30 Surprising Things You Never Knew About U.S. Presidents

Abraham Lincoln turned down the chance to host elephants


In 1861, the King of Siam offered to gift President Lincoln ‘several pairs of young male and female elephants,’ which were indigenous to his country (today we know it as Thailand). The elephants could be bred to multiply, the king suggested, and the herds could be used as ‘beasts of burden’ that could work alongside the military during the Civil War. The president politely declined the offer, opting to use steam power instead of animal labor.

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