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Parker, John Frederick Parker

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adpagey
1258809.  Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:24 pm Reply with quote

In 1865 Abraham Lincoln's bodyguard was policeman John Frederick Parker (1830-1890), who got the job despite being incredibly incompetent. Before he was bodyguard he was charged with numerous misdemeanors when he was an officer:

'These charges included conduct unbecoming an officer, visiting a house of prostitution, firing a pistol through a window, being drunk on duty, being asleep on duty, and using abusive and insulting language. At times he was reprimanded; at other times the charges were dismissed; at no time was he fired.' (SOURCE-- http://rogerjnorton.com/Lincoln61.html )

Parker came up with amazing excuses which somehow worked, claiming the only reason he slept on duty was that he had heard ducks squawking in a streetcar and had entered to see what all the fuss was about.

Parker was meant to be guarding the Presidentís box at Ford's Theatre on the night of the 14th April 1865, a gig he was three hours late for:

ĎParker was seated outside the presidentís box, in the passageway beside the door.... At intermission, he joined the footman and coachman of Lincolnís carriage for drinks in the Star Saloon next door to Fordís Theatre. John Wilkes Booth entered the theater around 10 p.m.. Ironically, heíd also been in the Star Saloon, working up some liquid courage. When Booth crept up to the door to Lincolnís box, Parkerís chair stood empty....No one knows for sure if Parker ever returned to Fordís Theatre that night. (SOURCE--
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/lincolns-missing-bodyguard-12932069/ )

We all know what happens next, Booth approaches Abe from behind and waits for the audience to piss themselves laughing to the line "sockdologizing old man-trap!" Then the President is shot in the head, he would die within nine hours.

Perhaps the most incredible part of this story is that Parker was allowed to stay on White House security after this incident! Some people, including Mary Todd Lincoln, saw a problem with this, when she confronted Parker he responded:

"I did wrong, I admit, and have bitterly repented... I did not believe any one would try to kill so good a man in such a public place, and the belief made me careless." (SOURCE: http://rogerjnorton.com/Lincoln61.html )

Parker was eventually fired on August 13th 1868 of that year for sleeping on duty, no duck excuse this time.[/img]

 
tetsabb
1258831.  Tue Oct 31, 2017 2:28 pm Reply with quote

I wonder if anyone in the current President's squad are that incompetent.

 
Alexander Howard
1258843.  Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:01 pm Reply with quote

I read at the weekend that Ulysses S Grant and his wife were invited to share the President's box in the theatre that night, but Mrs Grant could not stand Mary Lincoln and declined.

 
adpagey
1258895.  Wed Nov 01, 2017 2:56 am Reply with quote

Yeah that's true, the whole incident is bizarre, so many weird things. In an unhappy epilogue grant's replacement, major rathbone, ended his days in a german asylum after murdering his wife, who had also been in the box that night.

 
'yorz
1258925.  Wed Nov 01, 2017 4:33 am Reply with quote

tetsabb wrote:
I wonder if anyone in the current President's squad are that incompetent.

We can live in hope.

 

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