The fact was, Abraham thought too much of his father and mother to leave them to undertake such a journey alone. No money could have hired him to leave them before they were settled in Illinois. Mr. Scripps, who knows all the circumstances well, says:

“He was the only son of his father, now advanced in years, and it was not in his nature to desert his aged sire at a time when all the hardships, privations, and toil of making a new home in a new country were about to be entered upon. Whatever the future may have seemed to hold in it, as a reward for effort specially directed to that end, he cheerfully put aside in obedience to his sense of duty, and engaged at once and heartily in the work before him.”

The above writer, a Western man himself, describes the manner of moving in those days as follows:—

“In those days, when people changed their residence from one State or settlement to another, they took all their movable possessions with them,—their household goods, their kitchen utensils, including provisions for the journey, their farming inplements, their horses and cattle. The former were loaded into wagons, drawn, for the most part, by oxen; and the latter were driven by the smaller boys of the family, who were sometimes assisted by their sisters and mother. Thus arranged for a journey of weeks,—not unfrequently of months,—the emigrant set out, thinking but little of the hardships before him,—of bad roads, of unbridged streams, of disagreeable weather, of sleeping on the ground or in the wagon, of sickness, accidents, and sometimes death by the way,—dwelling chiefly in thought upon the novelty and excitement of the trip, the rumoured attractions of the new country whither he was going, and of the probable advantages likely to result from the change. By ten or fifteen miles per day, over untravelled roads, now across mountains, swamps, and watercourses, and now through dense, umbrageous forests, and across broad prairies where the horizon alone bounded the vision, the caravan of wagons, men, women and children, flocks and herds, toiled onward by day, sleeping under the broad canopy of stars at night, patiently accomplishing the destined journey, sometimes of weeks’, sometimes of months’ duration.”

In this way the Lincoln, Hanks, and Hall families moved to Illinois. The distance was about two hundred miles—not much of an undertaking for the perseverance and heroism of pioneer families.

The weather proved favourable nearly all the way, though the roads were excessively muddy. For miles Abraham walked through mud a foot deep. Often, for a long distance, he waded in water up to his knees (and it is well known that his knees were not very low down). When they had performed nearly one hundred and fifty miles of the journey, they came to the Kaskaskia River, where they found the bottom lands overflowed, and the old corduroy road nearly gone.

“We’re done to now,” said Hanks.

“I don’t know about that,” answered Abraham. “Let us see about it.”

“It is plain enough to see, I should think. The man who directed us back there yesterday said, if the bottom was overflowed, it would be three miles through water, and I should think it was more than that.”

“I don’t care if it’s twice three,” replied Abraham, “if it’s not too deep to wade.”

“We can wait some days for the water to fall, or we can go up or down the river a few miles, and possibly find a better place to cross,” suggested Hanks.

“That will take too much time. The water won’t fall yet awhile. It is February yet, you know, and the rivers are always high. I am for going straight ahead through thick and thin.”

“That’s the only way, I think,” said Mr. Lincoln, who had listened to the conversation, while he was looking rather doubtfully upon the flood of water before them.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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