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June 01, 2008

Abraham Lincoln's birthplace

I had not known that Abraham Lincoln, generally considered the greatest President the US has known, was born in Kentucky. Like most non-US citizens, I suspect, I knew he had come from Illinois to the White House and never gave his birthplace or his family's circumstances a second thought. As it was he was born near a place called Hodgensville (Originally Hodgen's Mill) on Sinking Spring Farm. He was born in a single room log cabin in February 1818 and a replica of the cabin is preserved inside a massive stone structure celebrating this fact.

Lincolns birth farm.JPG
The Lincoln Memorial building which encloses the replica log cabin.

The farm itself was not the family home for long. By the age of seven the family had moved to another north of Hodgensville and then, before he was ten, to Indiana and then Illinois. The roiginal farm is now a National Park centred on the Sinking Spring and the Memorial cabin. These cabins are small - sixteen feet deep by eighteen wide - a size probably dictated by the size of tree log that could be handled by one or two men. The floor was compacted earth and the chinks between the logs were sealed with clay. The fire place at one end of the house was deep and stone built, providing cooking and heating for the family.

Sinking Spring1.JPG
The Sinking Spring itself, probably much the same as it was in Linclon's time except that it is now approached by means of stairs and enclosed by supporting walls.

Contemplating the cabin and the other information provided at this place, one cannot help but be struck by the fact that Abraham Lincoln is probably the only man in the history of the USA to rise from such humble beginnings (his father was all but illiterate and his mother was) to become head of his nation. I can certainly find no other President who has achieved this, almost every subsequent President - and certainly all his predecessors - came from landed wealthy famillies and could not be classed as "self-made" men.

A remarkable man in every sense of the word.

Posted by The Gray Monk at June 1, 2008 06:49 AM

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You may be interested in visiting
http://brookvilledailyphoto.blogspot.com/ -
a blog by bird enthusiast Abraham Lincoln.

Yes, I'm serious and he's very real!

Posted by: Cindy at June 1, 2008 11:59 AM

Thanks Cindy. His pictures are stunning!

Posted by: The Gray Monk at June 1, 2008 09:50 PM