John Lind (LOC)
Originally uploaded by The Library of Congress
Photo above is from today's Library of Congress uploads to Flickr. John Lind (1854-1930) was a teacher and lawyer, the 14th governor of Minnesota, a US Representative, and President Wilson's envoy on Mexican affairs. You can't tell from this photo, but he was also noted for being an amputee--his lower left arm was lost in a sawmill accident when he was thirteen.
Because he was such a public figure, it's not difficult to find contemporary references to Lind's impairment. Many of them add the lost limb to a heroic narrative:
"His quiet and collected personality, made more heroic by the loss of his left arm, impresses one with immediate confidence and respect." (The American-Scandinavian Review (January 1913): 15.)But Lind was a politician, not a saint, and some other references make that clear. "For a one-armed man John Lind can make some telling blows once in a while," reported the Moose Lake Star on 17 January 1901, and they weren't being metaphorical. Fresh from his term as Governor, Lind walked into a newspaper office and attacked an editor who had long criticized him.
"Soon afterward he began work in a sawmill, in which he lost his left hand by an accident. This was probably not altogether a misfortune; for it compelled an immediate abandonment of manual labor for intellectual pursuits and thus directed his destiny to higher spheres of action." (Algot Strand, ed., A History of The Swedish-Americans of Minnesota (1910): 73)
[posted on the occasion of a certain Minnesota-based blogger's birthday]