Monday, February 21, 2011

Abraham Lincolon and President's Day

In honor of President's Day, I thought it only fitting to honor Abraham Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President, was born February 12, 1809 near Hodgenville, Kentucky to Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks. When Abe was only two years old, the family moved from Kentucky to Indiana .Nancy had two other children, Sarah and Thomas, although Thomas died in infancy. Nancy Hanks Lincoln died in 1818 when Abe was only about 9 years old. Soon after Nancy's death, his father then married Sarah Bush Johnston in 1819 and she brought three children with her into this marriage. Abraham got along very will with his step-mother and credited her with being a strong stable influence in his life. John Hanks visited the family in Indiana and helped clear their land and Thomas expressed to him that the soil wasn't that good for growing crops. When John got ready to leave, after being with them for about two years, he was going to Illinois to look at some land and Thomas told him to contact him about what he found.

Everyone knows that Abraham Lincoln was known as the Civil War President and that he was assassinated on April 15, 1865 by John Wilkes Booth, while attending a show at the Ford Theater in Washington, D. C.

Abraham married Mary Todd in 1842 and they had four sons, William Wallace "Willie, Thomas "Tad, Edward Baker and Robert Todd who was the only one to live to maturity, marry, have children and lead a very public and active life in Washington, which I don't think many people are aware of. I will save that for another article.

I personally am honored to at least be able to claim Abraham Lincoln as a shirt-tail relative although he is not of my own direct lineage. Elijah Loomis, the brother of my ancestor Mary Olivia Loomis, married Emily Hanks. Emily's father, John I. Hanks and his parents were William Hanks and Elizabeth Hall. John was a first cousin to Abe's mother, Nancy Hanks.Now you can understand why I told you about John Hanks and his being close to the family even after Nancy's death.

John Hanks married Susan Wilson in 1826 and in 1828 moved his family to Macon County, Illinois.  John had written to Thomas Lincoln about the wonderful farm land and how it was superior to that of the land in Indiana. It was in 1830 that Thomas then moved his family to Illinois and John Hanks and Abe hauled the logs together with a yoke of oxen, and a cabin was built near the Sangamon, in Harristown township, Illinois in which the Lincoln family lived while they resided in Macon county.

Abraham Lincoln and John Hanks both served in the Black Hawk War. John also served in Co. A, of the 21st Illinois regiment. This was the regiment that Gen. U.S. Grant entered the war as the Colonel in command.

In the 1880 Census for Hickory Point Township, Macon Co, Illinois, John I. Hanks, now 78 listed as father-in-law, is living with Elija (Eliza on the records) and his wife Emily and their children. There is also a little girl, 10 yrs old named Emma Hanks and she is listed as a daughter. Who's daughter is she? John's wife Susan died before this child would have been born. Did John remarry?

Some trivia facts about Abe Lincoln:
Did you know that he was the first President to wear a beard while serving as President in the White House?
One of the reasons he grew a beard was because he had a receding chin.

The only campaign stop that Abram Lincoln made in Michigan during his Presidential political campaign was in 1856 at Kalamazoo, Michigan. He spoke in Bronson Park. There is now a plaque there commemorating the event.Interest fact is that Silas Hubbard and Mary Olivia Loomis Hubbard, the sister to Elijah Loomis who was married to Emily Hanks, the daughter of John Hanks who was cousin to Abe's mother Nancy and who was close to Abe, were living in Kalamazoo at the time. Abraham spent the night in Kalamazoo before heading back to Illinois the next day.  I wonder if he stayed with Silas and Mary? 

Abraham Lincoln (Photograph, Standing) Art Poster Print - 13x19

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