Open post: Abe Lincoln, mystery writer

Stumbled across this story by Abe Lincoln called “The Trailor Murder Mystery,” which appeared in The Illinois Whig (the magazine of Whigs, by Whigs, and for Whigs) in 1846. As a murder mystery, it’s no “Telltale Heart,” but as a case-study of the actual Trailor case, for which Lincoln acted as defending attorney, it’s pretty interesting.

Reading between the lines, I find a coerced confession (“They still plied him in every conceivable way…”) and some sloppy police work (the search for the dead man did not include the man’s own home). But I find it very interesting that in the old days town postmasters played an important role in law enforcement.

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10 thoughts on “Open post: Abe Lincoln, mystery writer

  1. As one born and raised in the great state of Illinois, I think that Lincoln truly saved the union and made it possible for the United States to become the nation that we are today, with all of our greatness and all of our faults.

  2. Even though my people – on both sides of my family – fought for the Confederacy, I would have to agree wholeheartedly with what Dennis just said.

    Lincoln was a truly great man. Time – and history – have proved this again and again.

    I’ve spent time in Chicago, studying the architecture there – especially the Frank Lloyd Wright houses in Oak Park and River Forest. Now that I’ll be living in Cincinnati, I’m looking forward to having Chicago close by!

  3. Yes, yes, saved the nation, whatever. But could he get his own TV show? And what would it be called? I vote for I Reckon He’s Innocent.

  4. Yes, yes, saved the nation, whatever. But could he get his own TV show? And what would it be called? I vote for I Reckon He’s Innocent.

  5. I was born (let’s just say a ways back) and raised in Springfield, Illinois, and most of my family is still there, I have visited the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum twice now, it’s really impressive, info at http://www.alplm.org. In Illinois, Springfield especially, Abe could do whatever he wanted, and call his show whatever too. I can hear the tag line now, “We was fixin’ to hang him, but Abe reckons he’s innocent.”

  6. Mary would love the media attention. I can see the Lincolns now on Larry King. Larry is his usual bored self- except when Anna Nicole, or Tammy Faye are the show’s subjects. Abe is discussing his story, while Mary keeps interrupting (ala Tammy Faye)to tell of their recent vacation in East Hampton.

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