Abraham Lincoln Filed a Patent for Facebook in 1845

by Nate St. Pierre on May 8, 2012

Update: Because this little adventure was so much fun, I turned it into a whole new project: Nate’s Team. Now you can join me and learn to do stuff like this too.

————–

You guys are gonna love this story. It takes a few minutes to get to Lincoln, but it’s well worth the read.

Here’s how it all started…

I’ve been working nonstop for a while, so I wanted to take yesterday off. I decided to head out the door early in the morning and see where the day would take me. I left my phone at home because I wanted to go old-school, just the worn-out atlas in my car and no one able to bother me. I would later regret that decision.

By 7:00am I found myself in the little town of Delavan, Wisconsin, just wandering about. I passed by an old cemetery with some colorful graves – something I had never seen before. So I stopped to take a walk around, and realized that I had stumbled upon the circus graveyard, where a lot of P.T. Barnum’s circus folk were buried!

If you don’t know who P.T. Barnum is, this is from his Wikipedia article: “P.T. Barnum was an American showman, businessman, scam artist and entertainer, remembered for promoting celebrated hoaxes and for founding the circus that became the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.”

Barnum built his circus here in Delavan, and it became the wintering grounds for many circuses (circi, plural) over the years. Why you would winter in freezing cold Wisconsin is beyond me. But then again, Barnum was famous for saying “There’s a sucker born every minute,” but he never actually said it, so who knows what’s going on up here.

Anyway, I picked my way through the headstones, some of which were really, really old. One stone in particular had a really long inscription, listing all the accomplishments of its owner. Most of them I don’t remember, but this one caught my eye: “Bluffed P.T. and Honest Abe with a pair of deuces.” That was when I really, really wished I had my phone (and its camera).

I tried to think of who else this guy (Morty Smith, for what it’s worth – I assume that’s short for Mortimer) could have been referring to, but I don’t know anyone else in history called Honest Abe. I had never heard of a connection between Lincoln and Barnum, but they were around here in the early-to-mid 1800s, with Barnum up in Delavan, WI and Lincoln just down the road a bit in Springfield, IL.

And Springfield has the Lincoln Museum.

I jumped in the car, headed south, and made it to Springfield by lunchtime. After a quick bite, I hit the museum and started asking around about the connection between the two men. One of the Research Specialists was there, and I got the feeling that they don’t get too many walk-ins interested in obscure connections, because he let me into the back room where they keep all the old manuscripts and stuff (past all the signs clearly stating “Appointment Needed”).

He told me that the two men were indeed acquaintances, if not friends. Lincoln was known to attend the circus when it was in town, and the two men had been seen talking a few times. He didn’t know anything about a poker game, however, or Mr. Morty Smith. Perhaps that was Morty’s only claim to fame – bluffing the master bluffer and the future hero with a pair of deuces.

I asked if there was any record of Lincoln mentioning Barnum in any written correspondence, so Matt (the researcher) looked it up in the system and came back with one result: something that Lincoln wrote in the Springfield Gazette. Matt looked confused, and when I asked him why, he said that Springfield didn’t have a publication named that at the time; the main paper when Lincoln lived there was called The Springfield Spectator (or something close to that – I don’t quite remember).

He went to go pull it out for us to look at, and I’m not gonna lie, I was excited. I absolutely love old documents, and I could live in a library. But I had no idea how cool this paper was actually going to be. :)

Matt brought out three pieces of paper, each lying flat and next to each other on a tray with a clear plastic cover. He said that we were looking at the entire Springfield Gazette block, and each paper was printed on only one side. The printing was from 1845, so it was hard to make out a lot of it, but we could still read a fair amount. And get this: it wasn’t a newspaper! It was the visual appendix to a patent application.

Matt told me that Lincoln dissolved his law partnership with a guy named Stephen Logan in 1844, and he was elected to Congress in 1846. During the year in between, 1845, he tried his hand at a few different things, including law, writing, and a few patent applications, all of which were denied.

You’re not allowed to take pictures in the collections room (not that I had my phone anyway), but Matt said I could have a copy of the block cover – the reference piece that was scanned in when the block of documents was filed. It’s a low-res, bad copy, but at least he let me put it on my thumb drive and take it with me. You can check it out below (clicking on it will blow it up).

Abraham Lincoln Facebook Patent

He said that he’d seen that picture before; it was one that Lincoln used a lot, and he could give me a (crappy again) copy of that one to take, too. Here it is:

Abraham Lincoln Profile Pic

We found the reference to Barnum right away, in a little article/story called “The Fisherman (A THRILLING INCIDENT).” The story was about the circus “with all its Wonders,” and the “marvels of Human Monstrosities” one could find there. That’s how he wrote, with all the old-time capitalization – it was awesome.

Barnum was mentioned as the owner of the circus, “a man of remarkable Wit and Personality,” whom Lincoln compared to “a Fisherman who can reel Folk in as though he had them on a Line.” The rest of the article covered other highlights of the circus and the cool things Lincoln saw there. It was mostly just a personal story about a fun day he had, as if he were telling other people about it.

And that’s where it started to get interesting.

The whole Springfield Gazette was one sheet of paper, and it was all about Lincoln. Only him. Other people only came into the document in conjunction with how he experienced life at that moment. If you look at the Gazette picture above, you can see his portrait in the upper left-hand corner. See how the column of text under him is cut off on the left side? Stupid scanned picture, I know, ugh. But just to the left of his picture, and above that column of text, is a little box. And in that box you see three things: his name, his address, and his profession (attorney).

The first column underneath his picture contains a bunch of short blurbs about what’s going on in his life at the moment – work he recently did, some books the family bought, and the new games his boys made up. In the next three columns he shares a quote he likes, two poems, and a short story about the Pilgrim Fathers. I don’t know where he got them, but they’re obviously copied from somewhere. In the last three columns he tells the story of his day at the circus and tiny little story about his current life on the prairie.

Put all that together on one page and tell me what it looks like to you. Profile picture. Personal information. Status updates. Copied and shared material. A few longer posts. Looks like something we see every day, doesn’t it?

The bottom of that page was labeled “Visual Appendix – Page 2 of 2.” It was the final page in the block. The bottom of the middle page was labeled “Patent Application – Page 1 of 2,” but I skipped over that one to read the first page of the block, which was much shorter. It was a simple form letter from the United States Patent Office, stating “Your patent application for ‘The Gazette’ has been reviewed and denied.” The official U.S. seal was stamped and pressed into the paper.

I looked back at the middle page, at the patent application itself. I wish I could just show you a picture, but here’s what I remember.

Lincoln was requesting a patent for “The Gazette,” a system to “keep People aware of Others in the Town.” He laid out a plan where every town would have its own Gazette, named after the town itself. He listed the Springfield Gazette as his Visual Appendix, an example of the system he was talking about. Lincoln was proposing that each town build a centrally located collection of documents where “every Man may have his own page, where he might discuss his Family, his Work, and his Various Endeavors.”

He went on to propose that “each Man may decide if he shall make his page Available to the entire Town, or only to those with whom he has established Family or Friendship.” Evidently there was to be someone overseeing this collection of documents, and he would somehow know which pages anyone could look at, and which ones only certain people could see (it wasn’t quite clear in the application). Lincoln stated that these documents could be updated “at any time deemed Fit or Necessary,” so that anyone in town could know what was going on in their friends’ lives “without being Present in Body.”

That was it. Pretty much just a simple one-page overview of how his system would work. After we read it, we both sat there quiet for a long time. It was so obvious what this was, guys.

A patent request for Facebook, filed by Abraham Lincoln in 1845.

I told Matt that I was going to write about this the second I got back home, and he said that he would be talking to his boss the next day to figure out how they wanted to announce this new discovery. I got home way late, and wrote for five hours during the night, trying to remember everything I could. And now we get to share this before the official announcement. ;)

So that’s what I did on my day off: a random road trip, a circus graveyard, a poker game between a showman and a president, and the discovery that good ol’ Honest Abe was a man well ahead of his time.

If you found this story interesting, you can get my newsletter to keep up with any new ones I write.

[Update: If you’d like to know why I wrote this post, you can find out here.]

Related posts:

  • Kim – Mommycosm

    That is SO cool!

    And now I’m inspired to take a day off to just to see where the day will take me.  Haven’t done that in way too long.

  • http://twitter.com/charityestrella Estrella Rosenberg

    This is your most awesome post ever. Truly amazing!

    • jncc

       May I please introduce you to my Nigerian cousin, who has many investment opportunities which may interest you?

  • Robert Greenfield

    “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, Facebook Inventor” or “Nate St. Pierre’s Day Off”

  • http://twitter.com/ethanaustin ethanaustin

    Coincidentally, I filed one for Google last year.  Never heard back from the PTO!

    • http://www.facebook.com/gbradley.bennett G Bradley Bennett

      haha. if you’re being serious about that, i work for the USPTO.  if you haven’t heard back, it’s because of our backlog.  it can take 1-3 years or longer.

  • http://twitter.com/janemaynard janemaynard (twfd)

    love this! so happy you took a drive and just went where the wind carried you – what a fun discovery!!! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshwest Josh West

  • Raider Up123

    Absolutely amazing, I usually scan these type of articles for the good stuff, but had to read this whole thing because it was interesting and fun. Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.justmalia.com/ JustMalia

    I can not even begin to express how much I love this! Way to go, Nate! 

  • Jaquitaqu

    Great article!

  • http://www.thecentsiblelife.com/ Kelly Whalen

    Wow. 

  • Jaquitaqu

    BTW….sorry…Abraham L. has a great profile picture!

  • http://www.cityinfonetz.de/homepages/hammerschmitt/index.html Marcus Hammerschmitt

    Pure awesome.

  • Pilar Clark

    Wow! Can we change his name from Honest Abe to Badass Abe? Great post.

  • http://rickwolff.com Rick Wolff

    There is indeed a sucker born every minute.

  • David Brazeal

    I have read many blog posts in my day, but this one is in my top ten ever. What an amazing find, and a great story.

  • http://jenfongspeaks.com Jennifer Fong

    WOW.

  • douglasleemiller

    Bah! What an amazing day and what an amazing find! This is a monumental and totally inspiring post and illustrates the value of an inquisitive mind. You find a mystery you want to solve and you follow it  and it leads somewhere rewarding. Kudos. Now I’m off to write a screenplay about that card game…

  • http://twitter.com/LoveWokeMeUp Emmy

    YES! That’s the best story EVER!!!!! Abraham Lincoln – the father of social media.

  • Maria

    That picture of Lincoln was not taken until he had already been elected to the House of Representatives. I am skeptical.

  • log cabin lawyer

    I’m a little skeptical since the date on the newspaper is 1845 yet the photo in question was taken in 1846 or 1847, according to the library of Congress. Also, have you ever seen a newspaper of that era that printed a photo with nice grayscale like that?

    • BillGalluccio

      They don’t really have any facts to support the date other than the recollections of a Gibson W. Harris. It says he knew Lincoln in 1845, so it is very possible that the photo was taken in 1845.

      • Guest

        They also have Lincoln’s son stating the portrait was made during his father’s term in Congress

        • BillGalluccio

          Thanks for clarifying. I was just going by the photo captions from the link provided.

  • http://www.cityinfonetz.de/homepages/hammerschmitt/index.html Marcus Hammerschmitt

    On second thought: this is not, by coincidence, some weird try at a viral campaign for that bullshit upcoming movie of Tim Burton?

  • NK

    Clearly a hoax.

  • Josh Dissmore

    Wow…this is fascinating. Right up my alley. If this is indeed authentic, this is gonna be huge. Good find.

  • http://twitter.com/DeusExCinema David Neary

    Amazing story, thought it would have been funnier if he’d invented LinkedIn. Abraham LinkedIn? No?

    • Goldenberg9900

      Terrible Joke.

      • ScottLayne

        Maybe, but I snort-laughed

        • Tmat11

          I snort-laughed too LsnortOL

        • Andy Steele

          I chortled

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XAOGF636RLXAMLLGOC345HYLIU Dave

        I chuckled, too.  I didn’t snort-laugh, but it tickled me a little.

        • dwerbil

          I didn’t chuckle; but I raised an eyebrow and then felt a bit of abdominal gas. That quickly passed with a bit of a chortal causing the dog to wake up and look around.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Erick-Anderson/100001023053534 Erick Anderson

       Goldenberg’s just peeved about not coming up with it first.

  • http://twitter.com/DeepEddy Chris Garrigues

    If I might add to the skepticism, this would be an Intellectual Property patent, and IANAL, but I really don’t think anybody, even Abe Lincoln, was filing IP patents in 1845.

    Great story, though.

  • jncc

    “I wish I could just show you a picture, but here’s what I remember. ”

    And I wish people wouldn’t make up crap on the internet.

  • http://twitter.com/BudgetsAreSexy J. Money

    By far my favorite post by you yet, good sir.  *Tips hat*

  • John

    also go fuck yourself and your bullshit narrative way of writing. As a great writer, William Shakesman, once said, “Don’t waste my time.”

  • http://twitter.com/eldritchengines Chad Rasnake

    Newspapers of the era couldn’t reproduce photographs. Until the 1880s or so, photographs had to be turned into engravings before printing. So…yeah, it’s bullshit. Viral marketing for a movie, a hoax, whatever.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=744448188 Karen McEvoy

       Much to bad it wasn’t true it proved a point  but was kinda neat!  SIGH!

    • dwerbil

      Oh man, Kinkos ‘n Saddles took care of reproducing photos.

  • http://twitter.com/jokrausdu Joe Kraus

    Not that it really matters, but I know that Lincoln had at least one patent accepted.  Not all of his patentable ideas were rejected. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/object-oct06.html

  • http://twitter.com/Kimberly_Gerson Kimberly Gerson

    I call BS:   The Actual paper –>  http://www.antiqbook.com/boox/poor/23800.shtml

    • ScottLayne

      Yes, it’s BS, but you read it all the way though. Kinds entertaining. Wasn’t honest Abe fond of tall tales?

  • anachronist antagonist

    A complete fabrication. Look at any other newspaper from that period and the number of photos you’ll see reproduced is…none. That’s because widespread, commercially viable photoengraving wasn’t available until 1879. 

  • Dougoaksquare

    This is BS.  Anyone who has ever done real research can tell (also keep in mind, most people could not read and write in the early 19th century, so the target audience for this project would be pretty limited)).  First off, Barum didn’t start his Circus until the 1870′s (AFTER Lincoln’s death).  Barnum moved to NY in the 1930′s, and ran most of his activites in the Northeast.  This whole story is bogus.  Also, Hey dummy, I know you didn’t bring your phone, but you could have just written everything instead of relying on “what I (you) remember.”  I

    • http://twitter.com/1smart42 Linda J Glick

      They still went back to Delavan, WI for many, many years. they actually have a School to teach people who want to perform as a Professional Clown.

  • http://twitter.com/Kimberly_Gerson Kimberly Gerson

    Total Hoax:  See real paper —>  http://bit.ly/JdZWSN

    • Dean Pitman

      That’s Springfield, MA whose newspaper was called the Gazette at the time. The author is referring to the town of Springfield, IL in the article.

      • chirmer

        I seriously hope you’re trolling and that you really can see they’re the SAME PIECE OF PAPER with the one posted here poorly Photoshopped… :S

        • Benny

          The resolution on the “Profile Picture” compared to the rest of the paper gave it away for me. I looked at the pic first, then the rest of the paper and did a double take… Why is the pic so clear and the paper not?

  • http://twitter.com/johndavidstutts johndavidstutts

    Dang that b1tch Abe know his shit

  • http://www.avitable.com Avitable

    But was there a “Like” button?

    Or a “Very well-conceived prank” button?

  • Dadohead

    Wow. Nice to know you have so much free time on your hands that you can concoct this. Perhaps you can write another on how a letterpress newspaper could reproduce a continuous tone prior to the invention of the halftone screen in the late 1880s. Try a little harder this next time.

    • Jennie714

      “Nice to know you have so much free time on your hands that you can concoct this” Really? Do you ever read anything? Because I guess anyone who has ever written anything you enjoyed had “a bunch of free time on their hands with which to concoct a story”.  But it’s okay because you enjoyed what they wrote, right?

  • http://www.avitable.com Avitable

    Also, on a separate note, the history geeks are really putting on their “Comic Book Guy” voice and getting their collective panties in a bunch by this awesomely fun post.

  • Jim Theriot

    rail splitter, Facebook inventor, president, vampire hunter — a real renaissance man!

  • Anonymity

    The dates just don’t add up! Also I find it very hard to believe a museum of that caliber never realized that Abraham filed a patent similar to Facebook.

  • Johnhighpeak

    he also invented the dildo.it was a hollow piece of wood filled with bumble bees and sealed with wax,you had to be careful it didnt get too hot or the wax would melt and release the bees.thats how Mary todd Lincolin died.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/YQZT2CFKXEESRIA4ORJNATJ7X4 Burt

      PLEASE!!!  I can’t breathe—- After all this “history expert” gnashing and gnawing, this is the funniest damn comment I’ve ever come across.

      • Tmat11

        Burt….bees…Burt Bees

        *giggles*

        • dstep0

           Abe…. Bees…. Abe… Bees… ABE.BEES!

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Erick-Anderson/100001023053534 Erick Anderson

            ABE BEES! See?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Erick-Anderson/100001023053534 Erick Anderson

            ABE BEES! See?

          • dstep0

             Abe Bees See Dee EEH!

    • dstep0

       did Lincoln leave plans, or a patent application for this one.  I am particularly curious about the length and girth

      • Johnhighpeak

        4 square ad 7 inches

  • http://www.facebook.com/i.am.bobbymiller Bobby Miller III

    Bobby likes this.

  • Moehmedon

    Wow,  I really am gullible.

    • Max_Rebo

      Of course, you know that gullible is -NOT- a real word,  It’s not even in the dictionary!

      • Trickytrickytricky

        I am so gullible that I had to look up gullible in the dictionary to make sure it really is a word. -_-

  • Johnhighpeak

    i like his last post.The old ladys draggin me out to some dumbass play tonite,id rather be shot in the head than have to sit thru that crap!

    • Johnhighpeak

      John Wilkes Booth likes this

  • Lisa

    For those of you compelled to spew venomous crap all over the comments section of this post, please remember that it is a STORY. Which, if memory serves, is what a writer does–makes stories. To be entertaining. Which this one totally was. Get the hell over yourselves and relax. Geez.

    • Guest

      Sorry, I just didn’t think it was a funny/interesting story.  If the author really wants to be a writer, he should be able to handle the negative feedback and maybe use it constructively.

    • Krobery

      You go, girl. And a great story at that!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=828193463 Larry Piatt

    That is a most amazing adventure!

  • Catherine Wilkerson02

    Pretty cool! Learn something new everyday!

  • Catherine Wilkerson02

    Pretty cool! Learn something new everyday!

  • http://twitter.com/sandboxworld Tony Medeiros

    More like Foursquare and seven years ago.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1107631273 Vic Anselmo

    How hold on folks, you all need to realize this is a fabrication. Before you go sending this all over the internet, stop..Stop!..You already forwarded this to everyone..Put it on your damn walls..? Right?
    Didn’t you?..This is why stuff gets broke, you can’t mess with the time line..Great..GREAT! 
          Now i can’t get back, and i have you yokums to blame for it.
    WONDERFUL…Stuck for  eternity, on a fractional timeline, In the dawning of the 21 century, America. 
      Thanks a lot.
    Jerks.

    • Dustin

       can you try writing in not Broken English next time?

      • Chris

        “not Broken English”? 

        • http://lukemcgrath.me/ Luke McGrath

          unbroken English?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XAOGF636RLXAMLLGOC345HYLIU Dave

            Afluent English?

          • SethoMarkus

            Fluent English? Affluent English would mean “wealthy English”

          • L.

            *Afluent, as in not fluent… not affluent

          • M.

            Or effleuent English, for the potty mouths among us.

          • Jowang

            Google Translated

          • Sdfdsf

            Awesome!

  • Rhys S/V Alchemy

    Was this the year he turned vampire or zombie hunter?

  • Lauren Perreault

    Wow, what a visionary!

  • disq6368

    Of course it is a hoax – didn’t everyone read the third paragraph where Nate sets it up:
    “If you don’t know who P.T. Barnum is, …was an American showman, businessman, scam artist and entertainer, remembered for promoting celebrated hoaxes…”

    • Dali

      Touche!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Phanes-Erichthoneus/100001043023463 Phanes Erichthoneus

    When I was in high school, I invented (in my mind) a magnetic train rail system that would let the train hover above the track instead of being directly on the rails, reducing friction, reducing noise, and increasing speed.  I just didn’t know that someone had already invented it before I was born.  But in my mind, since I had not heard of the existence of any magnetic levitation trains, it was still my idea! lol

  • Derppp

    fake. the real paper: http://www.antiqbook.com/boox/poor/23800.shtml clearly states that it is from springfield, massachusetts (top, center)… not illinois. ugh.

  • David Fisher

    Give me a break: “each Man may decide if he shall make his page Available to the entire Town, or only to those with whom he has established Family or Friendship” yeah right, what BS

    • ScottLayne

      Lighten up. Or do you take Superman as BS instead of entertainment?

  • http://anEclecticMind.com Maria

    I resent that this article, which is obviously made up and supported with Photoshopped documents, is being passed off as fact. Isn’t there enough bullshit in the world? Do you have to add to it? If it’s a FICTIONAL story, why not say so? Why lead us all on? Why let us spread this fiction as truth?

    • ScottLayne

      Gullibility is not the author’s fault. He spun a good yarn. You believed because you wanted it to be true.

      • Contichristi

         Perhaps–Wanting it to be True, and Believing it is .. MAKES it True?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=510274570 Andrew Barnes

    Where did you get that picture, was it from an old Cludo board-game?? in fact isnt that the butler who did it in the library with the knife…thought so.

  • breemeup

    Man. Why can’t this be real?

  • VJ Martin

    great story, I love how one thing led to another! Like a scavenger hunt!

  • Guest

    along with what others said about the pic…it looks very obviously fake and darker/clearer than the rest of the paper. Glad I didn’t waste my time actually reading…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1607934335 John Henry Lawton

    Great Story!!

  • Saxon1014

    Fun stuff. Now I wanna see a movie ’bout it! :)

  • Duh

    The writer is changing the world alright, by filling it with more lies like this story. Your 5 minutes is over, move on…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Conklin/100001022601994 Scott Conklin

    I love this.  Great piece of writitng.  Had me suckered in till the end and I admit it.

  • Makenna Driscoll

    What if Facebook is going to destroy the world (or is the beginning step) and Abe Lincoln was warned by a time traveler, and this is his way of trying to prevent it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/landfair123 Tony Chapman

    If time travel were possible and we could go back and save Lincoln and bring him forward to this time I think he would fit right in here. I would vote for him.  

    • Robocomp1

      Haha! So many people think they know Abe. Pathetic public schools and their social engineering. Abe did not want to free the slaves and trsat them as men. He wanted to remove the souths cheap labor and return all blacks by force to Africa. He thought they were destructive animals and could not be trusted to run amok inside the U.S. They never tell you that during history class. Look up his personal writings. They are widely available.

      • http://twitter.com/topscientist Top Scientist

         Another imbecile heard from.

  • Kysskekwyk

    people were pissed off after War of the Worlds, too. mostly because they felt foolish. lighten up and enjoy a good tale, people! it’s not a hoax … it’s a work of literature commonly called “fiction” :)

  • Stonehart

    Who the fuck doesn’t know who P. T. Barnum is?

  • Zi Balbino

    I love it….

  • http://twitter.com/jeremymbenson Jeremy Benson

    Fantastic tale, haven’t actually read someone’s article/story all the way to the end in a long time.  Thanks for the fun read.

  • Aname

    What a waste of my time!

  • guest

    How were they able to print (reproduce) Lincolns photograph in the page of an 1845 newspaper? If that’s a photograph and not a engraving. Halftone methods for printing photographs alongside text in newspaper pages were still to be introduced 50 years later.

  • http://twitter.com/MetropoLois Jessica

    This really had me going for a minute! Very clever.

  • Gillmp

    Fab story

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Madeline-Janis-Hendrix/656555973 Madeline Janis Hendrix

    soooo cool!

  • dan jeffers

    Kind of think Lincoln would have enjoyed this nicely done tall tale.

  • erikgrad

    Is this actually a work of fiction?  Perhaps, but the John Wilkes Booth patent for Friendster was 100% authentic

    • http://twitter.com/NisahCheatham Nisah Cheatham

      Exactly.  That puts the the bad blood and the throwdown at the Ford Theater into better context, doesn’t it?

  • molly

    I love this article. It’s a wonderful piece and what a discovery! I see from your twitter that you are passionate about water. Check out ourwatercounts.com sometime. They’re a great organization trying to make a difference. 

  • Ken

    If this was true it would be wonderful and we’d have heard about it earlier. Nice one, Nate!

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  • Earthwormgoddess

    This story is awesome! It upsets me that so many readers would post such negative feedback on what is clearly a fun story. Some seem almost offended by the fact that nate’s writing as believable enough to suck them in
    But that’s what good stories do! You’re not super smart for being able to prove the invalidity of his story, you just lack imagination.

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  • Nenya

    I haven’t been this disappointed to realize something wasn’t true since I read The Princess Bride. Fantastic bit of writing!

    • RobTheKid

      Inconceivable! 

      • Krobery

        Incontheivable, that is.

  • http://grantoster.com/ Grant Oster

    Awesome story! It was a good read!

  • http://grantoster.com/ Grant Oster

    Awesome story! It was a good read!

  • Cupcake Kills

    Obviously, those who post negative comments are one of these:
    Butt-hurt because they got suckered in.
    Butt-hurt because they can’t come up with something this creative and funny.
    Butt-hurt because they don’t get enough positive attention at home.
    Butt-hurt because they feel that the internet is ONLY for super-serious business.
    Butt-hurt because they want attention to, but instead of being positive, they want to try and shit on someone else’s parade. It’s obvious this is fake just like the story of Abe being a Vampire Hunter – quit being a douchebag and enjoy the fiction. Forgivebyour parents for their shitty child-rearing and grow a sense of humor. Assholes probably don’t laugh at dead-baby jokes either…

    • TC

      couldn’t have said it better myself.  Thank you.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=503454039 Rachael Vinyard

        You probably could have avoided the repeated use of “butt-hurt,” which would have been much better.

        • CheninCamille

          Or used “too” instead of “to”.  I’ll forgive the “forgivebyour” typo as well.  ;)

          • Swallownotspit

            Two of those douche bags commented on this post.

    • Teddylawrence

       They’re all just upset because they invented MySpace…

  • http://www.facebook.com/pixelkarma David Gardner

    Dude, your article was good, but it could have been 1/4 the size. By the time I got to the Abe part, I wanted to stop…

  • http://twitter.com/ALPLM Abraham Lincoln

    While Mr. St. Pierre’s story is a clever piece of writing, we can confirm that Mr. Lincoln did not have a patent for Facebook. If you’d like to learn more about Abraham Lincoln you can visit our website: http://www.presidentlincoln.org

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_XAOGF636RLXAMLLGOC345HYLIU Dave

    Grant invented Tumblr…
    *chortle*

  • Rachel Camille

    Grumpy people rarely need a reason to be bothered. I found this entertaining and it is a wonderful example of  a truly creative mind. Made me realize why I love reading so much. Great job!

  • http://twitter.com/Nat_Lash Nathaniel Lash

    Here’s an “error level analysis” of the conveniently low-res image: http://fotoforensics.com/analysis.php?id=74eaa247789e73ebf9519ca45218d64c2ff6fb39.134937

     I’m not an expert on photo forensics — or the capabilities of printers in the 19th century — but it looks as though the image of Lincoln has been digitally inserted, particularly given that the ELA shows a perfect rectangle of vastly different values around the not-so-rectangular Lincoln image.

    Still, funny story. Maybe he invented the Social Network in between hunting vampires, IN THEATERS JUNE 19!!!!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/L24XJBZLVLVPF3M4KJ3KI2KZYU Wesley Flashinpon

    if al gore can invent the internet i see no reason to disbelieve lincoln invented facebook

  • http://johnhaydon.com John Haydon

    Nice work there, trickster! 

  • http://drbucephalus.livejournal.com/ Dr Bucephalus

    Sir, I salute you as you did PT Barnum

  • Rwaites

    Amazing information!

  • Regertz

    That was awesome.  Thanks so much for finding it.  What a guy!  Invented Facebook and didn’t claim it during his campaign.  Seriously, this is quite a neat bit of historical detective work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonahandw Jonathan Dale
  • http://www.facebook.com/jonahandw Jonathan Dale
  • Tammy

    I read your story all the way to the end. I loved it. Thank you for the great tale er fable.

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  • Shyster

    Trust no one.  Ever.

  • Andy Steele

    Cool story bro

  • http://onbehalfofall.org/ Vincent

    Not sure if serious.

  • Joan

    Wow!  That’s about all I can say — Wow!

    Incredible story ~ from you and Mr. Honest Abe.

  • Man of la Book

    Hilarious, great job, you made my day.

    http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

    • http://www.macewan.org macewan

      This is probably just a joke.

  • Creativefreedoms

    This is a great story! I hope I’m not a sucker for believing it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=767523108 Chuck Guy

    I fell for it even after  read it was a hoax.  Good one!

  • Wizbah81

    Meh, people are just pissed off about this article not being real because it means that they believed it.  They were totally hooked, and now they feel like idiots because they realized they were duped.  A sucker born every minute.  Exactly.

  • Thilo “Bogus” Mardaus

    Awesome! You’re high on my list for the Clifford Irving Award 2012 (you might have heard that it is going to replace the Pulitzer this year due to internal quarreling in the Pulitzer jury) Please, roll the deuces again soon!

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  • ConnieHinesDorothyProvine

    I once saw a depiction of what it would have been like if historical figures had had Facebook.  Here’s Lincoln’s page:

    GOING TO FORD THEATER
    John Wilkes Booth likes this

  • Salahrahman

    it realy great forcast

  • http://www.facebook.com/postian Ian Post

    And he is a vampire killer too – or so I’ve heard. Heard on the internet – so it must be true.

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  • http://kizi-friv.kizi2.com/ kizi friv

    I just stumbled upon your article and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your article posts.Any way Ill be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

  • http://www.friv2friv3friv4.com/ friv 2 friv 3 friv 4

    I chuckled, too. I didn’t snort-laugh, but it tickled me a little…

  • http://www.friv2friv3friv4.com/ friv 2 friv 3 friv 4

    How hold on folks, you all need to realize this is a fabrication. Before
    you go sending this all over the internet, stop..Stop!..You already
    forwarded this to everyone..Put it on your damn walls..?

  • http://www.y8vn.com/ y8

    awk
    I don’t know where he got them, but they’re obviously copied from
    somewhere. In the last three columns he tells the story of his day at
    the circus and tiny little story about his current life on the prairie.

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