By Default, the 44th President did not make Racial History
The 21st century has been glamorized to produce the first Black President in the United States. But when I delved into the presidential history of America, I was able to discover that the U.S. has had interracial presidents containing “negro” blood within the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. According to author J.A. Rogers, in his book, “The Five Negro Presidents”, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln (his Vice President, Hannibal Hamlin), and Warren G. Harding were all claimed by various sources to have Negro heritage.
I have always been curious about Abraham Lincoln. For one, we both share the same birthday, February 12. This fact introduced me to the accomplishments of President Lincoln when I was a young boy, and what he did for African-Americans. He was able to win one of the most gruesome wars in American history, and emancipated slaves from “chained” or physical slavery in 1865 (the same year he was assassinated). I found it to be quite unusual that a Caucasian man would have the audacity to relinquish Blacks from slavery in the United States when more than half of white America was utterly dependent on the backs of Negro slaves. The United States became an economic superpower only because of their abusive usage with slavery and Black human beings. I can assure you America would not be what it is today without Africans.
My curiosity of “Honest Abe” grew throughout my life. As a child, there were particular years where school would be canceled simply because it was Abraham Lincoln Day (February 12). So my entire life, I was constantly aware of President Lincoln and his achievements. Now as a young adult, I have discovered even more information about the 16th president, and a few others. Rogers stated Lincoln was the illegitimate son of a Negro birthed by Nancy Hanks, a white woman. Nancy was discovered to have an affair with a slave named Iemis in 1808. Abe was often referred to as a Negro by his opponents during his campaign in 1860. William Henry Herdon, his closest friend and law partner, said he had very dark skin.
Abraham Lincoln, and a few other presidents, were noted to have Negro ancestry and Negroid features. President Lincoln was recorded to be at a height of 6’4. Sure Caucasians have been recorded to be 6’4 and taller in todays era, but the truth is, during the centuries of slavery, 16th-19th, Africans and Black people were taller on average. According to Rogers, Lincoln’s skin was swarthy, hair was dark black and coarse, and his eyes were dark. Anyone can also see that Abe’s lips were a bit more plumped than the average Caucasian. Take a look at his pictures, but be cautious of the pictures you view. Rogers presented two pictures of Alexander Hamilton, which showed one picture to be original and the other to be “Caucasianized”. In other words, to hide the true history of political leaders, pictures and documents were distorted to keep the truth from becoming public. An original painting of Hamilton showed his hair to be “woolish”. Hamilton was also pronounced to be a darker-skinned individual as well.
Its good to know we now may have a choice to choose our favorite Black president. Before reading Rogers’ book, I presumed there was only one Black president. My curiosity of Abraham Lincoln has now been enhanced, and he has even more than ever, cemented his position as my favorite U.S. president to date. He did more for Black Americans than any other president, including the 44th. Although, the heritage of presidents is certainly debatable, I challenge the reader to be open-minded, and understand the biological integration of Caucasians and Blacks during the phase of slavery. Do your research.
Johnson, Carol. Abraham Lincoln. Library of Congress. 2009. https://www.loc.gov/rr/print/list/608_lincoln_slide.html
Reamer, Joel. Abraham Lincoln was Half Black Historians Reveal. The Daily Squib. 2008. https://www.dailysquib.co.uk/most-popular/1455-abraham-lincoln-was-half-black-historians-reveal.html
Hallstrom, Suzanne. Hanks DNA Project. Family Tree DNA. 2015. https://www.familytreedna.com/public/HanksDNAProject/default.aspx?section=news
Rogers, J.A. The Five Negro Presidents. Wesleyan University Press. 1965.