A famous story about Lincoln involves him wrestling the leader of the Clary's Grove gang, a man named Jack Armstrong, ending in a draw and mutual respect being exchanged. 

We also have record of what exactly might happen should you piss the big man off. According to historians, when a fight broke out at Lincoln’s first political speech, he broke it up himself in decisive fashion. He “strode into the audience, seized the accident by the neck and the seat of his trousers, and, as one witness remembered, threw him 12 feet away.” 

It turns out John Wilkes Booth was smart to bring a pistol, or else hed probably find himself soaring headfirst off a balcony as Lincoln dusted his hands derisively.

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