Kentucky Remembers Abraham Lincoln

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Eleanor Rose

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Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park
On our recent exploration of the Bluegrass State, @Southern Unionist and I particularly enjoyed passing through Hodgenville, KY and viewing their many tributes to President Lincoln. This place is definitely worth a visit for anyone who admires our 16th president. He was born in central Kentucky, and lived in the area until around age 9, when his father moved the family to Indiana in part because he didn't like being around slavery.

This was the first significant Lincoln memorial built, about 11 years before the more famous one in Washington,DC and it marks the spot where he was born. A log cabin is preserved inside.
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This sinkhole provided the family with access to fresh water from a cave system. It's just to the left of the bottom of the stairs leading to the monument.
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This smaller version of the statue in Washington stands in Hodgenville's town square. Note the Lincoln Museum to the right.
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Another statue depicting a younger Abraham Lincoln also graces Hodgenville's town square.
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Lincoln did not remember his birthplace, having left at age two. He did remember this cabin to the north of Hodgenville, having lived here from age two through nine.
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He grew up playing in this creek, about a hundred yards to the right of the cabin. The creek is small and tame except after a heavy rain. He once had a close call here, but was pulled to safety by a friend.
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The family farmed this tract behind the house. The creek runs along the right side.
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Southern Unionist

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In the 1930's, a fan of Abraham Lincoln built this tavern as a tribute to him and to serve visitors, a short distance to the left of what I call the 2-9 cabin. It's not currently in operation. I think the site would be better off without it, but the NPS plans to refurbish it and turn it into a visitor center.
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Southern Unionist

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Wait a minute ...Lincoln was born a Southerner!?
The monument marks the spot, and the cabin inside may have been the actual birthplace. There was more than one cabin found on the property, things had been moved around, so historians aren't 100% sure if they have the right one. All the primitive cabins in that area were nearly identical, varying only in whether the single window was on the left or right hand side of the single door, and whether the timber and mud fireplace and chimney was on the right or left end wall.

Lincoln didn't remember that place anyway, having moved at age two. He did remember the second cabin, the one on the north side of town, and they definitely do have the original. That spot is more special to me. This is where he started to understand what the world was like, beyond just taking his first steps and trying to eat solid food.

At both sites, the NPS has a variety of Lincoln quotes displayed, and there are more in the privately owned museum downtown. In some of them he talks about his early years in Kentucky, growing up always knowing that slavery was wrong, seeing that it bothered his father to be around it.

I'm convinced that these early childhood experiences had a profound impact on Lincoln's thinking, convincing him that one way or another, somebody had to find a way to put an end to slavery. And he did.
 

LoyaltyOfDogs

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I hope it won't be off-topic to add to this thread another remembrance of Lincoln by the State of Kentucky that is not at his birthplace but, instead, at Gettysburg. On a monument in the National Cemetery, a set of bronze tablets portrays a facsimile of the Gettysburg Address in Lincoln's handwriting. Above them a bronze plaque states, "Kentucky honors her son Abraham Lincoln, who delivered his immortal address at the site now marked by the Soldiers’ Monument."

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