Monday, October 17, 2011

DNA Info for Abraham Lincoln???

National Geographic channel [] in 2011 "aired" this program ...
            Lincoln's Secret Killer  
which can be viewed here online:
Producer/Director/Writer  --  Molly Hermann  
The program is also described here --

The main investigator, Dr. John Sotos,  was on a quest to show that Abe Lincoln had a
disease that was killing him when he was assassinated --

           Dr. Sotos' hypothesis was that Lincoln had MEN 2B (a type of multiple endocrine neoplasia [MEN] caused by RET instead of Marfan syndrome (also called Marfan's syndrome), which has been postulated in the past. Although a genetic condition distinct from Marfan syndrome, MEN 2B is characterized by marfanoid habitus, a term that describes the co-occurrence of many Marfan syndrome features.

Therefore, they had to obtain DNA and test it.  The program shows the great lengths to find some DNA that was usable ... with the conclusion that maybe they did and maybe not.  Dr. Sotos' DNA tests showed nothing of the genetic disease: thus, Sotos response was that the DNA was probably tainted/contaminated or mixed with the blood of Major Henry Rathbone who got stabbed by John Wilkes Booth while Rathbone was trying to prevent Booth from escaping the Ford's Theatre. 

Here is more information:
    * Dr. John Sotos is an obscure-diagnosis expert and author of the book
               "The Physical Lincoln.
    * Mr. Lincoln's DNA had never been tested before because remnants from                                                  Mr. Lincoln's body are closely guarded.
    * The testing for the show was performed at the Cleveland Clinic's                                                                 Genomic Medicine Institute.
             [Cleveland Clinic, Lerner Research Center]
    FROM --

Doctors performing the DNA studies included
    * Dr. Reed Pyeritz, Professor Univ. Pennsylvania
    * K. Ann Horsburgh, Univ. Otago
    * Dr. Charis Eng

The best DNA samples were provided by a Lincoln collector, Mark P. Haverkos.

While the overall point of the TV show was to show that Lincoln had a rare genetic cancer syndrome called multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2B (MEN2B),they were not able to prove it or that the samples were even really Lincoln's. 

This "begs the question" ... Could DNA from John C. Calhoun be found and compared
with that of Lincoln to show that Calhoun was or was not Lincoln's father?

Here is a webpage about Lincoln's DNA ... questioning as to whether Dr. Sotos should be allowed to investigate it or the results made public:

Thus, if Calhoun-Lincoln DNA testing were proposed or done, similar questioning could be expected.


  1. If they have dna for Lincoln then why can't they take dna from a calhoun relative

  2. My great grandmother left a rectangular red box, which she has always stated contained flowers from Lincoln’s coffin, as well as other artifacts. My mother passed away on Jan 1, 2019 & I came across that box again in her belongings. I haven’t opened it yet, but wondered is Mr. Soto would be interested in what it contains. Thanks, Jill Ferguson