May 22, 2016
This National Historic Park is near the small town of Hodgensville, Kentucky. We watched the movie at the visitor’s center, which only lasted 12 minutes. Yet it contained information that we had not known before. Lincoln, who was born on February 12, 1918, had only a total of two years of formal education during his entire youth. But he had a strong interest in writing. Though materials were scarce and expensive, he would write in any place he could find: with his finger in the dust on the window, with sticks in the snow in the winter and the dirt on the ground in the summer.
Lincoln’s father, Thomas, was a great storyteller. Abraham would listen intently to his father so that he could repeat the tales to all of his friends. This helped him to develop a talent for speaking before crowds and using language that his listeners could understand. Thomas was a farmer during Abraham’s younger years and though he was only about six years old, he helped his father work on the farm. He would plant pumpkin seeds in between the rows of corn.
The Lincoln family was forced to move two different times during Abraham’s younger years, because there was a dispute over ownership of the property on which they lived. (along with nine other neighbors) Thomas contested the claim made by others, but lost his fight to retain the property each time. After the second dispute, he moved his family to what is now the state on Indiana. Back then, it was frontier land that was undeveloped.
Can you imagine having to leave your home, friends and livelihood and start all over again not just once, but twice?
A large marble and granite Memorial has been built on the property. It houses a log cabin similar to the one in which the Lincoln family lives. It was a one room structure about 18 by 16 feet with a dirt floor, one window and a single fireplace. It is so very encouraging to realize that someone could come from such humble surroundings and also become the leader of a great nation.