WWE.com jumped in on the Abraham Lincoln bandwagon by looking at Honest Abe’s background. So, was Lincoln a wrestler?
As the story goes:
” “It’s not mythology,” Lincoln expert Ronald C. White Jr. told WWE Classics. “Lincoln definitely wrestled.”
White is the author of The New York Times Best Seller, “A. Lincoln: A Biography” and spoke with WWE Classics about Honest Abe’s grappling history. “Lincoln had wrestling in his background,” White said. “His Uncle Mord reputably had real talent for it. Lincoln did quite a bit of wrestling during the years he lived in Indiana from ages 9 to 21.”
But Lincoln’s most well-known match occurred after the future president arrived in New Salem, Ill., in 1831. Working as a clerk in Denton Offutt’s general store, Lincoln’s considerable size and strength caught some attention around town. “We know he was 6-foot, 4-inches,” White explained. “And if you know how small people were in the 19th century, today it would be like somebody 6-foot-10 walking into the room.” That’s right: More than 150 years before The Undertaker debuted in WWE, New Salem had its very own Phenom.
Something of a Bobby Heenan of his day, Offutt was so proud of his impressive employee that he began to claim Lincoln could easily manhandle anyone in the area. “Jack Armstrong was the leader of a local gang called The Clary’s Grove Boys,” White said. “They took their name from a small village about three miles from New Salem.” Armstrong got wind of Offutt’s claims and challenged Lincoln to a match…”
To hear more details of this match and how the story ends, check out WWE.com’s feature story.