HerndonF15The UIP publishes lots of books on Abraham Lincoln. You might think: can’t you be more contemporary? John Wilkes Booth assassinated the poor man 150-some odd years ago.

But the Railsplitter remains newsworthy. Dateline: Kankakee, Illinois, where a thief or thieves have stolen a plaster sculpture of Abraham Lincoln’ hand. Before commenting let’s go to local reaction, as reported in the January 3 edition of the New York Times:

In addition to being outraged, museum visitors were perplexed. “I think it’s kind of crazy,” said Kelly Lambert, a college student whose aunt works at the museum. “Why would someone want to walk off with a fake Abraham Lincoln hand?”

Not just a plaster hand, but a plaster hand “the size of an 8-10 pound ham,” according to police.

When a coworker told me what happened, I initially thought she meant Abraham Lincoln’s real hand somehow ended up in a Kankakee museum. Anyone who grows up in Lincoln-venerating Illinois, or who knows Kankakee as a place somewhat lacking in cultural-historical treasures, would be surprised by that blockbuster revelation. But no. It’s a plaster sculpture, and it’s the size of a ham. Not a grotesquely large ham, really. More like one of those rock-solid hams that will help you put up a respectable feed for a party of, say, eight, with leftovers for the dog.

hamFans may recall that Lincoln owned wide-spanning hands. Not ham-sized, but large. He used these mitts to good effect in his frontier wrestling matches and now routinely dunks over that racist chump Woodrow Wilson in the Presidential Afterlife Basketball Association (PABA). His life on earth, meanwhile, remains fascinating to historians and reading Americans alike. Why not purchase a bit of scholarship to celebrate Abe’s upcoming birthday? There’s no easier way to prove your patriotic bona fides in an election year.

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