Abraham Lincoln’s Goats Nanny and Nanko
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of U.S. President Lincoln was known for his soft heart especially towards Children and Pets. When he moved into White House gifts were pouring on honoring them. In fact Abraham Lincoln’s White House became host to a variety of animals – including a pair of spirited goat “Nanny and Nanko”.
Lincoln’s unconditional Love for Children’s and Animals
Abraham Lincoln very well known for his soft heart and the giving spirit, in addition to that his unconditional love children and pets are immeasurable. He allowed his sons ‘Tad and Willie’ to keep as many pets as they wished. They had with them Cats, Dog, a pair of Goats and a bird Turkey.
The special History of Nanny and Nanko
President Abraham Lincoln’s sons Tad and Willie used to play by hitching Nanny and Nanko to a cart or kitchen chairs and drove them through the main floor of the White House. Once Tad harnessed Nanko to a chair and drove through the East Room during a White House reception. Dignified women’s pulled up their hoop skirts as Tad drove around the room crying “Get out of the way there” and went out the door again.
In fact “Nanny and Nanko” even rode with President Lincoln in the Presidential carriage.
Nanny and Nanko liked to chew things including flower bulbs and furniture. Once Nanko got out and dug up the bulbs planted by John Watt (White House Gardener) and the Gardener complained about it. These goats were playful and once Nanny was taken to the soldier’s home but there he caused much destruction to the flowers and was returned to White House.
The President loved the activities with his sons and sometimes played with the boys and the goats on the ground of White House.
On August 8, 1863 President Lincoln wrote a letter to his wife who went for a vacation. In that he said “Tell dear Tad, poor Nanny Goat is lost and Mrs. Cuthbert and I are in distress about it. The day you left Nanny was found resting herself and chewing her little cud on the middle of the Tad’s bed. But now she was gone. The gardener kept complaining that she destroyed the flowers till it was concluded to bring her down to the White House. The next day she disappeared and has not been heard of since. This was last heard about poor Nanny.
Nanny was found again safe though found a year later. Lincoln wrote to his wife in a telegram “Tell Tad goats and father are very well – especially the goats.
The words of the first lady seamstress – Mrs. Elizabeth Keckley, about the President and his love for the goats “Nanny and Nanko”
Lincoln was very fond of pets especially those two goats “Nanny and Nanko”, they identify his voice and when called them they came bounding to his side. “One Saturday afternoon I went to white House to dress Mrs. Lincoln I had nearly completed my task when the President came in. It was a bright day and walking to the window he looked down into the yard, smiled and turning to me asked
‘Madam Elizabeth you are fond of Pets, are you not?
‘O yes Sir, ‘I answered.
‘Well come here and look at my two goats, I believe they are the kindest and best goats in the world. See how they sniff clear air and skip and play in the sunshine wow! What a jump, ‘he exclaimed as one of them made a lofty spring.
‘Madam Elizabeth, did you ever before see such an active goat?
Just then both goats looked up at the window and shook their heads as if they would say, ‘How do you do old friend?’
‘See Madam Elizabeth,’ exclaimed the President in a tone of enthusiasm, ‘My pets recognized me, how earnestly they look! They go again; what jolly fun!’ and he laughed outright as the goats bounded swiftly to the other side of the yard.
After President Lincoln’s Assassination in 1865, Mrs.Lincoln gave those goats to a friend.
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