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Washington, DC | Lincoln Memorial

Offutt talked big about Lincoln as a wrestler and Bill Clary, who ran a saloon 30 steps north of the Offutt store, bet Offutt $10 that Lincoln couldn’t throw Jack Armstrong, the Clary’s Grove champion. Sports from miles around came to a level square next to Offutt’s store to see the match; bets of money, knives, trinkets, tobacco, drinks, were put up. Armstrong, short and powerful, aimed from the first to get in close to his man and use his thick muscular strength. Lincoln held him off with long arms, wore down his strength, got him out of breath, surprised and “rattled.” They pawed and clutched in many holds and twists till Lincoln threw Armstrong and had both shoulders to the grass. Armstrong’s gang started toward Lincoln with cries and threats. Lincoln stepped to the Offutt store wall, braced himself, and told the gang he would fight, race or wrestle any who wanted to try him. Then Jack Armstrong broke through the gang, shook Lincoln’s hand, told them Lincoln was “fair,” and, “the best feller that ever broke into this settlement.”

-Carl Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln – The Prairie Years

Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC; Leica M6 TTL .58, 35mm summicron, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC; Leica M6 TTL .58, 35mm summicron, Agfa APX 400 © Doug Kim

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