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LIFE OF LINCOLN.

MONUMENTAL EDITION.

CHAPTER I.

About the year 1752, a family of Lincolns removed from Berks county, Pennsylvania, to Rockingham county, Virginia. In his "Life of Abraham Lincoln," Dr. J. G. Holland speculates, with much plausibility, of the probability that some of the Lincolns among the Massachusetts Friends, usually called Quakers, emigrated, with other New England Puritans, to Pennsylvania, and that in time they, or their descendents, removed to Virginia. From a paper written in December, 1859, by Abraham Lincoln, at the request of Hon. Jesse W. Fell, of Bloomington, Ill., I find that he gives expression to similar views with reference to the Quaker origin of the family, but without anything more definite than the conjectures of Dr. Holland. A fac simile of the paper referred to above may be found covering three pages in Lamon's Life of Lincoln. I have good reason to believe that it was unknown to Dr. Holland at the time he wrote.

Daniel Boone, at the head of a small party of adventurers, left his home on the river Yadkin, in South Carolina, in the year 1769, to explore that part of Virginia, then known as the "Country of Kentucky." After suffering great hardships for about two years, the party returned with glowing accounts of the result of their expedition. In 1775, Boone, with others who were charmed with the reports brought back by the first party, organized another, and with their families went into Kentucky for the purpose of becoming permanent residents.

The Revolutionary struggle came on, and the weary years of war and bloodshed wore away, and still those hardy frontiersmen held their ground among the savages. As the war drew to a close, and Independence was achieved, reports went back from the wilderness to the colonies, then become States, of the fertility of the soil, abundance of game and mildness of climate, in what came to be called the "Dark and Bloody Ground."

Among those for whom the new country had charms, was a man in Rockingham county, Virginia, by the name of Abraham Lincoln. I shall not attempt to exhibit the Lincoln family tree, but will content myself with following this one branch. He removed to Kentucky about the year 1781 or 1782, taking with him a young family. As near as can be ascertained, he settled in what is now Bullitt, but others say Mercer, county. In the year 1784, while Abraham Lincoln was at work in his field, unconscious of danger, he was stealthily approached by an Indian and assassinated, being shot dead. He left a widow with five children. The widow subsequently removed to a place now in the limits of Washington county, and there brought up her family as best she could. Three of these children were sons, who were named in the order of their births: Mordecia, Josiah and Thomas. The two daughters were named Mary and Nancy. Both married in Kentucky and remained there. Mordecia lived in Kentucky until late in life, when he removed to Hancock county, Illinois, where he left a number of descendants. Josiah, when young, removed to Harrison county, Indiana. Thomas, the third son, who was born in Virginia in 1778, in consequence of the early death of his father and the poverty of the family, was suffered to grow up in ignorance, and wandered about, laboring whenever and for whatever wages he could command. He never received any education from books, but mechanically

learned to write his name. He remained a bachelor until he was twenty-eight years of age. In 1806 Thomas Lincoln was married to Miss Nancy Hanks. a young lady who came from Virginia to Kentucky with some of the early settlers. Previous to his marriage, Mr. Lincoln had prepared a cabin for his future home in Hardin county. Into this humble dwelling he took his young bride, and remained there until three children were born: Sarah, Abraham and Thomas. The latter died in infancy, leaving only Sarah and Abraham. Abraham, of whose life I am writing, was born February 12, 1809.

Thomas Lincoln, the father, was a strong, healthy man, about five feet ten and a-half inches high. From his circumstances and surroundings he was compelled to dress plainly, but he was a man who was respected by all who knew him. Mrs. Lincoln was quite tall, being five feet five inches high, and was a "slender, pale, sad and sensitive woman, with much in her nature that was truly heroic, and much that shrank from the rude life around her."

Poverty was the lot of all in this humble home, but the father and mother were both pious, and sought at an early age to impress the minds of their children with religious truth, but religious institutions were exceedingly rude and irregular. For many years young Abraham Lincoln never saw a church, but he occasionally heard Parson Elkin preach. He was a Baptist, and Thomas and Nancy Lincoln being members of that denomination, he was frequently attracted to their cabin. The first ideas of public speaking Abraham ever received was from the sermons of Mr. Elkin.

Schools were scarce and very inferior. To supply the deficiency, Mrs. Lincoln, having received more education than her husband, would read aloud to her son and daughter from the few books that could be obtained in the neighborhood.

Young men and women who have enjoyed the advantages of schools as they are now systematized in all the northern and some of the southern States, can not realize the almost entire destitution of the means for developing and improving the mind. Such establishments as the large publishing houses, with their classified series of text books, in almost every branch of learning, were then unknown. The schools were usually kept in houses that would be thought unfit for the protection of horses or cattle at the the present time.

The studies were confined to spelling, reading, writing and arithmetic. Grammar and geography were unknown. Such a thing as a dictionary was seldom or never seen by any person connected with the schools. The books in use were, Dilworth's spelling book, and for reading, any book, on any subject, that happened to fall into the hands of the different families. A country school is remembered by the writer about fifteen years later than the time Abraham Lincoln commenced his studies, and in a better part of Kentucky, when Dilworth's spelling book had given place to Webster's. The following is a partial list of the books used, as the best that could be obtained, by a large number of boys and girls about equally advanced in their knowledge of reading. Almost any Kentuckian, unless his lot was cast in some of the larger towns or cities of the State, has seen its counterpart. There being no possibility of classification, they would be called up to recite in something like the following order: The Bible, Esop's Fables, Life of Washington, Robinson Crusoe, New Testament, Revised Statutes of Kentucky, Life of Marion by Horry, a book of Western Adventures, English Reader, Charlotte Temple, Columbian Orator, Thaddeus of Warsaw, Debates on Baptism, between Campbell and McCalla, and others about as well selected.

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