On February 12, 1809 Thomas and Nancy Lincoln welcomed their first son, Abraham, into the world. Abraham was named after his grandfather who was killed by Indians in 1786 near Nolin Creek in Hardin County, Kentucky. (Stone 8) He spent the first few years in Nolin Creek, but by the age of two his father, in search of better farming land, moved them a few miles away to Knob Creek. At one time his family had owned slaves, but they gave up that practice before Lincoln was born. His family even left their church to join one that supported antislavery. When young Abraham was old enough he began helping his father with all the farm work and he too shared in the belief that owning slaves was wrong.
Lincoln’s mother, even though illiterate, believed that her children needed and education so she would recite scriptures she had committed to memory to them daily and she encouraged them to attend school whenever possible. Abraham was eager to learn, so when he chores were finished he and his sister Sarah would walk over two miles to attend school. In 1816, at the age of 7, Abraham and his family moved again and this time they moved to the free state of Indiana where land was cheap and slavery was not allowed. (Stone 10) It was here that Abraham’s mother became ill from milk sickness and later died at the age of 34. Abraham’s father needed a wife and mother, so the following year he married an old friend named Sara Bush Johnson. For the next several years Abraham would continue working on the farm and attending school whenever possible. Abraham when help the neighbors read and also enjoyed writing poetry. On a page in his arithmetic book he wrote,
“Abraham Lincoln his hand and pen
he will be good
but god knows when.” (Stone 16)
In 1828 after his sister Sara died during child birth, he decided to leave Pigeon Creek for good, so he went to work for a man named James Gentry. He worked for Mr. Gentry’s ferry boat company for a number of years and then in 1831 he left for the town of New Salem. It was here that Abraham decided to continue his education and to pursue his passion for law. Even though he only had one year of education, he was a quick and eager learner. He sparked the interest of James Rutledge, the founder of the New Salem Debating Society. Rutledge urged Lincoln to continue studying and loaned him his law books. Lincoln was a quick study and before long he was drafting law papers for the locals and giving his opinions to the courts.
In 1832 Rutledge convinced Abraham to run for state legislature, but unfortunately the Black Hawk war broke out and Abraham and his friends were volunteers, so Lincoln was unsuccessful in winning the election. Once the war was over Lincoln returned home and worked several jobs over the next several years. He was a joint owner of a general store, post master, and then a land surveyor. Abraham worked very hard to pay off all of his debts and even the debts of his deceased partner, this hard work and dedication earned him...