Southern Illinois University Press
Lincoln’s use of jokes and stories is legendary. He had a deep need to use humor as therapy to ward off sadness, tragedy, and family loss. He also employed comic stories to engage listeners and, in the case of trials, engage jurors and discombobulate witnesses. In the law office, addressing clients, Lincoln used humor to gain the trust of clients who found him more approachable when he employed it.
Williams, Frank J.
"Look at Lincoln: Lincoln’s Sense of Humor,"
Civil War Book Review: Vol. 20
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lsu.edu/cwbr/vol20/iss2/3