Happy 210th Birthday - Honest Abe

frontrank2

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On this date, Feb. 12, 1809, in a rustic cabin in rural Kentucky, Abraham Lincoln the future 16th president is born to Thomas and Nancy Lincoln. Thomas, a respected member of the community, was a farmer and carpenter who struggled to achieve a modest degree of prosperity. Nancy died in Oct. 5, 1818 which proved very hard on nine year old Abe. He grew somewhat distant from his father and became resentful of the hard work his father placed on him at such an early age. However, in December 1819, just over a year after his mother’s death, Lincoln’s father Thomas married Sarah Bush Johnston, a Kentucky widow with three children of her own. She was a strong and affectionate woman with whom Abraham quickly bonded.
Due to a land dispute dating back to 1817, the family was forced to move from Abraham’s birthplace of Kentucky to Perry County, Indiana. There the family "squatted" on public land to scrap out a living in a crude shelter, hunting game and farming a small plot. Abraham’s father was eventually able to buy the land.
Though both his parents were most likely illiterate, Thomas’ new wife Sarah encouraged Abraham to read. As he grew to adulthood, he received his formal education ( a few weeks or a couple of months at a time ) for an estimated total of 18 months. Neighbors recalled how Abraham would walk for miles to borrow a book. He read the Bible, Robinson Crusoe, Aesop's Fables, Pilgrim's Progress and other popular books of the times.
In March, 1830, the family moved to Macon County, Illinois and shortly after relocated to Coles County. It was here that at age 22 Abe struck out on his own, making a living doing manual labor. He had grown to six foot and four inches tall but was lean, strong, and sinewy. Lincoln spoke with a backwoods twang and walked with a long-striding gait. He was known for his skill in wielding an ax and early on made a living splitting wood for fire and rail fencing.
Young Abraham Lincoln eventually migrated to the small community of New Salem, Illinois, where over a period of years he worked as a shopkeeper, postmaster and eventually general store owner. It was there that Lincoln, working with the public, acquired social skills and honed the storytelling talent that made him popular with the locals.
Lincoln's Birthday of Feb 12 is still a legal public holiday in eight states, but in the other forty two it is combined with George Washington's birthday ( also in February ) and is celebrated as President's Day on the third Monday in February, concurrent with the federal holiday.

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No matter how much I try to imagine America without Abe Lincoln, it becomes impossible to visualize any country here without him. He is a fact of life, very prominent and highly visible with all my comings and goings in society. And though I may be southern, I still have no desire to know what would have been. Happy Birthday Honest Abe!!!
Lubliner.
 

frontrank2

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An interesting story of the Lincoln Family:
In May of 1786, Thomas Lincoln witnessed the murder of his father by local Indians.
While Abraham Lincoln ( the grandfather of our 16th president ) and his three boys, Mordecai, Josiah and Thomas, were planting a cornfield on their new property, Indians attacked them. Abraham was killed instantly. Mordecai, at fifteen the oldest son, sent Josiah running to the settlement half a mile away for help while he raced to a nearby cabin. Peering out of a crack between logs, he saw an Indian sneaking out of the forest toward his eight-year-old brother, Thomas, who was still sitting in the field beside their father's body. Mordecai picked up a rifle, aimed for a silver pendant on the Indian's chest, and killed him before he reached the boy.
 

wbull1

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On Lincoln's birthday, I thought I'd share a little-known story about him. As reported in the Chicago Tribune January 19, 1864, a reporter found Lincoln counting greenbacks in the White House. Lincoln explained that such activity “is something out of my usual line; but a President of the United States has a multiplicity of duties not specified in the Constitution or acts of Congress. This is one of them. This money belongs to a poor negro [William Henry Johnson] who is a porter in one of the departments (the Treasury) and who is at present very bad with the smallpox. He did not catch it from me, however; at least I think not. He is now in hospital, and could not draw his pay because he could not sign his name. I have been at considerable trouble to overcome the difficulty and get it for him, and have at length succeeded in cutting red tape . . . . I am now dividing the money and putting by a portion labeled, in an envelope, with my own hands, according to his wish.” [Johnson had accompanied Lincoln on his trip to Washington, DC as a bodyguard. Lincoln got him a job in the White House but the other black servants objected so Lincoln wrote several letters and finally found him a job in the Treasury. John had nursed Lincoln when Lincoln caught a variety of smallpox. Johnson then caught smallpox, which eventually killed him. Johnson intended to send some money to his family.]
 



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