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in a new and strange land, had now their three sons and two danghtcrs left to her sole protection and care, with probably little means for their support. She soon after removed to what became Washington county, in the same State, and there reared her children, all of whom reached mature age. One of the daughters was married to a Mr. Crume, and the other to a man named Bromfield. The three sons, named Thomas, Mordecai and Josiah, all remained in Kentucky until after their majority.
Thomas Lincoln, one of these sons, was born in 1778. He was a mere child when his father removed to Kentucky, and was but six years old at the time of the lattcr's death. The date of this event was consequently about 1784. Of the early life of the orphan boy, we have no knowledge, except what can be learned of the general lot of his class, and of the habits and modes of living then prevalent among the hardy pioneers of Kentucky. These backwoodsmen had an unceasing round of hard toils, with no immediate reward but a bare subsistence from year to year, and the cheering promise of better days in the future. But oven their lands, as in the case of Boone, they were not always so fortunate as to retain in fee.
More comfortable days, and a much improved state of things had come, before Thomas arrived at maturity; but in his boyhood and youth, he must have known whatever was worst in the trials and penury of the first generation of Kentucky frontiersmen, with few other enjoyments than an occasional practice with his rifle. His training was suited to develop a strong, muscular frame, and a rugged constitution, with a characteristic quickness of perception and promptness of action. The Kentuckian of that, and the succeeding generation had generally a tall, stalwart frame, a frank and courteous heart, and a humorous and slightly quaint turn of speech; a fondness for adventure and for the sports of hunting; a manly self respect, and a fearless independence of spirit.
"Pride in their port, defiance in their eye,
Intent on high designs, a thoughtful band,
By forms unfashioned, fresh from nature's hand,
Fierce in their native hardiness of soul,
True to imagined right, above control."
This generation began its life with the independent existence of the nation, and partook largely of the spirit of exultant self-confidence then abroad through the land.
These were the circumstances and associations under which, in those primeval days in Kentucky, Thomas Lincoln passed through the period of boyhood and youth. At the date of the political separation from Virginia, in 1792, and the formation of a new State, this orphan boy, struggling to aid his mother in the support of the ill-fortuned family, had reached the ago of fourteen. The currents of emigration had become enlarged and accelerated, meantime, until the population was swelled, as early as 1790, to more than 73,000; and during the next ten years it was more than trebled, reaching 220,000. The wilderness that once was around Boonesborough, Harrodsburg, and Lexington, was now blossoming as the rose. Still, however, there was ample space unoccupied, within the limits of the new State, for those who craved the excitements and the loneliness of a home in the wilderness.
In 1806, Thomas Lincoln, being then twenty-eight years of age, was married to Nancy Hanks, a native of Virginia, and settled in what was then Hardin county, Kentucky. It does not appear that the parents of Miss Hanks ever removed to Kentucky, though others of the family did so. Of the history of her ancestry, we have no definite particulars. Her position in life appears to have been not dissimilar to that of her husband. That she possessed some rare qualities of mind and heart, there is reason to believe; although, dying at an early age, and having, from the time of her marriage, passed her days on obscure frontiers, few recollections of her remain.
Abraham Lincoln was born of these parents on the 12th day of February, 1809. The place where they at this time resided, is in what is now LaRue county, about a mile and a half from Hodgenville, the county-seat, and seven miles from Elizabethtown, laid off several years previously, and tho countyseat of Hardin county. He had one sister, two years his senior, who grew up to womanhood, married, and died while young. He had a brother, two years younger than himself, who died in early childhood. Mr. Lincoln remembers to
have visited the now unmarked grave of this little one, along with his mother, before leaving Kentucky. These wero the only children of Thomas Lincoln, either by the present or by a subsequent marriage, hereafter to be noticed. Abraham lias thus, for a long time, been tho solo immediate representative of this hardy and energetic race.
LaRuc county, named from an early settler, John LaRue, was set off and separately organized in 1843, tho portion containing Mr. Lincoln's birthplace having been, up to that date, included in Hardin county. It is a rich grazing country in its more rolling and hilly parts, and the level surface produces good crops of corn and tobaccco. In the northern bordors of the county, on the Rolling Fork of Salt river, is Muldrough's Hill, a noted eminence. Hodgenville, near which Mr. Lincoln was born, is a pleasantly situated town on Nolin creek, and a place of considerable business. About a mile above this town, on the creek, is a mound, or knoll, thirty feet above the banks of the stream, containing two acres of level ground, at the top of which there is now a house. Some of the early pioneers encamped on this knoll; and but a short distance from it a fort was erected by Philip Phillips, an emigrant from Pennsylvania, about 1780 or 1781, near the timo Mr. Lincoln's ancestor arrived from Virginia. John LaRuo came from the latter State, with a company of emigrants, and settled, not far from the same date, at Phillips' Fort. Robert Hodgen, LaRue's brother-in-law, purchased and occupied the land on which Hodgenville is built. Both these pioneers wero men of sterling integrity, and high moral worth. They were consistent and zealous members of the Baptist church, and one of their associates, Benjamin Lynn, was a minister of the same denomination. Such wero the influences under which, more than twenty years before Thomas Lincoln settled there, this little colony had been founded, and which went far to give the community its permanent character.
It is needless to rehearse the kind of life in which Abraham Lincoln was here trained. The picture is similar in all such settlements. In his omse, there was indead the advantage of a generation or two of progress, since his grandfather had