Lincoln’s “cap-kilt-dress” rant is actually somewhat historically accurate. As it’s important to remember that Lincoln in 1861 wasn’t the legendary figure he is today, in 1861 he was elected with a plurality of votes instead of a majority and, of course, could write off half the country made of people who either saw him as a threat or saw him as another weak Buchanan-esque politician.

I mentioned a couple days ago about how the press would like to slap Lincoln around, citing his sneaking through Baltimore as proof of how cowardly he was, the Scottish cap was no different. It was played for laughs about how not only did he not have the guts to make a real appearance in Baltimore, but that he was doing it in costume. In political cartoons, the Scottish cap quickly became full Scottish regalia, with kilt and all, and then that escalated into Lincoln bolting in the dead of night wearing nothing but one of Mary Todd’s dresses.

So effectual that rumor was that even I thought he was smuggled away wearing a dress until I started doing Baltimore Plot research again for this storyline, 156 years later. You got me this time, fake news.