Lincoln’s Best Friend, Haitian William Florville
Haitian barber, William Florville, became friends with Lincoln when Florville opened his barbershop in Illinois. His shop became Lincoln's retreat, where they swapped fish stories and told jokes.
The two grew dependent on each other, Lincoln in health matters and Florville in money. Florville cared for Lincoln during an illness, and Lincoln temporarily paid Florville's property taxes. Through Lincoln's patronage, Florville became a prosperous land owner, and Lincoln the author of The Emancipation Proclamation, setting free the slaves of the South.