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Research Paper For English Composition I "Lincoln And Esp"

1275 words - 5 pages

The 16th president of the United States was assassinated while in office. This was an act of violence that has echoed through time in haunting phenomena in many locations. An interesting factor adding to the ghost stories was Abraham Lincoln's own involvements with the occult. It seems that he believed he had a psychic gift of his own and had a great interest in spiritualism. He said that he had paranormal experiences and dreamed of his own death.Does the data I collected prove or explain Lincoln's psychic gift and his post-dead appearances?Brief BiographyLincoln was born in Kentucky and later raised in Springfield, Illinois in 1809. Ever since he had been interested in politics and he had a strong desire to right social wrongs. He won a seat in Illinois state legislature (1834-41), was a congressman in the House of Representatives (1847-49), and started election to the U.S. Senate (1858). He then won the Republican nomination for President in the 1860 election.Interest in SpiritualismLincoln showed personal interest in spiritualism early in his political career. Especially after the death of his favorite son Willie, in 1862, he attended séances to be able to contact Willie's spirit. Most historians and writers point Lincoln's interest in spiritualism to his wife, Mary Todd, whom he married in 1842.However, there is evidence that Lincoln's interest was independent of Mary. In a letter to his friend Joshua F. Speed in 1842, Lincoln observed that he had "always had a strong tendency to mysticism" and had often felt controlled "by some other power than my own will," which he felt came "from above."Paranormal IncidentsTen days before his assassination, Lincoln had a vivid and prophetic dream of his own death. He wrote it in his diary:I retired late. I soon began to dream. There seemed to be a deathlike stillness about me. Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs. There the silence was broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible. I went from room to room; no living person was in sight, but the same mournful sounds of distress met me as I passed along.It was light in all the rooms; every object was familiar to me' but where were all the people who were grieving as if their hearts would break? I was puzzled and alarmed. What could be the meaning of all this? Determined to find the cause of a state of things so mysterious and so shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the East Room, which I entered. Before me was a catafalque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng of people, some gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully. "Who is dead in the White House?" I demanded of one of the soldiers. "The President," was his answer. "He was killed by an assassin."Then came a loud burst of grief from the crowd, which awoke...

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