Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

President Abraham Lincoln: a Great President

Perhaps Sunday, February 12, slipped by without fanfare for many folks. For many Johnson County people, the day might have con-sisted of Church, lunch at one of our nice restaurants, and a lei-surely afternoon perusing the newspaper, trying to keep up with what’s going on in the world, state and county. With the low tem-peratures we have been experiencing the last few days it was tempting indeed to stay in the house a lot.
Sunday, February 12 was the birthday of who I believe was one of the greatest American presidents: Abraham Lincoln. He was born February 12, 1809, in what was then Hardin County, Kentucky. It is now La Rue County, a county later carved from Hardin County. He grew up to be a physically strong man and many stories were told of his physical endurance. He received little formal education but was self-educated.
My niece, who lives in Sherman Texas, sent me a copy of Killing Lincoln written by Bill O’reilly and Martin Dugard. I have also been reading a book that was excerpted from the famous bio-graphical work on Lincoln by Carl Sandberg. The name of the book is Abe Lincoln Grows Up and it portrays a life of hardship during his early years.
President Lincoln’s father was Thomas Lincoln who was a son of a man also named Abraham Lincoln. It was interesting to note as I was reading about Lincoln’s life that his paternal grandfather Abraham had four brothers: Isaac, Jacob, John and Thomas. Ac-cording to Lincoln’s own account in an autobiographical sketch, Isaac went to a place near where Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee join. Also according to Lincoln’s account, John’s de-scendents still lived in that area at the time of his writing.
Another interesting thing I found in the president’s writings was that Thomas, Abraham’s father once worked for a year as a hired hand for his uncle on the Watauga River, a branch of the Holston River.
Abraham Lincoln was born in a crude log cabin near what is now Hodgenville, Kentucky. He had an older sister named Sarah. His mother was Nancy Hanks Lincoln. She died in 1818 when Lincoln was nine years old. Her death was devastating to him as the two were very close. A year later Lincoln’s father married Sarah Bush Johnston, a widow who already had three children. There grew to be a strong bond between Abraham and his stepmother as well.
Life was hard for the Lincoln family as young Abraham was grow-ing up. Welding an axe, clearing land, planting crops were back-breaking chores that were necessary for existence. Perhaps those hardships served to hone Lincoln into the man he became.
His life was cut short by an assassin’s bullet as Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd Lincoln was attending a play at Ford’s Theatre in Washington. He died the next day at 7:22 on April 15, 1865. His murderer, John Wilkes Booth was caught up with, shot and soon died on April 26.
While Abraham Lincoln accomplished many great things during his life and particularly during his administration, I believe one of his greatest accomplishments was to preserve the Union. Because of his wisdom and perseverance and the wisdom and perseverance of many others, we are and remain The United States of America, the greatest country in the world.