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A Brief Biography of Abraham Lincoln

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A Brief Biography of Abraham Lincoln



On the stormy morning of Sunday, February 12, Nancy Hanks Lincoln , wife of Thomas , gave birth to a boy. He was born on a bed of poles covered with corn husks. The baby was named Abraham after his grandfather. The birth took place in the Lincolns' rough-hewn cabin on Nolin Creek near Hodgenville, Kentucky. Thomas Lincoln was an uneducated carpenter and a farmer. Nancy Lincoln had little or no schooling and could not write.


In 1811 the Lincolns moved to a farm on Knob Creek which was also near Hodgenville. In 1811 or 1812 (possibly as late as 1815) Abraham's younger brother, Thomas, died in infancy.


Abraham spent a short amount of time in a log schoolhouse. He began to learn his ABC's from a teacher named Zachariah Riney. He attended school with his sister, Sarah. Sarah had dark hair and gray eyes, and she was two years older than Abraham. Abraham attended school dressed in a raccoon cap, buckskin clothes, and pants so short that several inches of his calves were exposed. At home young Abraham heard the scriptures read from the family Bible.


Young Lincoln was saved from drowning by playmate Austin Gollaher. Abraham and Sarah briefly attended school taught by Caleb Hazel, a neighbor. Late in the year the Lincoln family moved to southern Indiana and settled near present-day Gentryville. A cabin was constructed near Little Pigeon Creek. It measured 16 X 18 feet, and it had one window.


Abraham's mother, Nancy, passed away on October 5th. She died of 'milk sickness,' a disease contracted by drinking milk from cows which have grazed on poisonous white snakeroot. In later years, Abraham would recall helping to carve pegs for his mother's coffin. Thomas Lincoln hauled the coffin, which was made of green pine, on a sled to the top of a thickly wooded hill and buried her without a formal funeral service. In Lexington, Kentucky, Mary AnnTodd, Abraham's future wife, was born on December 13th.


Thomas Lincoln married Sarah Bush Johnston on December 2nd. Sarah's first husband, Daniel Johnston, had died in the summer of 1816. She added 3 new children by her former marriage to the Lincoln household - Elizabeth, 12; John, 9; and Matilda, 8. Abraham grew to be much closer to his step-mother than he was to his father. During 1818 or 1819 young Abraham was kicked and almost killed by a horse.


Abraham began borrowing books from neighbors. He read "Pilgrim's Progress," "Aesop's Fables," "Arabian Nights", and "Robinson Crusoe."


Abraham attended school taught by James Swaney for about 4 months.


Abraham attended school taught by Azel Dorsey.


Abraham borrowed a book titled "Life of Washington" by Parson Mason Weems. When the book got soaked with rain, he worked off its worth for his neighbor from whom he had borrowed it (Josiah Crawford). This was the very first book Abraham ever personally owned.


Abraham's sister, Sarah, married a neighbor named Aaron Grigsby on August 2, but she died in childbirth 1 1/2 years later on January 28, 1828, just 3 weeks before her 21st birthday. Sarah was buried with her baby boy who was still-born.


Abraham earned his first dollar ferrying passengers to a steamer on the Ohio River.


Using a flatboat as transportation, Abraham took a load of farm produce down the Mississippi River to New Orleans with Allen and James Gentry.


The Lincolns moved from Indiana to Illinois. Abraham drove one of the ox wagons. They built a log cabin on the north bank of the Sangamon River about 10 miles southwest of Decatur in Macon County. Later the family moved southeast to Goose Nest Prairie in Coles County, Illinois.


Young Lincoln decided to leave his family and go off on his own. His anti-slavery opinions may have been formulated when he saw the abuse of slaves during his second flatboat trip to New Orleans. In July he moved to New Salem, Illinois, where

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