View Full Version : Mary Todd Lincoln’s First Lobster

10-21-2007, 05:18 PM


Earl Hornswaggle: The Oldest Man in Bangor

As told to Mark Ricketts
by Earl Hornswaggle

My grandfather met Abraham Lincoln and his wife way back when he was head cook up to Vice President Hamlin’s Bangor mansion.
The first family had come to visit, and it was grandfather’s job to figure out what to serve ‘em for supper. He chose lobster so’s to give ‘em a taste of authentic New England cookin’. In fact, it was him told the vice president that, for fun, he should have his honored guests drop by the kitchen. Thought they might like to pick out their own lobster. And just to give ‘em an extra thrill, he suggested they should stick ‘round and see how those suckers got cooked.

“Well, Vice President Hamlin was keen to show his guests a good time, and he for sure wanted ‘em to take in the local color, so he agreed that’d be a fine idea. It didn’t quite turn out the way they planned though, ‘cause when Mrs. Lincoln caught sight of those caged and skitterin’ critters, with their snappin’ pinchers and beady little black eyes, she went t’ twichin’.

“When grandfather dropped one of ‘em in boilin’ water, and it turned red as the devil, well, Mrs. Lincoln had herself a conniption fit. She got to screamin’ so much, the president had to wrassle her down.

“Years later, the vice president told my grandfather that Mrs. Lincoln completely lost her mind and they’d packed her off to the booby hatch.

“My grandfather thought on it a mite, looked Mr. Hamlin in the eyes, and replied, ‘guess I shoulda served clams.’

10-21-2007, 09:51 PM
Nice story...wonder if it's true.

Pete K
10-22-2007, 11:02 AM
Isn't "Hornswaggle" and old term for fooling someone????
Great story if it's true, fun story if it isn't.
intersting post!

10-22-2007, 12:26 PM

No flies on you! "Down Maine" stories are mostly understated BS stories.

11-13-2007, 02:29 AM
Aww, you're just sayin' that because you're from Massachusetts. :D
Mike Pearson