Lincoln in Spencer County Indiana
Abraham Lincoln was born 1809, in Kentucky. He had an older sister Sarah and a brother who died in infancy.
He came to Indiana with his parents, Thomas and Nancy (Hanks) Lincoln in 1816.
Thomas acquired land in Spencer County and the family lived there until March 1830.
Nancy died in 1818 and in 1819 Tom remarried a Sally Bush Johnson a widower.
In October 1844 Abraham Lincoln gave a speech at the Spencer County Court House to promote Henry Clay Whig presidential candidate.
Lincoln, during his first trip to Indiana in 14 years, was a guest at the Rockport Tavern
From Historical Marker
LINCOLN, THE HOOSIER -- ABE LINCOLNCharacter Sketch Of the Great American
In one corner of a country burying
ground in southern Indiana there is a simple stone tablet, the Inscription on
the face of which reads: "Here lies Nancy Hanks Lincoln. mother of Abraham Lincoln."
This tablet was placed there to mark the last resting place of
the frail little woman who gave to her country a physical and Intellectual
That little tablet at the head of a grass grown grave marks more than the resting place of the mother of Lincoln. It is a milestone in the eventful life of this man of destiny. There in that little clearing near Gentryville. Ind.. Lincoln spent his boyhood. For 14 years he roamed over the hills and through the maple woods of southern Indiana, hunting, fishing and thinking.
He was a Hoosier. Born in Kentucky. which is only Indiana divided by the
Ohio, and making his home after he was of age in Illinois. which is just
across the Wabash. young Lincoln was born, reared and buried within sight of
the corn fields and the green meadows of the Ohlo valley which is home to
every Hoosier. His mother, a delicate creature. stricken with the fatal milk
sickness two years after Thomas and his son Abe had driven the ox cart from
Hardin county, Kentucky. to Spencer county, Indiana died and left them.
With his own hands Thomas fashioned a coffin of green timber. using
an old rip saw and a hammer as his only tools. in this unpainted casket the
mother of the man of men was laid in the little cemetery near Gentryville. No
services were said over the grave, and only a few neighborly mothers and
wide-eyed children witnessed the burial.
This impressed the young boy so deeply that he persuaded an itenerant preacher to stop over night at the Lincoln home cabin that he might say a prayer over the newly made grave.
It Is doubtful if this mother had a great influence on Lincoln's early life. That the prenatal influence was great in shown by the peculiar blending in his character of the traits which his mother possessed with those of his father. plus the ruggedness he gained from the great outdoors and the refining influence of the second Mrs. Lincoln. This woman, strong, robust and full of natural mother love, was the guardian angel of the young Lincoln in his adolesent years. Disgusted at the lad's shiftlessness, a touch of which he had given the boy by inheritance. Thomas rebuked Abe often for his preference for his Pilgrim's Progress. Aesop's Fables, the life of Washington and the revised statutes of over rough field work. But Mrs. Lincoln. who was the real ruler of the home, provided a quiet place In the corner for the long-legged lad to read. and she would make the other children be quiet when Abe was In that corner.Getting His Education.
There for hours he would sit on a stool without a back, munching a piece
of bread and reading. With a piece of charcoal from the broad fireplace be
learned to write on clapboards. When he went up to the garret to his bed of
shucks he would take his beloved books with him and would read himself to
sleep by candle light. His appetite for books and for knowledge was equally
insatiable. What he could not get from books he would learn from rubbing
elbows with the rough men of his section.
When asked for a sketch of himself in later life he referred to his education as being deficient, yet he knew men as no other men did and he knew conditions in America as they existed.
As a story teller Lincoln was irrepressible. He liked to bear a story as
well as to tell one which is the mark or the true story teller. He would
rather sit by the hour and "swap yarns." as he called it than to go to a
dance and gallop around the floor. His humor was as contagious as it was
wholesome. He never told a story to wound anyone's feelings and his repartee
was never personal. Tall, awkward and ungainly. he knew the pain of a
personal thrust, although he enjoyed telling of his awkwardness and lack
of beauty as much as he did hearing a new story.
Lincoln was a Hoosier. The early years of his life. the years when the impressions were being recorded on the tablets of the brain that afterwards molded his character. were spent in the valley of the Ohio where men, rough rugged men, but real men nevertheless, lived next to nature without ostentaion and with a simple sincerity. His first glimpse of the law was in a revised statute of Indiana. Hls first debates took place in the Gentryville village store. the forum for the countryside. His first knowledge of nature was gained in the purple and green woods of the bottom lands. There he heard the call of the meadow lark and the bob white. the call of the wild that beckoned to him to come and sit at the feet of the greatest teacher, to commune with nature in her element.The Boy Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln—"Abe" Lincoln
sounds so much more like the man was a Hoosier. He was human, as human
as the little store keeper who went to Washington Just to see "Mister Lincoln."
His love for humanity was equaled only by his love of country. the
country for which he gave his life. Mark Twain said of the Lincoln birth-place
that it was the "little farm that raised a man." Rather, it was the little
farm where a man was born. To Indiana belongs the honor of rearing the
man and to Illinois the honor of giving
him to the nation.