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and I was elected a captain of volunteers--a success which gave me more pleasure than any I have had since. I went through the campaign, was elated, ran for the Legislature in the same year (1832), and was beaten-the only time I have ever been beaten by the people. The next, and three succeeding biennial elections, I was elected to the Legislature. I was not a candidate afterwards. During this legislative period, I had studied law and removed to Springfield to practice it. In 1846 I was once elected to the lower House of Congress, but was not a candidate for re-election. From 1849 to 1854, both inclusive, practiced law more assiduously than ever before. Always a Whig in politics, and generally on the Whig electoral ticket making active canvasses. I was losing interest in politics when the repeal of the Missouri Compromise aroused me again. What I have done since then is pretty well known.

"If any personal description of me is thought desirable, it may be said, I am, in height, six feet four inches, nearly; lean in flesh, weighing, on an average, one hundred and eighty pounds; dark complexion, with coarse black hair, and gray eyes. No other marks or brands recollected.

"Yours truly,


Soon after his nomination for the Presidency in 1860, Mr. Lincoln wrote out a somewhat more elaborate sketch of his life for the use of his friends in preparing a campaign biography for the canvass of that year, but it contained little or nothing in reference to his early

life in addition to what is supplied, with such characteristic modesty and frankness, mingled with quaint humor in its closing paragraph, in the sketch just quoted. It would be difficult to comprise within smaller space what was then known of his genealogy and early life. As he himself said, "My early life is characterized in a single line of Gray's Elegy: 'The short and simple annals of the poor.'" Yet subsequent research seems to have settled the fact beyond a doubt, that Abraham Lincoln belonged to a historic family of which Samuel Lincoln, who came from England about 1637, settling first at Salem and afterwards at Hingham, Mass., was the American progenitor. To the same source has been traced the ancestry of Gen. Benjamin Lincoln, of Revolutionary fame, who received the sword of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown in 1781; two early Governors of Massachusetts (both named Levi Lincoln); Gov. Enoch Lincoln of Maine, besides others of national reputation. Mordecai Lincoln, the son of Samuel, lived and died in Scituate, near Hingham, Mass.; Mordecai II., his son, emigrated first to New Jersey and then to what afterwards became Berks County, Pennsylvania, as early as 1720 to 1725. John, his son, removed to Rockingham County, Virginia, in 1758; his son Abraham, the father of Thomas (who was the father of the subject of this sketch), settled in Kentucky about 1781 or 1782, where he was killed by Indians in 1784, leaving Thomas, the father of the future President, a child of the age of six years. This will account for the hardships which the family of Thomas Lincoln endured in that frontier region, in the latter part of the last and the beginning of the present century, and the modesty

of the surroundings amid which Abraham Lincoln was born.



Miss Tarbell, in her "Early Life of Abraham Lincoln," has presented conclusive documentary proofs of the marriage of Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks in Washington County, Kentucky, June 12, 1806. Born the second child of this marriage (a younger brother died in infancy), his early life was, undoubtedly, similar to that of other children of that region and period. There is reason to believe that there has been a disposition on the part of two classes of writers to exaggerate the picture of the squalor and wretchedness about the early Lincoln home-on the one hand, by those who had an object in seeking to magnify the popular impression regarding the meanness of his origin; on the other hand, by those who sought to elevate him in public estimation by contrasting the modesty of his early beginnings with the exalted position to which he finally attained. While the former is unjust to his memory, the latter is unnecessary to a true estimate of his character. As a rule, the pioneers of Kentucky, as in other portions of the West, at that time, and even at a later date, usually lived in a logcabin of one room but scantily furnished. Those who had two or more rooms were considered fortunate, if not absolutely wealthy. At that time Abraham's father lived in what is now La Rue (then a part of

Hardin) County. Here Abraham spent his childhood until he had passed his seventh year. He went to school a little, but the total could not have been over a few months. Few stories are told of his life in Kentucky, because, by the time he had achieved a national reputation, there were few associates of his early childhood to tell them.


When Abraham was in his eighth year (1816), his father removed with his family to what is now Spencer County, Indiana. Here there is reason to believe their mode of life was ruder even than it was in Kentucky, as the country was newer and they settled in an unbroken forest. Mr. Lincoln himself says, in the paper already referred to as having been prepared as the basis for a campaign biography, in 1860, that "this removal was partly on account of slavery, but chiefly on account of the difficulty in land-titles in Kentucky. For a time the family are said to have lived in a sort of camp or cabin built of logs on three sides and open at one end, which served as both door and windows. A story told by Lincoln himself about his life here gives his first, if not his only, experience as a hunter. "A few days before the completion of his eighth year, in the absence of his father, a flock of wild turkeys approached the new log-cabin, and Abraham, with a rifle gun, standing inside, shot through a crack and killed one of them. He has never since pulled a trigger on any larger game."

Another story connected with his life in Indiana is that told by Austin Gollaher, a school- and play-mate of Abraham's-though somewhat older-who claims to have rescued the future President from drowning in consequence of his falling into a stream which they

were crossing on a log, while hunting partridges near Gollaher's home. The same claim of having saved Lincoln's life has been set up by Dennis Hanks, both presumably referring to the same event. In his own sketches, Mr. Lincoln makes no reference to this incident, though there is believed to have been some basis of truth in the story, as told so graphically and circumstantially by Gollaher.

Here Abraham again went to school for a short time, but, according to his own statement, "the aggregate of all his schooling did not amount to one year.' According to the statement of his friend Gollaher, he "was an unusually bright boy at school, and made splendid progress in his studies. Indeed, he learned faster than any one of his schoolmates. Though so young, he studied very hard. He would get spice-wood brushes, hack them up on a log, and burn them two or three together, for the purpose of giving light by which he might pursue his studies." An ax was early put into his hands, and he soon became an important factor in clearing away the forest about the Lincoln home. Two years after the arrival in Indiana, Abraham's mother died, and a little over a year later his father married Mrs. Sarah Johnston, whom he had known in Kentucky. Her advent brought many improvements into the Lincoln home, as she possessed some property and was a woman of strong character. Between her and her step-son sprang up a warm friendship which lasted through life. His devotion to her illustrated one of the strong points in Mr. Lincoln's character.

In 1826, at the age of seventeen years, Mr. Lincoln spent several months as a ferryman at the mouth of Anderson Creek, where it enters the Ohio. According

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