He Knew Lincoln is another story you may enjoy reading aloud, by Ida Tarbell. Abraham was born in Kentucky and lived in that State with his parents and his one sister until he was eight years old. The Lincolns were very, very poor. They lived in a small log cabin on the banks of a winding creek. They need not have been quite so poor, but the truth of the matter is that Mr. Thomas Lincoln, Abraham's father, was lazy. To be sure he fastened a few logs together for shelter, cut a little wood, and dug up some ground for a garden.
But after the corn and potatoes were planted, they never received any care, and there is no doubt the family would have gone hungry many a day if Abraham had not hurried home with fish which he caught in a near-by stream, or if Mrs. Lincoln had not taken her rifle into the woods and shot a deer or a bear. The meat from these would last for weeks, and the skins of animals Mrs.
Lincoln always saved to make into clothes for the children. Thomas Lincoln could not read or spell, and as near as I can find out, was not a bit ashamed of it, either. But his wife, Nancy Hanks Lincoln, was a fair scholar and taught Abraham and his sister, Sarah, to read and spell.
There was no floor to the Lincoln's log cabin and no furnishings but a few three-legged stools and a bed made of wooden slats fastened together with pegs. Abraham and Sarah slept on piles of leaves or brush. Slates and pencils were scarce, and Abraham used to lie before the fire when he was seven or eight years old, with a flat slab of wood and a stick which he burned at one end till it was charred; then he formed letters with it on the wood.
In that way he taught himself to write.
His mother had three books, a Bible, a catechism, and a spelling-book. He had never had any boy playmate and was greatly excited when an aunt and uncle of his mother's, Mr. Sparrow, with a nephew, named Dennis Hanks, arrived at the creek and lived in a half-faced camp near by. Dennis and Abraham became fast friends. A fever swept the country, and Abraham's mother died.
Three years later his father married a new wife. The second Mrs. Lincoln had been married before and had three children, a boy and two girls. So there were five children to play together. Lincoln had built a better cabin, and she brought such furniture as the Lincoln children had never seen. Their eyes opened wide at the sight of real chairs and tables. She made Abraham and Sarah pretty new clothes.
They had neat, comfortable beds, and the two sets of children were very happy. Lincoln loved Abraham and saw that there was the making of a smart man in him.
She helped him study, and when there was school for a short time in a distant log hut, she sent Abraham every day. When the school ended, there were four years when there was no school anywhere near their settlement, so she read with Abraham and kept him at his lessons in reading and arithmetic all that time. Hunters and traders rode that way sometimes, and if a traveler had a book about him, Abraham was sure to get a look at it.
A new settler had a Life of Washington. Abraham looked at the book hungrily for weeks and finally worked up courage to ask the loan of it. He promised to take good care of it. He was then earning money to give his parents by chopping down trees in the forests, and he had no time to read but in the evenings. Finally at the age of 22, Abe packed his few belongings and moved to New Salem, Illinois. While Abe clearly loved the women who had raised him, there is no doubt that there was little love for his father.
Reporters frequently sought information about his family background, but Lincoln rarely talked about it, not mentioning his father at all. When Tom Lincoln died in , Abe did not attend the funeral.
Abraham Lincoln is also our only president who ever has held a patent on an invention. To read about his invention, click here. Is this a series you are doing on the early years of our sixteenth president. Keep writing.
Your objectivity is appreciated. Only son and father know what went on between them. Abe Lincoln was an awesome presidents. I think he treated the citizens back then right. I love learning about Abe Lincoln. Hi Kristina, What are you looking for? Do you have a specific question about Abe Lincoln? Kristina, You might want to write about how he really had to teach himself everything. He had very few books and very little schooling but look how much he accomplished!
Also think about how scary it must have been when his father left and Abe and his sister alone while the father went to find a new wife. Kristina, I hope you do, too! Sometimes a teacher can explain it better that way. Glad you posted. Rachel and Kristina, It is SO great you are reading about him…. Thank goodness we are still One Nation! Running a history site is an enormous pleasure, a big responsibility to get it right and a huge amount of work….
Kristina, that is great! Thank you for telling me… it seemed like you worked hard on the paper and it really paid off!
Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Sort order. Trosper, on the YouTube site. Picture Book Biography. Lincoln: A Photobiography Russell Freedman.
Thanks for posting. Thank you for your kind comments. I love what I do and if I in anyway have helped readers better understand the strength of our country then I am exceedingly happy. Thank you for posting. Kirkus Media LLC. Retrieved 21 June Retrieved 6 July Retrieved 9 June Children's literature portal. Categories : children's books American picture books Books about Abraham Lincoln Children's history books. Namespaces Article Talk.