CBS ‘Early Show’ Claims Abraham Lincoln Was Gay

Jeffrey Sammons, CBS In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez did a segment highlighting five, "...things you may not know about Honest Abe," including his sexual orientation. The segment featured New York University history professor Jeffrey Sammons, who argued: "One of the very interesting stories about Abraham Lincoln is that he might have been gay. Lincoln actually did sleep in the same bed with a gentleman for a four-year period." Rodriguez concluded: "So the question of Abraham Lincoln's sexuality still remains a mystery."

In addition to spreading revisionist rumors about Lincoln’s sexuality, the segment also focused on his racist attitudes as Rodriguez declared: "Myth number two, he was the great champion of equality." Sammons explained: "Lincoln is known as the great emancipator or the great father of black people, but Lincoln was a man of his times when it came to race. He indicated that he did not believe that blacks were equal to whites, said to have used the n-word in speeches and in letters. So there's no indication that Abraham Lincoln believes in black equality."

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

8:20AM SEGMENT:

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: As we reported earlier, today Abraham Lincoln would have been 200 years old. Here are some things you may not know about Honest Abe. Myth number one, Abraham Lincoln's motives behind the Civil War.

JEFFREY SAMMONS [NAU HISTORY PROFESSOR]: So many people believe now that Lincoln actually took action to end slavery, really his action was to restore the Union. If he had to free none of the slaves to achieve that objective, he would.

RODRIGUEZ: Myth number two, he was the great champion of equality.

SAMMONS: Lincoln is known as the great emancipator or the great father of black people, but Lincoln was a man of his times when it came to race. He indicated that he did not believe that blacks were equal to whites, said to have used the n-word in speeches and in letters. So there's no indication that Abraham Lincoln believes in black equality.

RODRIGUEZ: Myth three, the assassination.

SAMMONS: What many people don't realize is that at first John Wilkes Booth did not act alone. The first plan was to actually kidnap Abraham Lincoln, take him south, and hold him for ransom.

RODRIGUEZ: But when others deemed the plan unrealistic, Booth went forward with a different plan, shooting and killing the president. Myth four, was Lincoln depressed? Lincoln was revered as the strong dominant wartime president, but historians generally agree he suffered from clinical depression and his own law partner said 'melancholy dripped from him as he walked.' And myth five, his sexuality.

SAMMONS: One of the very interesting stories about Abraham Lincoln is that he might have been gay. Lincoln actually did sleep in the same bed with a gentleman for a four-year period.

RODRIGUEZ: So the question of Abraham Lincoln's sexuality still remains a mystery. But 200 years later, one thing remains constant-

SAMMONS: Lincoln certainly has to go down in history as one of the nation's great presidents.

JULIE CHEN: And did you know that he really wasn't the 16th President of the United States?

RODRIGUEZ: Really?

CHEN: I'm making that up right now. That is a myth I just made up.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC