President Abraham Lincoln’s Dream of His Own Death

As the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865) apparently told a few people about a dream he had just days before his assassination. This group included his wife Mary Todd and former law partner, Ward Hill Lamon.

Ward Hill Lamon later claimed that the dream Abraham Lincoln had was of his own assassination. 

Abraham Lincoln’s Prophetic Dream of His Own Death

Considered to be one of the greatest Presidents, Abraham Lincoln has captivated imaginations for decades. His desire for knowledge has also become entwined with links to the supernatural.

In his dream, Lincoln had woken up to the sound of grieving in the East Room. According to Ward Hill Lamon, as the president entered the room, he had seen “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.”

Lincoln approached one of the soldiers guarding the body, and asked who had died in the White House, to which the soldier responded with “The president. He was killed by an assassin.”

In the Presidents account to Lamon:

“About ten days ago I retired very late…,” the president told Lamon. “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 … I arrived at the East Room. 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 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.’”

Lamon also recorded that in another dream, Lincoln had another eerie experience, which may also have been prophetic in his own death.

Lincoln was said to have dreamed that he had boarded a ship, and was “sailing toward a dark and indefinite shore”. One account says the president was on the ship traveling at great speed. Which may have been symbolic with him coming to the end of his life.

As eerie as these dreams are, there is another which is also recorded.

While at his home in Springfield, Illinois, Lincoln witnessed a double image of his face in a mirror. One one side was his actual face, and on the other, was a pale imitation. Though his wife never saw the image, she was deeply concerned about him.

It’s claimed his wife interpreted this image as an omen, that he would be reelected as president for a second term, but would never get to complete it.

Fact or Fiction?

While this seems like an interesting story, Lamon didn’t recall the dreams until around 20 years after the assassination. His wife, nor Lamon, mentioned the dreams to anyone else, before or after the presidents death, which does seem strange. Despite this, Lamon claimed he had published his account of the dream from notes he made in 1865. Maybe it didn’t seem significant at the time.

Ward Hill Lamon wrote that the president spoke of the dream “with some show of playful humor.”

Curiosity With The Meaning of Dreams

It appears as though Lincoln had shown some curiosity about the meaning and importance of dreams before. Though he spoke with humor about the dream of his own death, he obviously took some to be serious.

In 1863 the President wrote a letter to his wife, who was in Philadelphia with their son, Tad. In the letter, Lincoln wrote that his wife should “put Tad’s pistol away” as he “had an ugly dream about him.”

Lincoln’s Assassination

President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. He suffered a gun shot wound to the back of his head, while watching Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater. Lincoln died the next morning at 7:22, April 15th 1865.

Whether or not the account is real, it surely adds to the supernatural events surrounding the presidents existence. What do you think about Abraham Lincoln’s prophecy of his own assassination?