Abraham Lincoln

The only U.S. President that was also licensed bartender was Abraham Lincoln.

According to an article in the Chicagoist (“Bartender-In-Chief: Abraham Lincoln Owned A Tavern”): “In January 1833, he partnered with his friend from his militia days, William F. Berry, to purchase a small store, which they named Berry and Lincoln. Stores could sell alcohol in quantities greater than a pint for off-premises consumption, but it was illegal to sell single drinks to consume at the store without a license. In March 1833, Berry and Lincoln were issued a tavern, or liquor, license, which cost them $7 and was taken out in Berry’s name. Stores that sold liquor to consume on the premises were called groceries.”  The store failed, primarlily because Berry was an alcoholic who drank the store’s supply of liquor, running up a substantial debt.  According to the article “It wasn’t until 1848, when Lincoln was a congressman, that he was able to pay off the whole debt.”

Fortunately, Abraham Lincoln is remembered for many other things!