Cabin-home on Nolin Creek—Father and Mother—Ancestors in Virginia—Indians, and Grandfather killed by them—A Dark Day—Tales of Abraham's Childhood—Battle with Indians—Capture of Three Girls—His Father's Youth—Learning Carpenter's Trade—Could not Read or Write—Learning of his Wife—Members of Baptist Church—His Mother—On Knob Creek—Abraham Fishing and Hunting—Dennis Hanks—Furniture of his House.

The miserable log cabin in which Abraham Lincoln was born was a floorless, doorless, windowless shanty, situated in one of the most barren and desolate spots of Hardin County, Kentucky. His father made it his home simply because he was too poor to own a better one. Nor was his an exceptional case of penury and want. For the people of that section were generally poor and unlettered, barely able to scrape enough together to keep the wolf of hunger from their abodes.

Here Abraham Lincoln was born February 12th, 1809. His father’s name was Thomas Lincoln; his mother’s maiden name was Nancy Hanks. When they were married, Thomas was twenty-eight years of age and Nancy, his wife, twenty-three. They had been married three years when Abraham was born. Their cabin was in that part of Hardin County which is now embraced in La Rue County, a few miles from Hodgensville—on the south fork of Nolin Creek. A perennial spring of water, gushing in silvery brightness from beneath a rock near by, relieved the barrenness of the location, and won for it the somewhat ambitious name—“Rock Spring Farm.”

“How came Thomas Lincoln here?” the reader will ask, “Whence did he come?” “Who were his ancestors?”

Thomas Lincoln was born in Rockingham County, Virginia, in 1778. Two years later (in 1780), his father, lured by the stories of the remarkable fertility of the soil in Kentucky, and the rapid growth of the population, removed thither for a permanent abode. He had five children at the time—three sons and two daughters—and Thomas was the youngest child but one. He settled in Mercer, now Bullitt County.

Then, a hundred years ago, the Indians in that region, and throughout the whole north-west territory, were deadly hostile to the whites. The pioneer “took his life into his hands” by removing thither. His rifle was his constant companion, that he might defend himself against the savage foe, whether at home or abroad. If he went to the field to plough or build a fence, or into the woods to chop, his rifle was indispensable. He knew not when or where the wily Indian would surprise him.

Four years after the father of Thomas Lincoln moved into Kentucky, he went into the field to build a fence. He took Thomas, who was then about six years old, with him, and sent his two older sons, Mordecai and Josiah, to work in another field not far away. While busily engaged in putting up the fence, a party of Indians in ambush fired at the father and he fell dead. The sons were terribly frightened, and little Thomas was well-nigh paralyzed. Josiah ran to a stockade two miles off, and Mordecai, the eldest, ran to the cabin, from the loft of which, through a loop-hole, he could see the Indians. A savage was in the act of lifting his little brother from the ground, whereupon Mordecai, aiming his gun through the hole in the loft, fired, and killed the “redskin.” The latter fell to the ground instantly, and Thomas ran for his life to the cabin. Mordecai continued at his post, blazing away at the head of every Indian who peered from the underbrush. Soon, however, Josiah arrived from the stockade with a party of settlers; and the savages fled, leaving their dead comrade and a wounded one behind them. Mordecai had done good execution with his rifle.

That was the darkest day that the family of Abraham Lincoln’s grandfather ever knew. The lifeless form of their strong protector, borne into their humble cabin, made it desolate indeed. Who would defend them now? To whom would they look for bread? A home in the wilderness was hardship enough, but the fatal shot of the savage multiplied hardships a hundred fold.

Abraham Lincoln often listened, in his boyhood, to this tale of woe in his grandfather’s cabin. It was a chapter of family history too startling and important to be passed over with a single rehearsal. It was stereotyped and engraved upon Abraham’s young heart, with many other reminiscences and facts connected with life in Kentucky at that early day. His father was a great story-teller, and was noted for his “yarns,”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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