Tag Archives: Abraham Enlow

A sample of Neo-Confederate historiography

Ladies and gentlemen, I submit for your edification a few selections from the catalogue of The Confederate Reprint Company.

  • The Genesis of Lincoln by James Harrison Cathey.  This startling tome informs us that “the man known to the world as Abraham Lincoln was actually the offspring of an illicit relationship between Nancy Hanks and a married man named Abraham Enloe, in whose western North Carolina home she worked as a servant in the early years of the Nineteenth Century.”  Given the well-documented links between an out-of-wedlock birth and a willingness to trample on the Constitution, this could very well change everything we think we know about the Union war effort.
  • The Eugenics of President Abraham Lincoln by James Caswell Coggins.  This enlightening volume explains how “the science of eugenics forever disproves the myth of the sixteenth President’s descent from the near imbecile Thomas Lincoln.”  Eugenics, in case you didn’t know, is the science of improving mankind’s genetic stock by encouraging selective breeding and by weeding out the less-desirable.  (Coincidentally, this book first appeared in 1941, when the German government stepped up their own endeavors in this fascinating field of study.)
  • Why Was Lincoln Murdered? by Otto Eisenschiml.  Eisenschiml “suggests that several top-level Government officials in Washington, particularly Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, may have played important roles in the crime and later covered up their involvement.”  This explains all those mysterious meetings between Stanton, the CIA, Cuban expatriates, and the Dallas mob.
  • The Invisible Empire: The Story of the Ku Klux Klan by Stanley F. Horn.  The rousing tale of how “the Klan quickly evolved into an institution of ‘Chivalry, Humanity, Mercy, and Patriotism’ and spread throughout the Southern States to counter the aggression against their people by unscrupulous Carpetbaggers and their vicious Union League cohorts.”

And finally, my personal favorite.

  • A Scriptural, Ecclesiastical, and Historical View of Slavery by John Henry Hopkins.  An 1864 classic which “proves conclusively that Abolitionism is at odds with, not only the entire history of mankind, but also two millennia of Christian theology.”  What Would Jesus Do?  Apparently nothing.  He’d make somebody else do it.

Operators are standing by!


Filed under Abraham Lincoln, Civil War, History and Memory

Yep, he was born in Kentucky

At a speaking engagement this weekend somebody asked me whether I believe Abraham Lincoln was born in North Carolina.  I don’t.

The story is that Lincoln’s biological father was a North Carolinian named Abraham Enloe (or Enlow, depending on who’s doing the telling).  After Enloe fathered a child with Nancy Hanks, he passed her and the kid off to Thomas Lincoln, who was supposedly in the Tar Heel State at the time.

We can document Thomas Lincoln’s whereabouts for the period in question (as for much of his life), and he wasn’t in North Carolina.  As far as anyone can tell, he never set foot in the state during his entire life.

There were a number of women named Nancy Hanks living in North Carolina during this era, and Enloe enthusiasts often assume that one of them just had to be Lincoln’s mom.  If this line of reasoning is correct, then that would make me an evolutionary biologist, a philosopher, an energy analyst, a cartoonist, an Irish politician, and not one but two deceased baseball players.  (I’ve lived a remarkably full life.)

As for the Nancy Hanks who married Thomas Lincoln, we have no evidence placing her in North Carolina at the time that Abraham Enloe supposedly impregnated her, but we do have evidence that places her in Kentucky shortly thereafter.  If you’re going to conceive a child with someone, it helps to be in the same state.

One bit of evidence often cited in favor of the Enloe theory is Lincoln’s physical resemblance to members of the family.  Unfortunately, this argument also applies to Thomas Lincoln, who of course has the benefit of the documentary record on his side.

Other problems include the information we have on Lincoln’s older sister, the year in which Lincoln left home to strike out on his own, and documentary evidence written by Lincoln himself.  This essay by Lincoln researcher Ed Steers covers the discrepancies clearly and concisely.

I think the Enloe theory has a lot more to do with wishful thinking than it does with scholarship.  If I were you, I’d skip that family vacation to the Bostic Lincoln Center and drive on up to Hodgenville, instead.


Filed under Abraham Lincoln