Abraham Lincoln, True Crime Writer- page 3 | History | Smithsonian
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Abraham Lincoln ca. 1846, photographed in Springfield Illinois by N.H. Shepherd (© Bettman/CORBIS)

Abraham Lincoln, True Crime Writer

While practicing law in Illinois, Abraham Lincoln defended a man in a highly unusual case and later recounted the mystery as a short story

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"Thus stands this curious affair. When the doctor’s story was first made public, it was amusing to scan and contemplate the countenances and hear the remarks of those who had been actively in search for the dead body: some looked quizzical, some melancholy, and some furiously angry. Porter, who had been very active, swore he always knew the man was not dead, and that he had not stirred an inch to hunt for him; Langford, who had taken the lead in cutting down Hickox’s mill-dam, and wanted to hang Hickox for objecting, looked most awfully woebegone: he seemed the “victim of unrequited affection,” as represented in the comic almanacs we used to laugh over; and Hart, the little drayman that hauled Molly home once, said it was too damned bad to have so much trouble, and no hanging after all."

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