Lincoln Logs

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Abraham Lincoln, seen here, taking a big stinky dump right in his chair

Lincoln Logs are the fossilized poop of Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States. Even as President of a fractured nation, the eyes of history upon him, Abraham Lincoln still needed to heed the call of nature, and likely shat many times over the years. Sadly, only a few preserved specimens of Honest Abe's feces remain today, and archaeologists fear that most of Lincoln's logs have been lost to the fog of time. The samples of poop that are available have revealed a treasure trove of data on the president's diet, temperament and insights into his inner thoughts that not even his most private letters could uncover.

Abraham Lincoln's poop is split between the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. and the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.[1]

Background

Coprology, or Scatology, is the study of poop, whether they be recent dumps or old deuces. Archaeologists have been studying the fossilized poops (coprolite) of extinct animals for decades, and it was only a matter of time before this field was expanded to include the study of historical feces, from Alexander's excrement to Cleopatra's craps. Despite the relative dearth of remaining Lincoln fecal matter, Lincoln's poops are among the more well documented and studied within the field of Historical Scatology.[2]

Select specimens

April 6, 1864: "Full of Crap"

"Full of Crap"
Source: National Museum of Natural History

This fossilized Lincoln log was found in a middens by the riverbanks of the Potomac river. The large and lumpy poo—type 3 on the Bristol Stool Chart—was carbon dated to around April 6, 1864 (±6 hours), about two days before Congress passed the 13th Amendment. Microscopic and taste analysis of the poo revealed traces of Vanillin and lactose, along with hints of Chicken Fricassee: it was likely that President Lincoln had been consuming copious amounts of vanilla ice cream and Chicken Fricassee, possibly due to the stress of wrangling the moderate elements of the 38th Congress to accept the abolishment of slavery.

The large yet regular shape of the coprolite suggests that Lincoln had a difficult, yet invigorating shit, and that he likely felt immediate relief following the passing of his poo, not unlike the relief he soon felt after his contentious legislation was passed.

February 28, 1862: "Difficult Passing"

"Difficult Passing"
Source: National Museum of Natural History

These lumps of Lincoln poop were found scattered among the tombstones of Oak Hill Cemetery, D.C. The golf ball sized pieces were likely passed on February 28, 1862, eight days after the death of his son, William Wallace Lincoln. These poops would be classified as type 1 on the Bristol Stool Chart (the most difficult stool to pass), a sign of severe constipation, likely brought on by the grief Lincoln felt at the death of William. The grief-stricken Lincoln would often visit William's crypt to hold his dead son's body, and historians theorize that the President took a private shit before or after his visit, likely squatting on the grass to relieve himself. Traces of blood in the stool confirm that Lincoln had great difficulty in passing these stools, a stark and somber reflection of the toll his son's death took on his psyche.

The Oak Hill Lincoln logs are among the densest in historical record, and are among the only three recorded Lincoln poops which don't float in water. This is likely due to Lincoln's diminished diet as a result of his distraught mental state.

April 14, 1865: "The Last Dump"

"The Last Dump"
Source: Liberian National Museum

This poop is quite possibly Abraham Lincoln's last shit, before his death at the hands of assassin John Wilkes Booth in Ford's Theatre. It is also the earliest Lincoln log to be discovered and preserved, having been found floating in a toilet inside the men's restroom inside the theatre, hours after Lincoln died. The poop was collected by the grieving cast of Our American Cousin, as a memento to remember the President by. Despite its unusually large size, Scatologists are mostly in agreement that Lincoln's last session on the commode was a relatively peaceful one, due to the smooth texture of the poo and its relatively intact shape. It is perhaps a small comfort that President Lincoln, who led the nation during its greatest time of crisis, died with the complete relief of an empty intestine, and a relaxed sphincter.

Footnotes

  1. A two kilogram poop by Lincoln is currently in possession of the Liberian National Museum, despite several requests by the U.S. Government for its immediate return.
  2. Recent discoveries in the field of Historical Scatology include a possible smear of fecal matter from Revolutionary War soldier John Laurens, found inside the lining of Alexander Hamilton's breeches.

See also

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