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of Thomas Lincoln, namely, in June, 1816, pursuant to a Congressional "enabling act," a Convention had been held which adopted a State Constitution, preparatory to admission into the Union. Under this Constitution, a little later, in December, 1816, Indiana became, by act of Congress, one of the United States.
The population of Indiana was now about 65,000, distributed chiefly south of a straight line drawn from Vincennes, on the Wabash, to Lawrenceburg, on the Ohio. Vincennes was long the territorial capital, and with the surrounding country, had been occupied by French emigrants, many years before tho Revolution. In 1800, the whole number of residents in these colonies was less than 5,000. These, like other French get tlements, made little progress of themselves. From 1800 to 1810, there had been a large increase, mostly by emigrations to Southern Indiana from Kentucky, swelling the population to 24,520, at the latter date. In 1811 had occurred serious difficulties with the Indians, terminating in the decisive victory over them at Tippecanoe. So general had become the settlements, eastward from Vincennes and up the Ohio river, that the capital was removed far eastward to Corydon, in 1813, as a central location. This place, the capital of Harrison county, is about twenty-five miles west from Louisville, and more than a hundred south of the present metropolis of the State. But one county intervened between Harrison and Perry, and Gentryille is hardly forty miles, in a direct line, from Corydon. This pl:.ce continued to be the seat of government for the State until 1824, as it had been for the Territory during the three years next preceding 1816. It was but natural, therefore, that emigration should be prominently directed to this part of the State, at the period under consideration. In 1820, the population had increased to over 147,000, or more than six-fold diring ten years, and nearly thirty-fold since 1800.
There is little doubt that, in emigrating, Thomas Lincoln had fallen in with a prevalent contagion in his own State, and that he took up his residence in the part of Indiana then deemed most desirable of all that was unoccupied. It is common to attribute these extensive migrations from the border slaveholding States into the non-slaveholding North-west, to a preference for institutions based upon free labor to the exclusion of slavery. This was, beyond question, a powerful inducement with many, yet, by no means the only one; and, with some, it did not exist at all. In the earlier days of Kentucky, the proportion of slaves to tho free white population was small, and in many places slavery can hardly have beet an appreciable element. But in 1816, the number of slaves must have exceeded 100,000, and their ratio of increase was becoming very high. Upon a man in the circumstances of Mr. Lincoln, with a young family to rear, this consideration undoubtedly had its weight, among the others we have suggested as the cause of his removal to Indiana. We have at least the fact, that, though painfully, and with an exile's sadness, he yet turned his back forever on a State that tolerated slavery, to seek a new home where free labor had been sacredly assured exclusive rights and honors.
The next thirteen years Abraham Lincoln spent here, in Southern Indiana, near the Ohio, nearly midway between Louisville and Evansville. He was now old enough to begin to take an active part in the farm labors of his father, and he manfully performed his share of hard work. He learned to use the ax and to hold the plough. He becanic inured to all tho duties of seed-time and harvest. On many a day, during every one of those thirteen years, this Kentucky boy might have been seen with a long "gad" in his hand, driving his father's team in the field, or from the woods with a heavy draught, or on the rough path' to the mill, the store, or the river landing. He was specially an adept at felling trees, and acquired a muscular strength in which he was equaled by few or none of those about him. In the sports of hunting and fishing, he was less skilled.
A vigorous constitution, and a cheerful, unrepining disposition, made all his labors comparatively light. To such a one, this sort of life has in it much of pleasant excitement to compensate for its hardships. He learned to derive enjoyment from the severest lot. The "dignity of labor," which is with
demagognes mere hollow cant, became to him a true and appreciable reality.
Here, as in Kentucky, he attended private schools, and in other ways increased his little stock of learning, aided by what he had already acquired. The same want of systematic public instruction, and the same mode of remedying this lack, prevailed in Indiana, as in his former home. One of his teachers was named Andrew Crawford, to whom he used to be occasionally indebted for the loan of books, to read at such leisure hours as he could command. His last teacher was Azel W. Dorsey, who had the satisfaction, in later years, of taking his former scholar by the hand, rejoicing to recognize the once obscure boy as one of the foremost leaders of the people. Dorsey was lately residing in Schuyler County, Illinois, where he also had sons living.
That we may estimate Mr. Lincoln in his true character, as chiefly a self-educated man, it should be stated that, summing up all the days of his actual attendance upon school instruction, the amount would hardly exceed one year. The rest ho has accomplished for himself in his own way. As a youth he read with avidity such instructive works as he could obtain, and in winter evenings, by the mere light of the blazing fireplace, when no better resource was at hand.
An incident having its appropriate connection here, and illustrating several traits of the man, as already developed in early boyhood, is vouched for by a citizen of Evansville, who knew him in the days referred to. In his eagerness to acquire knowledge, young Lincoln had borrowed of Mr. Crawford a copy of Weems' Life of Washington—the only ono known to be in existence in the neighborhood. Before he had finished reading the book, it had been left, by a not unnatural oversight, in a window. Meantime, a rain storm came on, and the book was so thoroughly wet as to make it nearly worthless. This n ishap caused him much pain; but he went, in all honesty, to Crawford with the ruined book, explained the calamity that had happened through his neglect, and offered, not having sufficient money, to "work out" the value of the book.
"Well, Abe," said Crawford, "as it's you I wont be hard on