Abraham Lincoln


Carte de visite photograph of Abraham Lincoln, circa 1864

Abraham Lincoln and shopkeeper Joshua Speed slept together for four years. Lincoln kept doing so long after he had financial means to find his own quarters.

Speed revealed “no two men were ever more intimate.”[1] During Speed's absence, Lincoln confessed to him in a letter, “I shall be very lonesome without you.”[2] Mutual friend William Herndon conceded that Abe “loved this man [Speed] more than anyone dead or living.”[3]

Later, a Civil War soldier's account disclosed that a Captain Derickson, one of Lincoln's body guards, “frequently spent the night at his [Lincoln's] cottage, sleeping in the same bed with him, and—it is said—making use of his Excellency's night-shirt! Thus began an intimacy which continued unbroken until the following spring.”[4]


1. Jonathan Ned Katz, Love Stories: Sex between Men Before Homosexuality (Chicago: University of Chicago, 2001), 5.

2. Katz, 23.

3. Katz, 5.

4. Edward Steers, Jr., Lincoln Legends: Myths, Hoaxes, and Confabulations Associated with Our Greatest President (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2007), 144, http://books.google.com/books?id=wYmvvEeuAi0C&pg=PA142&lpg=PA142&dq=lincoln+ellsworth+tripp&source=bl&ots=C-nhlaJkqN&sig=eTA2bLKFTocOAkGpKUfyPt2BD68&hl=en&sa=X&ei=A9nZT4iKEMbp6QHK9YzNAg&sqi=2&ved=0CEkQ6AEwAA#v=snippet&q=guard&f=false.