Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin in Hardin County, Kentucky to Thomas Lincoln and Nancy Hanks Lincoln on February 12, 1809. Thomas was a strong and determined pioneer and was respected by other town folk. Abraham had an older sister Sarah and younger brother Thomas, who died in infancy. Due to a land dispute, the Lincolns were forced to move from Kentucky to Perry County, Indiana in 1817, where the family lived on public land to scrap out a living in a crude shelter. Thomas was eventually able to buy the land. When young Abraham was nine years old his mother died of tremetol (milk sickness) at age 34. A few months after Nancy’s death, Thomas married Sarah Bush Johnston, a Kentucky widow with three children of her own. She was a strong and affectionate woman with whom Abraham quickly bonded. Though both his parents were most likely illiterate, Sarah encouraged Abraham to read. Reading material was in short supply in the Indiana wilderness. Neighbours recalled how Abraham would walk for miles to borrow a book. Abraham Lincoln migrated to the small community of New Salem, Illinois where over a period of years he worked as a shopkeeper, postmaster, and eventually general store owner. It was here that Lincoln, working with the public, acquired social skills that made him popular with the locals. When the Black Hawk War broke out in 1832 between the United States and Native Americans, the volunteers in the area elected Lincoln to be their captain. After the Black Hawk War, Abraham Lincoln began his political career and was elected to the Illinois state legislature in 1834 as a member of the Whig Party. This political understanding led him to formulate his early views on slavery. It was around this time he decided to become a lawyer, teaching himself the law by reading Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England. After being admitted to the bar in 1837, he moved to Springfield, Illinois and began to practice in the John T. Stuart law...
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