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near the Kentucky river, set out with his wife and several young children to find a new home in that vicinity which after gained the name of the "Dark and Bloody Ground."
Lincoln was a frontiers-man, and had for several years previous to his removal to Kentucky, felled the woods and cleared the land which formed his homestead in the She. nandoah Valley of Virginia—that valley since rendered so memorable in the war, which his grandson, the present Abraham, bas conducted against the Southern rebels for Union and universal liberty.
Kentucky was at that time a part of the Commonwealth of Virginia, so that in removing even so far away from his former home, Lincoln did not leave the State which had been his home for a time past, and in which his children had been born.
Lincoln's home was somewhere on Floyd's Creek, and probably near its mouth, in what is now Bullitt County, not far distant from the subsequent site of Louisville.
The sanguine hopes he had entertained in regard to the advantages of his new place of residence, were doomed never to be realized. The country was densely covered with pines, and infested with hostile Indians. Its fertility was inferior to that of the fair valley he had left behind him, while his pioneer labors bad all to be begun over again. There were possibly other motives which induced his removal than those which proceeded from the hope of gaining a fairer field for his labor-but of these we have heard no mention. If any existed, they most likely arose from the poverty and pecuniary difficulties of the man, and
the fondness he shared, with all the colonists of the time, for adventure.
His life was destined never to be passed in Kentucky. He had scarcely marked out his settlement, and commenced to clear it, when he was killed and scalped by an Indian.
His widow thus suddenly bereaved and in a strange land, had now their three sons and two daughters left to her sole protection and care. Fearing to remain in a neighborhood which proved so fatal to their happiness and welfare, this hardy woman removed a few miles further South with her family, to what some eight or ten years af
terwards became Washington County. There the soil was 1
more fruitful, and the neighborhood more settled. The 7
family throve apace, and all reached mature age in time. The three sons were named Mordecai, Josiah, and Thomas. The daughters married, one to a man named Crume, the other to one named Bromfield-both backwoodsmen.
In 1792, Kentucky became a separate State. Its popu. lation at the time numbered over a hundred thousand
souls. This was scarcely thirty years after it was settled 2 by Boone. A period of discontent had followed the formai tion of the Federal government, caused partly by the inl efficiency of the protection afforded by Virginia and the O old Federal Congress against the inroad of the savages,
and partly by the fear lest the central government should Di surrender the right to navigate the Mississippi to its 15 mouth. This right of navigation was then shared with [ France, who owned the territory of Louisiana, and was at s that time, owing to the entire absence of railways, or any
kind of artificial highways to the sea-board, of the greatest consequence to the interior of the Union.
In 1806, Thomas Lincoln, then twenty-eight years of age, married Nancy Hanks.
Three years afterwards, our hero first came to light in this world of mixed happiness and trouble. His parents were then living in what is now La Rue County, still further South than where the family had removed after grandfather Abraham Lincoln's death. Before Abraham, a girl had been born, who was two years older, and who grew up to womanhood, married, and died-though still young. Two years afterwards Abraham's little brother came into the world, but died in early childhood. Abra. ham remembers to have visited the grave of this child, along with his mother, before leaving Kentucky.
LaRue county, named from an early settler, John La. Rue, was set off and separately organized in 1843, the portion containing Mr. Lincoln's birthplace having been, up to that date, included in Hardin county. It is a rich grazing country in its more rolling or hilly parts, and the level surface produces good crops of corn and tobacco. In the northern borders of the country, on the Rolling Fork of Salt river, is Muldrow's Hill, a noted eminence. Hodgenville, near which Abraham was born, is a pleasantly situated town on Nolin creek, and a place of considerable busi
About a mile above this town, on the creek, is a mound, or knoll, thirty feet above the banks of the stream, containing two acres of level ground, at the top of which there is now a house. Some of the early pioneers encamped on this knoll; and but a short distance from it a fort was erected by Philip Phillips, an emigrrnt from Pennsylvania, about 1780 or 1781, when the elder Lincoln arrived from Virginia. John La Rue came from the latter State with a company of emigrants, and settled, not far from the same date, at Phillips' Fort. Robert Hodgen La Rue's brother-in-law, purchased and occupied the land on which Hodgenville is built.
It is needlest to rehearsc the kind of life in which Abraham Lincoln was here trained. The picture is similar in all such settlements. In his case, there was indeed the advantage of a generation or two of progress, since his grandfather had hazarded and lost his life in the then slightly broken wilderness. The State now numbered about 400,000 inhabitants, and had all the benefits of an efficient local administration, the want of which had greatly increased the dangers and difficulties of the first settlers. Henry Clay, it may here be appropriately men. tioned, had already, though little more than thirty years of age, begun his brilliant political career, having then served for a year or two in the United States Senate.
Yet with all these changes, the humble laborers, settled near “Hodgen Mills," on Nolin creek, had no other lot but incessant toil, and a constant struggle with nature in the still imperfectly reclaimed wilds, for a plain subsist.
Here the boy spent the first years of his childhood. Before the date of his earliest distinct recollectiens, he removed with his father to a place six miles distant from Hodgenville, which was ere long to be surrendered, as we shall presently see, for a home in the far-off wilderness,
and for frontier life, in its fullest and most significant, meaning
The period of Abrabam Lincoln's Kentucky life extends through a little more than seven years, terminating with the autumn of 1816.
In those days there were no common schools in that country, but education was by no meass disregarded, nor did young Livcoln, poor as were his opportunities, grow up an illiterate boy, as some have supposed. Competent teachers were accustomed to offer themselves then, as in later years, who opened private schools for a neighbor. hood, being supporsed by tuition or subscription. During his boyhood days in Kentucky. Abraham Lincoln åttended, at different times, at least rwo schools of this description, of which he has clear recollections. One of them was kept by Zacharia Riney, a Roman Catholic. But although this teacher was himself an ardent Catholic, he made no proselyting efforts in his school. Father Riney was probably in some way connected with the movement of the “ Trappists,” who came to Kentucky in the autumn of 1805, and founded an establishment (abandoned some years later) under Urban Guillet, as superior, on Pottin. ger's Creek. They were active in promoting education, especially among the poorer classes, and had a school for boys under their immediate supervision. This, however, had been abandoned before the date of Lincoln's first school-days, and it is not improbable that the private schools under Catholic teachers were an offshoot of the original systein adopted by these Trappists, who subsequently removed to Illinois.