Did You Know Abraham Lincoln’s Body Was Exhumed 17 Times?
One of the benefits of growing up in or near Illinois is having so much history around you. That includes Abraham Lincoln and the many places in Illinois where he visited. There is one fact about him that you might not know and that's the fact that his body was exhumed 17 times after his assassination.
I saw this interesting research from Roger J Norton which explored Abraham Lincoln's post-assassination history. Here are some facts that shocked me:
Abraham Lincoln's body was exhumed 17 times with the latest being 1901
According to Roger's article, there were many concerns about thieves trying to steal Lincoln's body and holding it for ransom. He was exhumed to make sure his body was still there per the request of Robert Lincoln. As Roger mentioned, there was an attempt to steal Lincoln's body in 1876.
Abraham Lincoln's eyebrows were gone
While Lincoln's famous mole was visible on the body, his eyebrows had disappeared. No one was ever able to determine why.
Abraham Lincoln's body had almost become mummified
The story says that the mummification of parts of Lincoln's body was likely caused by the numerous times he was embalmed after his assassination.
Other facts from the 1901 exhumation of Abraham Lincoln include the fact that 23 people are said to have witnessed the opening of his coffin. Many claimed a disturbing smell the moment his crypt was opened which is not surprising. The eyewitnesses positively confirmed that it really was Abraham Lincoln's body still present in the coffin before it was resealed for its final burial.
It's a little known part of Abraham Lincoln's life and death that will forever be a part of Illinois' history.