Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation

Hayden Fiedler

Abraham Lincoln wasn’t only arguably the best president in U.S. history; he was also arguably the best wrestler to ever live. Although there is no official record from back then he only lost once in approximately 300 matches. The most well known match is about when he was living in New Salem, IL working as a sales clerk in Denton Offutt’s general store in 1831. Standing at a giant 6 foot 4 inches, Lincoln towered over people. Taking into consideration how short people were back then, that’s about like somebody walking into the room you are in, standing 6 foot 10 inches. Offutt was so impressed by the size and stature of Mr. Lincoln that he made a very bold statement; claiming that Abraham Lincoln could manhandle anybody in the area. When word got out about this challenge, a leader to a local gang about 2 miles away made the trip to Salem to see how good Lincoln really was. The leaders name was Jack Armstrong and he thought that he would be able to take on anybody. In the days leading up to the match, although there weren’t any posters, the match was advertised by word of mouth, and a lot of people showed up. Lincoln had the clear advantage, being almost 10 inches taller than Armstrong, but Armstrong was also very experienced and held his own. Armstrong was sensing defeat and cheated by tripping Lincoln, which is very much frowned upon. Honest Abe didn’t retaliate with cheating right back; instead he then picked Armstrong up and slammed him. This is just one story that proves Lincoln was an incredible wrestler. Hayden Fiedler Fisher Jr. Sr. High School Fisher, IL