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BIRTH-PLACE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
In what is now LaRue Co., Kentucky, one and a half miles from Hodgenville, and seven miles from Elizabethtown. The three pear trees were planted by Lincoln's father, and mark the spot near where the house stood. Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809. He resided here only a few years,
had borrowed of Mr. Crawford, a neighboring farmer, a copy of Weems' Life of Washington—the only one known to be in existence in that region of the country. Before he had finished reading the book, it had been left, by a not unnatural oversight, in a window. Meantime a rainstorm came on, and the book was so thoroughly wet as to make it nearly worthless. This mishap caused him
much pain; but he went, in all honesty, to Mr. Crawford with the ruined book, explained the calamity that had happened through his neglect, and offered, not having sufficient money, to "work out" the value of the book.
"Well, Abe," said Mr. Crawford, after due deliberation, "as it's you, I won't be hard on you. Just come over and pull fodder for me two days, and we will call our accounts even.”
The offer was readily accepted, and the engagement literally fulfilled. As a boy, no less than since, Abraham. Lincoln had an honorable conscientiousness, integrity, industry, and an ardent love of knowledge.
Little Lincoln Firing at Big Game Through the
While yet a little boy, one day when Lincoln was in his cabin home, in what was then a wilderness in Indiana, he chanced to look through a crack in the log walls of the humble residence and espied a flock of wild turkeys feeding within range of his father's trusty rifle. He at once took in the possibilities of the situation and ventured to take down the old gun, and putting the long barrel through the opening, with a hasty aim, fired into the flock. When the smoke had cleared away, it was ob
served that one of the turkeys lay dead on the field. This is said to have been the largest game on which Lincoln ever pulled a trigger, his brilliant success in this instance. having no power to excite in him the passion for hunting.
An Incident of Lincoln's Early Hardships and Narrow Escape from Death.
A little incident occurred while young Lincoln lived in Indiana, which illustrates the early hardships and surroundings to which he was subjected. On one occasion he was obliged to take his grist upon the back of his father's horse, and go fifty miles to get it ground. The mill itself was very rude, and driven by horse-power, The customers were obliged to wait their "turn," without reference to their distance from home, and then use their own horse to propel the machinery. On this occasion, Abraham, having arrived at his turn, fastened his mare to the lever, and was following her closely upon her rounds, when, urging her with a switch, and "clucking" to her in the usual way, he received a kick from her which prostrated him, and made him insensible. With the first instant of returning consciousness, he finished the cluck, which he had commenced when he received the kick (a fact for the psychologist), and with the next he probably thought about getting home, where he arrived at last, battered, but ready for further service.
Young Lincoln's Kindness of Heart-He Carries Home and Nurses a Drunkard.
An instance of young Lincoln's practical humanity at
an early period of his life is recorded, as follows: One evening, while returning from a "raising" in his wide neighborhood, with a number of companions, he discovered a straying horse, with saddle and bridle upon him. The horse was recognized as belonging to a man who was accustomed to excess in drink, and it was suspected at once that the owner was not far off. A short search only was necessary to confirm the suspicions of the young men.
The poor drunkard was found in a perfectly helpless condition, upon the chilly ground. Abraham's companions urged the cowardly policy of leaving him to his fate, but young Lincoln would not hear to the proposition. At his request, the miserable sot was lifted on his shoulders, and he actually carried him eighty rods to the nearest house. Sending word to his father that he should not be back that night, with the reason for his absence, he attended and nursed the man until the morning, and had the pleasure of believing that he had saved his life
Young Lincoln and His Books--Their Influence on His Mind.
The books which Abraham had the early privilege of reading were the Bible, much of which he could repeat, Æsop's Fables, all of which he could repeat, Pilgrim's Progress, Weems' Life of Washington, and a Life of Henry Clay, which his mother had managed to purchase for him. Subsequently he read the Life of Franklin and Ramsey's Life of Washington. In these books, read and re-read, he found meat for his hungry mind. The Holy
Bible, Æsop and John Bunyan-could three better books. have been chosen for him from the richest library?
For those who have witnessed the dissipating effects of many books upon the minds of modern children it is not hard to believe that Abraham's poverty of books was the wealth of his life. These three books did much to perfect that which his mother's teachings had begun, and to form a character which, for quaint simplicity, earnestness, truthfulness and purity has never been surpassed among the historic personages of the world. The Life of Washington, while it gave him a lofty example of patriotism, incidentally conveyed to his mind a general knowledge of American history; and the Life of Henry Clay spoke to him of a living man who had risen to political and professional eminence from circumstances almost as humble as his own.
The latter book undoubtedly did much to excite his taste for politics, to kindle his ambition, and to make him a warm admirer and partisan of Henry Clay. Abraham must have been very young when he read Weems' Life of Washington, and we catch a glimpse of his precocity in the thoughts which it excited, as revealed by himself in a speech made to the New Jersey Senate, while on his way to Washington to assume the duties of the Presidency.
Alluding to his early reading of this book, he says: "I remember all the accounts there given of the battle fields and struggles for the liberties of the country, and none fixed themselves upon my imagination so deeply as the struggle here at Trenton, New Jersey. I recollect thinking then, a boy even though I was, that there must hrve been something more than common that those
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