No other human being seemed as multifaceted to Whitman as Lincoln. There was hardly a quality he did not attribute to the president. Lincoln, he said, had “canny shrewdness” and “horse-sense” as seen in the down-home stories he told to drive home his points. He seemed the average American, with his drab appearance and his humor, redolent of barnyards and barrooms. Whitman commented on the “somewhat rusty and dusty” appearance of Lincoln, who “looks about as ordinary in attire, etc., as the commonest man.” He delighted in the ascendancy to power of one he called the embodiment of “the commonest average of life—a rail-splitter and a flat-boatsman!” He pointed to Lincoln’s rural origins, which he thought made him totally American. His other cultural heroes paled in comparison. In contrast, Washington seemed “the first Saxon” and Franklin “an English nobleman,” while Lincoln was “quite thoroughly Western,” of the prairies and the outdoors.