Posted Friday morning, January 20, 2017.
As Julie M. Fenster writes in The Case of Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln “Lincoln encouraged a low opinion of his looks” and took “apparent delight in telling stories that brought attention to them.” Here’s one of his stories, as paraphrased in a newspaper article from the day:
Tis said that in his younger days, [Lincoln] made a vow that if ever should find a man uglier than himself, he would shoot him. One day while rambling over the hills with his rifle in his hands, in search of game, he met a man who was exceedingly ugly; immediately he cocked his gun and took aim, but upon being asked by the stranger what he was going to do, if he was going to murder him, Lincoln lowered his gun, told the stranger his vow and the he must prepare to meet his fate.
The stranger after eyeing him for a while and scanning him from head to foot, exclaimed: “Well, if I am uglier than you, I don’t want to live---so just shoot.”
---from The Case of Abraham Lincoln: A Story of Adultery, Murder, and the Making of a Great President by Julie M. Fenster.