Abraham Lincoln: The Shortest President in US History

Known for his leadership during the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln’s greatness became so widespread that the shortest President in US history was required to publicize himself as a much taller man. Lincoln was documented at 5 ft 2 in, making James Madison the second shortest US President at 5 ft 4 in.

Each year, from kindergarten through twelfth grade, Abraham Lincoln was casted as Tiny Tim in his school’s annual production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Despite garnering much success and attention in this role, Abe became self-conscious about his height, sometimes going to great lengths to appear taller. He began to wear black to look taller and slimmer, and he also wore a stovepipe hat. All of this began in the sixth grade.

A rare photo that accurately displays President Lincoln\'s height.

A rare photograph that demonstrates Abraham Lincoln’s true height.

During Lincoln’s presidency, the best photographers in the world were hired to document his four years in office. The presidential photographers used trick photography, which led to the belief that President Lincoln was 6 ft 4 in. In many pictures Abe Lincoln is seen sitting, but due to the camera angle and with the help of an illusionist, Lincoln managed to appear tall and lanky.

Historians agree that Lincoln was just the leader the American people needed during the Civil War, a time of strife and dissension. To this day he remains one of the most well-known presidents despite his (for the lack of a better word) shortcomings.


30 Responses to “Abraham Lincoln: The Shortest President in US History”

  1. 1 B. Martinez June 4, 2008 at 10:11 pm

    this is so funny!! especially since they have that HUGE statue of Lincoln in Washington DC -if this were true it would look like a matter of overcompensation!
    Seriously, I love this site! I come back every day for more

  2. 2 Andrew Z June 9, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    Is this site supposed to just make people laugh with doctored photos? or do you really believe this?
    dont be suckered by everything this “history buff” has to say.

  3. 3 Dave Newell June 9, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    The normally composed and reserved staff at The History Bluff sometimes get a good chuckle out of comments like these…

  4. 4 Andrew Z June 9, 2008 at 11:04 pm

    ha ha ha oops…i just read about the author of the site…it all makes sense now!
    carry on my friend….funny stuff

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    I have to admit, that photograph almost had me convinced.

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