The President's Dream
By Dan O'Donnell
January 20, 2022
What is fate? Is it the destiny to which we are forever pulled and ultimately powerless to resist? And if we can’t avoid fate, can we at least catch a glimpse of it before we meet it?
This is the Forgotten History of The President’s Dream.
It was another restless night; the latest in a long string of them. Sleep didn’t come easily, but as America stood on the precipice of an uncertain future, how could it? Its greatest war was nearing an end, but the fight to mend its deep divide was just beginning.
The President sat up slowly in bed and let out a sigh. He breathed in the still Spring air as he walked to the window and looked out onto Washington, DC. He grabbed a candle and paced his bedroom, deep in thought.
It wasn’t the rebuilding effort that kept him up tonight; it was his dream. It had been so vivid, so real. The President put a lot of stock in dreams, especially after the death of his young son years earlier. His wife held regular seances, while the President believed the subconscious was a link to the other side; even if he couldn’t contact his beloved son, in dreams at least he would live again. He cherished every one.
And for years, he made a point of remembering as many dreams as he could. Tonight’s, though, both perplexed and frightened him. But as he paced, he convinced himself that, like most dreams, it was just a dream.
Still, it bothered him. And for the next week, he thought about it often. What could it mean? Was it an omen? Was it a sign?
He was troubled, but he kept it to himself; not even telling his wife, whom he was convinced would be terrified and, frankly, he didn’t want to stress her out any more than she already was.
But he did tell a close friend, Ward Hill Lamon. In this dream, the President was walking up to the White House when he immediately noticed something was wrong. He heard sobs coming from inside, and as he slowly walked in, he saw women dressed in black, covering their faces as they cried.
Lying in the great room, he saw a coffin on a table and a crowd of mourners gathered around it.
He walked up to a soldier standing guard and asked “Who is that lying in the casket?”
“The President,” the soldier replied. “He was killed by an assassin.”
At that point, the President woke up.
His friend was shaken, but told the President that it probably wasn’t as big a deal as he was making it out to be. It was, after all, just a dream.
But three days later, the President, Abraham Lincoln, accompanied his wife and another couple to Ford’s Theater.